Huddersfield Town 1 v 0 Barnsley

Huddersfield Town story posted by Phill Rodgerson on 07/09/2002
What a difference a week makes! In Town?s first true local derby for almost two years the home duck was finally broken. A full three points went to Town, decided on the single goal of super-injured-sub Martin Smith, a late addition to Mick Wadsworth?s side. Another good performance from the team finally reaped it?s rightful rewards of the full three points, which helps to keep Town within contention, just three points from a play-off spot and takes them just below rivals Barnsley who we beat today.Huddersfield Town 1 v 0 Barnsley

A scrappy game, both for many fans (especially numerous Barnsley fans escorted from the stadium and one idiot fan from the Kilner Bank stand who decided to enter the pitch in the second half) and on the field as tackle?s flew all over the place, was overrun by Town?s true footballing quality. Barnsley rarely showed any real threat as they often resorted to ?Macari tactics? of kick and hope to the talented front pairing of Bruce Dyer and Mike Sheron to no avail.

The game started badly for Town left-back Kevin Sharp who was caught in the dressing room (not literally) when he was very easily rounded down the wing resulting in a corner which was then accurately delivered to Gary Jones, who could only hoof the ball high over Bevan?s goal.

Stead, who looked extremely lively all afternoon and full of little flicks and tricks to outwit the Barnsley defence, was involved on a number of occasions in the opening 20 minutes. A Gallacher through-ball after just 6 minutes caught Stead a little flat footed and was just a foot away from beating the goalkeeper to the ball. He carved an opening for himself 6 minutes later when he went wide of the defence but the angle was too much as the ball ballooned into the Barnsley seating area. Town?s first notable shot of the game, coming on 15 minutes when Stead, from 30 yards out, managed to turn experienced Keith Curle and hooked a curling left-footed shot towards goal that almost eluded goalkeeper Andy Marriott as he could only manage a palm to keep it out of his goal.

Just moments before Stead?s shot, Barnsley were looking for their early goal when a lobbed ball over the top met the powerful Bruce Dyer who easily swept Sharp aside and powered a low shot at goal. The shot was stopped by Bevan but managed to squirm loose, but he made sure it was his on the second attempt, fortunately with no Barnsley predators near to capitalise on his mistake.

Again Stead was involved, this time gaining Town an indirect free kick in the box. A weak pass back by Keith Curle was chased by the hard-working striker and forced Marriott to clutch the ball down low. The resultant indirect free kick was laid off by Thorrington for Irons to hit a cracker straight for the roof of the net, but the quick reactions of Marriott managed to get a fist in the way to beat an excellent shot out.

On 29 minutes, after having a penalty claim turned down when Stead was seemingly being tugged by Dave Mulligan, a free kick from Irons was floated in and only half-cleared by the Barnsley defence to the awaiting Chris Holland. A perfect volley aimed as straight as a bullet went narrowly wide as he was unfortunately lined up just wide of the post.

After all of Stead?s hard work, he was almost rewarded with his first goal for the first team. Kenny Iron?s corner aimed towards the middle whisked by the crowd of players in the box and was met by the on-rushing Stead who managed to direct his header back towards goal from a narrow angle but was unfortunate to see it rebound off the post.

A spell of Barnsley pressure, concentrated by long-serving former Crystal Palace man, Bruce Dyer had a few Town fans on the edge of their seats just before half time. Beating the offside trap, his pace took him through on goal, but his poor finishing was to be his downfall as his shot dragged harmlessly wide. On 40 minutes, another shot worked out by Dyer was once again weak and easy for Bevan to collect.

This Barnsley reminder shook some life into Town as they went looking to take a lead into half-time. Some good work by Holland released Jon Stead down the left wing. Kevin Gallacher was just inches away from the resulting cross, and the ball was put out of play for a corner.

After some good pressure from the corner, Iron?s ball back to Gallacher was blocked when the Scotsman was just about to pull the trigger by a desperation tackle from Brian O?Callaghan. Into half-time at nil apiece it was. Thoughts turned to last weeks game against Blackpool.

On 47 minutes, it looked like it would be the same old story for Town. A great though ball between the Barnsley central defence had Kevin Gallacher almost 5-yards ahead of them with only the keeper to beat. His shot was a weak one, too close to the keeper as Marriott was thanking his lucky rabbits foot for such an easy shot.

Just two minutes later and American winger John Thorrington could?ve filed a law-suit for physical abuse when Keith Curle just couldn?t keep his hands off of the pacey winger. A ball down the right channel had the two scuffling to get to the ball with the end result being John Thorrington on the floor, but with no sympathy from the appalling officials. The clash had obviously taken it?s toll on Thorrington as his efforts to rejoin the game were in vain and with, what looked like a bloody nose, he was taken off and replaced by Martin Smith, returning from injury.

This forced substitution couldn?t have been planned any better had it been tactical. On 58 minutes Danny Schofield, looking dangerous down the right wing, laid a good cross across the box. It just escaped the reach of Jon Stead?s head and met Martin Smith unmarked at the back post as Barnsley?s attention had been drawn to the original target-man ? Stead. Smith coolly brought the ball down off his chest and drove it low past the keeper?s near post to cause a mass eruption of the McAlpine. The delight was clear for all to see ? the breakthrough had finally come, and Martin Smith couldn?t showed his emotion to the Riverside stand with a resounding clenched fist.

This goal sparked confidence in the team as they went looking to add to their tally. Martin Smith, this time trying to make the goals, sent a good ball to the awaiting Gallacher on the edge of the area, but Gallacher only managed to aim his half volley just above Marriott?s head and he brought the ball down easily.

