Huddersfield Town 1 v 0 Cardiff City

Huddersfield Town story posted by Phill Rodgerson on 25/01/2003
Would you Adam ?n? Eve it?! Following all the backroom shambles unveiled daily in The Examiner, our rock-bottom position after a dismal run of matches it could only be expected that one of the most formidable teams in our league would walk all over us. Cardiff may have thought they were in for an easy ride against a demoralised Town team, who hadn?t won for 6 games previous to the meeting, but they were certainly startled by a rejuvenated Town who didn?t give the Welsh boys a sniff all match. A stout defence capped off with a daring leap by Andy Booth late on to snatch the winner gave Town an unexpected three points at the Mac, stunning everyone in attendance and reigniting the hope of survival.Huddersfield Town 1 v 0 Cardiff City

Town, clearly fired up for the game, were straight out of the blocks and on the hunt for goals. Capitalising on the space down the left wing, returning youngster Jon Stead had numerous opportunities to put the ball in early on. After just 5 minutes Stead was racing through on goal with the Cardiff players left chasing heels. Unfortunately, as is usually the case, his touch let him down and took him away from goal and the opportunity was blocked by a Cardiff player. In a similar position, just a few minutes later, he tried to pass the ball across the face of the goal but could only watch on as it went harmlessly past the post due to the lack of support.

A delightful piece of football on the ten-minute mark looked like reaping its reward for Town. A great build-up between Smith, Holland and Stead managed to free Smith down the right. Temporary right-back Adie Moses managed to find his way into the box but could only see his shot blocked wide for a corner by Cardiff stalwart Spencer Prior.

Such was the dominance of Town that Cardiff boss Lennie Lawrence was forced into making a tactical substitution after just 20 minutes. Fortune-West was replaced by Campbell in an attempt to hold back the Town pressure. Campbell was, in fact, the first Cardiff player to get a shot on goal but it was easy for Bevan to collect and paled in comparison to Town?s efforts.

The reply was immediate as Chris Holland whipped in a curling free-kick for the ever-dangerous Andy Booth. He rose above his marker in the middle to get a header on target but it was straight down the middle at goalkeepr Neil Alexander. Jonathan Stead was also presented with a chance a little later but under the circumstances was rushed and he snatched at the shot, sending it high over the bar.

Cardiff?s most threatening chance came on 35 minutes. Leading goalscorer Robert Earnshaw managed to muscle and trick his way down the left. He hooked the ball across the box for Fan Zhiyi. The Chinese defender drilled his shot low toward Bevan?s near post but the big man was equal to the shot and managed to claim the ball at a second attempt.

2 minutes later and Stead was once again causing the Cardiff defence problems. Once again, though, his inexperience let him down. A long kickout from Bevan was flicked on allowing the striker room behind the defence. After a moments indecision it allowed Scott Young room to get the block challenge in on him, once again wasting a goalscoring opportunity.

Towns best chance of the game came three minutes before half-time. A spurned ball high into the air by Martin Smith looked like going out of play until is was strongly contested by Andy Booth. In one swift movement Boothy brought the ball down at his feet and turned his defender. Having completed the hard work, and with only Alexander to beat Booth disappointingly launched his shot skyward towards the Cardiff City fans behind the goal.

It almost seemed like Mick?s half-time teamtalk had had the usual effect as Town were slow to start the second-half. Cardiff were much more awake than they were in the first half and were keen to show their promotion challenging ability in the game. Every player in a blue and white shirt sat back, inviting pressure from the Bluebirds who forced a corner after just 47 minutes.

Town were forced into half-hearted counter-attacks with the three attacking players having to do all the work themselves. Only was long range effort by Smith was of any note, but it was straight down the middle of the goal and easy for Alexander to collect. By contrast, the pressure was clearly getting to Eddie Youds whose poor clearance allowed the deadly Robert Earnshaw a shot on goal, but he could only lash it harmlessly wide.

Dwayne Mattis came within an inch of claiming a goal for Town on 55 minutes, as Town started to return to their first-half form. A good one-two between Smith and Mattis freed the Irish under-21 midfielder in the box. A lunge by Spencer unsteadied Mattis, who may have won a penalty had he gone down. But instead he steadied himself for the shot, and could only see it deflected off the line for a corner.

Just after the hour mark a cross-field angled ball by Boothy found Smithy running in at the back post. His shot was easy for Alexander to claim though, as it was drilled first time straight at him.

After a strong ten minutes of pressure from Town the Cardiff defence were all over the place. After some good running across the box from Stead and various attempts at clearing the ball from Cardiff the teenager looked for the spectacular as his let fly a shot from just outside the area. It was only just narrowly over.

On 73 minutes it looked like Town?s good work was to be undone as a slip by Eddie Youds allowed Robert Earnshaw in on goal. The 22-goal man, clearly looking to break the back of the net smashed his shot but with Bevan closing him down could only balloon it over the bar, much to the relief of the Town faithful.

Cardiff?s best chance of the match came in the form of Peter Thorne, who?d been kept quiet under the shackles of Youds and Brown at the back all match. Andy Legg?s ball into the box found Thorne unmarked in the middle. Fortunately for Town, he could only head over Bevan?s bar to keep the scores level.

The breakthrough finally came on 80 minutes. A free-kick, almost forty yards out was lofted with almost pinpoint accuracy by Kenny Irons towards the back post. A determined Andy Booth, under the careful watch of his marker, managed to raise high at the back to angle a header back across goal and in off the far post. The home grown striker had risked his own body to score the goal but it was very much appreciated by the Town fans in attendance.

Town defended their lead resolutely until the game was over and even had a penalty claim on 86 minutes. A tussle between Prior and Smith in the box after the two chased a ball over the top looked to end in Town?s top scorer receiving an elbow to the jaw. Any penalty claims were turned away by the referee Mr. Cain but it wasn?t to be of any significance as Town kept the win and earned themselves their first victory of 2003.


Huddersfield Town

1. Scott Bevan
27. Nat Brown
22. Kevin Sharpe
17. Eddie Youds (Cap)
5. Adie Moses
6. Chris Holland
8. Kenny Irons
33. Dwayne Mattis
9. Andy Booth (GOAL, 80) (OFF 83) (MOTM)
19. Martin Smith
14. Jonathan Stead (OFF 72)


35. Phil Senior
20. Thomas Heary (ON 90)
10. John Thorrington (ON 72) (OFF 90)
11. Simon Baldry (ON 83)
29. Jonathan Worthington

Cardiff City

1. Neil Alexander
2. Rhys Weston (OFF 61)
23. Chris Barker
5. Spencer Prior
18. Scott Young
33. Fan Zhiyi
3. Andy Legg (Cap)
15. Mark Bonner (OFF 78)
9. Leo Fortune-West (OFF 20)
10. Robert Earnshaw
11. Peter Thorne


14. Jason Bowen
27. Alan Mahon (ON 73)
7. Andy Campbell (ON 20)
26. Gary Croft (ON 61)
13. Martyn Margetson


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