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Report: Huddersfield Town 2-2 Rochdale


Huddersfield Town twice look the lead to let it slip as they dropped two points at home to bottom-of-the-table Rochdale at the Galpharm Stadium.

Danny Ward put Town in the lead in the first minute of added on time in the first half only to be pegged back immediately from the kick-off when Dale’s Andrew Tutte powered in to level.

Jordan Rhodes put The Terriers back in front just after the break but Rochdale sub Ashley Grimes levelled with 8 minutes to go to ensure Dale went away with a point.

It is now the 12th time Town have taken the lead in a match only to come away with a draw.

Manager Simon Grayson made no changes to either the starting XI or the bench from the side that beat Hartlepool United at the Galpharm on Tuesday night.

Both section of fans honoured as a mark of respect the minute’s silence for the six British soldiers that were killed by a bomb blast in Afghanistan on Tuesday. Three of the six soldiers came from Huddersfield and some family members of the bereaved were in attendance.

Town were straight out of the blocks as with just two minutes played Lee Novak hit the bar from Danny Ward’s left wing cross.

Four minutes later Antony Kay should have put Town in the lead when Calum Woods chipped ball forward over the Dale backline found the on-rushing Kay but the midfielder could only fire straight at David Lucas from around 12 yards out.

Ward then had a long range effort saved by Lucas and then Kay went close again, hitting the bar with a lovely half-volley on the turn with Lucas rooted to the spot.

Rochdale forced a couple of corners in the opening ten minutes and midfielder Andrew Tutte hit a long range effort but both failed to test Alex Smithies.

On 27 minutes it was Kay again putting Lucas to the sword forcing the former Leeds United goalkeeper to tip Kay’s shot over the bar and from the resulting corner defender Sean Morrison somehow managed to miscue a free header.

Kevin Long headed straight at Smithies from Brian Barry-Murphy’s free-kick just after the half hour mark and at the other end Town have a penalty shout turned down with Novak’s shot was saved by Lucas, Rhodes’ rebound effort appeared to blocked by the arm of Joe Widdowson as he dived to block the striker’s effort.

Novak shot across the face of goal after a smart flick-on by Rhodes and Jamie McCombe headed straight at Lucas from Scott Arfield’s cross but Town took the lead through Danny Ward.
Rochdale couldn’t deal with Morrison’s long throw into the box; Lucas’ punch fell to Ward 20 yards from goal and the winger powered in a curling effort on the turn.

The Town fans hadn’t even sat down when Rochdale struck an immediate equalizer. Midfielder Andrew Tutte ran through the Town defence and rifled in an effort just inside the Town penalty area.

Grayson’s words at half time looked to have done the trick as within 4 minutes of the restart Town were back in front thanks to Jordan Rhodes’ 31st league goal of the season. Joey Gudjonsson won the ball in midfield and released Novak who in turn found Rhodes in the Dale penalty area with a precise low cross and the striker tapped in from close range.

Rhodes went close again with just over 20 minutes left. The striker latched on to Novak’s flicked header and fired a looping shot from the edge of the area that flew past the post.

It looked as though Town were trying to sit on to the lead but were not controlling the game enough to be able to sit on a one goal lead. The players looked nervous and the possession went to pot.

With 8 minutes to go Rochdale sub Ashley Grimes struck the equalizing goal. A long ball forward found Michael Symes, who looked to be in an offside position, headed the ball back to Grimes who volley into the top corner from the edge of the area.

Town threw on Alan Lee as the last throw of the dice but with a minute to go the big striker failed to hit the target with an effort from 12 yards.

Another 2 points dropped from a winning position as both Sheffield clubs won their respective fixtures with Sheffield United opening a 4 point gap in 2nd place. Next up for Town is tricky fixture away at Colchester United which hasn’t been a happy hunting ground in recent years apart from last season.

Sean’s Star Man – Antony Kay
Might get a lot of stick for this but in the first half he really took the game to Rochdale and went close with a couple of efforts. Petered out a bit in the second half but still showed effort.

Teams:

Town: Smithies, Woods, Morrison, McCombe, Hunt (Naysmith 49), Ward, Kay, Gudjonsson (Johnson 73), Arfield, Novak (Lee 84), Rhodes.
Subs not used: Bennett, Roberts.

Rochdale: Lucas, Darby, Holden(Edwards 61), Long, Widdowson, Kennedy, Barry-Murphy (Grimes 74), Jones, Jordan (Adams 89), Tutte, Symes.
Subs not used: Byrne, Edwards.

Attendance: 13,715
Referee: D Webb

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