Again Gallacher was involved, just three minutes later. After what seemed like a hatful of chances for the capped Scot, who has yet to open his first-team account after two games with Town, he spurned yet another. A ball wriggling loose flew in the air, it seemingly defied gravity by staying in the air for a long time, but when it dropped the wait had clearly played on Gallacher?s nerves as he could only volley the ball over the bar.

A great chance for Stead to get a goal came when Smith again provided a great through-ball for the young striker. Stead was put 1 on 1 with the keeper, but his first touch was much too heavy giving Marriott a chance to get his body round the ball, as he did to block Stead?s chance and wasting another opportunity to double our lead.

Town invited pressure for the final 10 minutes of the game, much to the displeasure of most Town fans who knew that the South-Yorkshire outfit weren?t upto much when pressured. During the endured pressure, former Academy youngster Jon Worthington was the latest to make the step up to first team when Mick Wadsworth gave him his first taste of Division 2 football for the dying minutes of the game.

Dead on 80 minutes Bevan was finally tested by Barnsley. A great cross into the box met Kevin Betsy just 6-yards out and unmarked. He powered his header low at goal, but keeper Bevan managed to outwit the Tyke with a great reaction stop just at his feet. The chance wouldn?t have stood anyway, due to Betsy being offside, but it was a great save nevertheless.

The ongoing wrestling match between Eddie Youds and Keith Curle was finally brought to an end by the Referee when, after being spotted tussling around the box by the linesman, he issued them both with a yellow card deep into injury time. The scuffle was a blessing in disguise as it ruled out substitute Mitch Ward?s undeserved equaliser after glancing a header into the bottom of Bevan?s goal. Town managed to hold out for the win, to a huge cheer around the very relieved McAlpine Stadium.


Bevan (7): Not a great deal to do, a let-off from Dyer?s early shot but looked commanding at corners and a great stop late on (although offside).

Jenkins (7): A good game for Jenks, especially compared to last week. Looked a lot more assured, and rarely troubled defensively allowing him to get forward more.

Thorrington (6): It?s just not working for him. He?s rarely beating defenders, and it?s unclear what his job on the pitch is. He really needs some confidence in him to make him realise he can take these chumps in Division 2.

Iron (7): He actually beat a man for pace! Unbelievable! Once again, looked comfortable, not a lot to do defensively due to Barnsley?s long ball but some good passes.

Holland (6): Often seen running aimlessly. A good run in the first half but that?s about your lot. He seems uncomfortable when given the opportunity to attack ? didn?t need to defend much for the reason stated above.

Stead (8): Probably would?ve been a 9 if he?d put one of his chances away. Easily my MOTM, always looked threatening and proved to be useful at making chances as well as getting on the end of them.

Sharp (6): Not bad, but is this guy really a defender? He likes to go forward and support the winger, but at the back often seems to forget where his man is and lets them run past him with such ease.

Gallacher (7): An improvement on his day. More suited to playing with Stead, and the two created their fair-share of chances. Gallacher really should?ve put his one-on-one away though and at times looked more nervous than the youngster in front of goal.

Schofield (7): A usual Schofield game. Always looking to create and did so on a number of occasions. Still doesn?t seem able to carve out his own chances like a true quality player though.

Youds (7): Headers all over! He?s like a rock really, very easy to run around but that weakness is made up for by Moses, and his duty of marking the physical attackers seems to work perfectly in the partnership.

Moses (8): Or maybe 7.5 (if I gave those). Looked up for the game right from the off, clearly being his former team. Made some great tackles, and a key reason why yet another clean sheet was kept.

McDonald (5): Nothing much to say. Looked a little lost, but not enough time to really create any evidence in his favour.

Smith (8): Although coming on late he was definitely a catalyst that Town needed. The transition of midfield to strikers was speeded up by Smith and got involved a lot, as well as taking his goal brilliantly.

Worthington (n/a): His first appearance can?t be judged on any points score in the short time space he was allotted. It?s just good to see another Academy player come through the ranks.

And finally a new section I?ve decided to add -- Referee?s rating:

Mr. C. Webster (4): Pretty dire stuff from Mr Webster. Often blew up for minor challenges but failed to give yellow cards for some atrocious ones from the Barnsley players. Not helped by an appalling assistant with the red and yellow flag who needs to re-read the offside rules.


Huddersfield Town:

1 Scott Bevan 2 Steve Jenkins (CAP) 10 John Thorrington (OFF 53) 8 Kenny Irons 6 Chris Holland 14 Jon Stead (OFF 76) (YEL 55) (MOTM) 22 Kevin Sharp 12 Kevin Gallacher (OFF 86) 7 Danny Schofield 17 Eddie Youds (YEL 92) 5 Adie Moses


35 Phil Senior 23 Jon Dyson 15 Scott McDonald (ON 76) 19 Martin Smith (ON 53) (GOAL) 29 Jon Worthington (ON 86)


1 Andy Marriott 28 Neil Austin (OFF 45) 31 Keith Curle (CAP) (YEL 92) 17 Brian O?Callaghan 21 Paul Gibbs (YEL 31) 22 Dave Mulligan (YEL 60) 8 Chris Lumsdon 18 Gary Jones (OFF 85) 20 Kevin Betsy (YEL 62) 9 Mike Sheron (OFF 72) 10 Bruce Dyer


13 Matt Ghent 4 Mitch Ward (ON 45) 12 Isiah Rankin (ON 85) 25 Leo Roberts (ON 72) 32 Robbie Williams


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