Jordan Ayew turned sharply on the edge of the box and unleashed a fierce drive which had keeper Danny Ward hurrying to his right to push it away.
Roberto Di Matteo’s men were buzzing after their long-awaited win over Rotherham at the weekend and Ashley Westwood went close with a long-range shot moments later.
Villa had the ball in the net in the fifth minute when Aaron Tshibola rose to head in a McCormack cross, but was offside.
On cue, Villa Park broke into a minute’s applause in the 10th minute for Atkinson.
Huddersfield got more into the game but their rising confidence was quashed by McCormack.