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Report: Huddersfield Town 1-0 Hartlepool United

Alan Lee rifled in the only goal of the game to secure Town all three points in a hard fought battle against Hartlepool United at the Galpharm Stadium.

In a real scrap of a game with neither side really creating any clear cut chances, the striker latched on to Joey Gudjonsson’s pass and fired a low shot into the net for the win that sees The Terriers now only two points behind second place Sheffield United.

It could have been so different though if Andy Monkhouse’s spectacular long-range shot found its way into the net but luckily for Town it smacked the post and away to safety.

One change was made from the side that drew with Bury three days earlier. Gary Naysmith was dropped to the bench in favour for Calum Woods which meant Antony Kay was named captain.

Town could have been in the lead as early as the third minute when Jordan Rhodes headed straight at Pools ‘keeper Scott Flinders after an excellent run and cross by Scott Arfield.

Flinders was in the thick of the action with a top draw save to deny Antony Kay’s flick from Danny Ward’s cross. Kay stuck out a leg at Ward’s cross and with the ball looking to hit the back of the net Flinders superbly turned the ball away.

Lee Novak headed wide and Ward tested Flinders with a strike from a narrow angle that the Hartlepool keeper matched and at the other end Sean Morrison put his body on the line to deny Ritchie Humphrey’s shot on goal inside the Town box after Jack Hunt miscued his clearance from James Poole’s cross.

Just seconds before the break Town caught Hartlepool on the counter but Jordan Rhodes got his pass to Arfield totally wrong as it was easily dealt with by Flinders.

A really scrappy first half that saw neither side get a foot on the ball. Hartlepool’s five man midfield was causing Town problems.

Four minutes into the second half Ward drove a long range effort harmlessly over the bar but the two substitutions on the hour mark would prove the difference. Alan Lee and Gary Roberts were brought on for Lee Novak and Scott Arfield respectively.

Alex Smithies had to be alert though on 66 minutes when Antony Sweeney beat Jamie McCombe and forced the Town ‘keeper into a smart low save.

With 15 minutes left Alan Lee fired Town into the lead with a well taken shot from the edge of the penalty area. Gudjonsson’s long ball forward was controlled on his chest by Lee and he hit a smart half volley that flew into the net past Flinders.

Hartlepool almost grabbed an equalizer with a stunning striker from Andy Monkhouse. The winger picked the ball up 35 yards from goal and hit a shot that moved in the air but fortunately for Town it hit the outside of the post and rebounded clear.

Pools sub Adam Boyd forced Smithies into a smart low save with just minutes to go and the goalkeeper reacted brilliantly to deny Colin Nish’s rebound effort that was flagged for offside.

Town dug in and got all three points in a tough battle with Hartlepool as Simon Grayson said after the match Town have played better and drawn.

Sean’s Star Man – Alan Lee
Can’t fault his effort when he came on off the bench and he took his goal well lovely bit of control to get his shot away.

Teams:

Town: Smithies, Woods, McCombe, Kay, Morrison, Hunt, Gudjonsson, Ward (Johnson 86), Arfield (Roberts 62), Rhodes, Novak (Lee 62).
Subs not used: Bennett, Naysmith.

Hartlepool: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Horwood, Baldwin, Hartley, Humpherys (Boyd 79), Monkhouse, Sweeney, Murray (Nish 79), Poole (Brown 46).
Subs not used: Rafferty, Haslam.

Referee: Tierney
Attandance: 12,316.

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