Huddersfield Town 0 v 1 Luton Town

Huddersfield Town story posted by Andy Dixon on 21/09/2002
Definitely Town's worst home display so far this season left disappointed terriers fans praying for Mick Wadsworth to set extra shooting practise. In a game neither side deserved to win Town just didn't have the cutting edge required in front of goal. Nonetheless, Nat Brown was the diamond in the rough as he showed a calm confidence in his McAlpine Debut.Huddersfield Town 0 v 1 Luton Town

Brown was a component in a make-shift Town defence where the absence of Adie Moses and Eddie Youds played a vital role in the 21-year old's chance in the first team. A chance which will have lead many Town fans to believe that he is as good (if not better than) Nathan Clarke, especially as his playing style is a lot similar to Rio Ferdinand. However, the youngster was the only true positive in an almost lifeless Huddersfield performance.

After three minutes Brown made his first notable clearance which lead to a corner after Luton had the first shot of the afternoon. This corner was comfortably dealt with, but two minutes later Brown was back in action with a perfectly timed sliding tackle in the box.

On seven minutes Andy Booth was clattered from behind leading referee Mr A. R. Leake to give Town a free-kick 25-yards from goal. Town hopefuls saw Kenny Irons step up to curl a Beckham-esque shot onto the bar. The rebound fell to Kevin Gallacher who's follow up header passed a disorientated Luton goalkeeper only for a defender to head the certain goal off the line.

Many cynics would say that from that moment the luck was with only one side and Town were destined not to score against the Bedfordshire team that were joint bottom of division two at the start of play. Yet Nat Brown and Chris Holland were attempting to prove them wrong. Brown made another strong tackle on 14 minutes while five minutes later Holland had a mazey-run through Luton's left midfield with some fancy footwork that even Ryan Giggs would be proud of.

After 21 minutes Gallacher had another chance only this time his diving header went just wide of the post. One minute later a Steve Jenkin's cross produced a powerful Andy Booth header which must have warmed Luton 'keeper Enberson's hands. In a rare period where Town looked to be controlling the game they wasted a series of chances which were preceded by a very encouraging one touch move between Danny Schofield, John Thorrington and Kevin Gallacher on the 25th minute.

Two minutes later and Schofield was played through down the wing, and his cross fell to a stretching Gallacher who could only volley wide. Luton looked rattled and a Sol Davis back-pass was misjudged by Enberson leading to Town's first corner of the afternoon which saw Kenny Irons' cross headed just past the post yet again by Booth. On the 32nd minute terrier fans saw the first and only shot in open play. It came from Gallacher who cut into the box from the left wing and let fly an almost certain goal for it to strike none other than Booth on the back of the head! - This moment summed up Town's shooting situation as now they can't even beat their own men!

From then on confidence seemingly flowed from Luton until half-time, as illustrated by the two final chances of the half. On the 37th minute a Luton corner saw a similar chance to Gallacher's headed off the line by Thorrington and four minutes later Scott Bevan had to push a Paul Hughes effort onto the post after Emmerson Boyce waltzed through the terrier defence.

After the break Bevan was back in the thick of things when he made a confident low save from a Dean Crowe shot just two minutes after the restart. Two minutes later and Crowe beat veteran defender Jon Dyson for pace and his cross saw Steve Howard head towards goal only for Brown to make another important clearance.

Minutes later and Boyce was again on the attack for the Hatters, bursting into the box from the right only for a confrontation with Kevin Sharp to lead to a dive which referee Leake ignored to award a corner. The resultant corner wasn't properly cleared and produced a scorching Kevin Nicholls volley which was somehow forced wide. The second corner saw a disturbed Bevan fumble only for Holland to make the vital clearance.

The score still nil-nil and Steve Howard looked like Luton's most threatening player. This was soon to be realised in more ways than one and after 58 minutes he was issued a long warning after stamping all over Brown's stomach after seemingly being tackled fairly. Nevertheless, Luton continued their pressure with a free-kick which was headed away from danger by Dyson, who was making his first McAlpine appearance of the season.

After just over an hour's play Town manager Mick Wadsworth made his only substitutions of the game with American Jon Thorrington and former Scotland international Kevin Gallacher being replaced by academy graduate Jon Stead and surprise inclusion Paul Macari. Minutes later and Stead was promptly trying to set up a terriers goal when a foul led to another Irons free-kick which was wasted like so many in recent games.

With 20 minutes to go Irons was the catalyst for another Town attack with his low cross to Booth being cleared at the last second. Four minutes later and Macari was though on goal and his attack from the right saw his shot beat Enberson only for it to drag across the face of the goal for a corner. The resultant set-piece saw Brown have an attempt on goal which went just wide.

As tensions grew in the stands supporters around me were becoming even more frustrated as Town couldn't slay last season's Division Three runners-up. From the heavens at the top of the John Smith's Stand loyal terriers were backing their side vocally, yet a 'persistent stander' was escorted from the stand by two stewards. As a supporter I recognise the passion flowing through blue and white veins but surely there will be no atmosphere if restrictions such as sitting throughout a match are imposed on our fans.

Regardless, the 77th minute saw perhaps Town's best chance of the second half as Stead's pinpoint cross was chested down by an under-performing Schofield who shot wide with only Enberson to beat. Later, with five minutes remaining Irons had another free-kick which was aimed at target-man Booth who fell in the box after being pressured by two Luton defenders, but with luck not on Town's side a 50-50 penalty would never be awarded to the terriers.

After an apparently dreary, but fair, nil-nil draw the announced added time was three minutes. This looked promising as Town had a corner, but Sharp delivered it too deep and the resulting break lead to the only goal of the game. Luton attacked down the right in the form of substitute Andrew Fotiadis who twisted Brown (who appeared to slip and handle the ball) then rounded Bevan only to cut it back to the threat of Howard who dinked the ball past Dyson who stood hopeless on the line.

This instantly saw a mass evacuation of the stadium as even the most optimistic of Town fans knew we had thrown it away. However, a minute later and the last chance of the game came from another Irons corner which was once more headed wide of the target by Booth.

A game which promised so much ended in such disappointment for home supporters as their second consecutive league defeat saw them fall to 21st in the league and into the relegation zone. With only six league goals and nine points from ten games Town look in desperate need of inspiration and need to stop relying on the likes of Booth to head in chances. Without hunger and desire Town will not improve and many people are already talking about an embarrassing exit into division three. On the evidence of this performance it is hard to argue against them!


Bevan (6): After three clean sheets in a row he has conceded four goals in two games, even though today's arguably wasn't deserved. Confidence gained from recent performances looked lost as fumbles and poor kicks became all too apparent.
Jenkins (6): Captain yet again and another satisfactory performance, but couldn't convince his troops to be more cavalier when on the attack.

Sharp (6): Attacked confidently down the left wing but left the defence uncomfortably exposed on too many occasions.

Brown (8): A man of the match performance from the McAlpine debutante. Numerous good tackles and vital clearances impressed many people, but the goal was arguably his fault even though video replay shows he was actually fouled when Fotiadis kicked him on his calf. Nonetheless, he looked very promising for the future and a partnership with Clarke may be on the cards.

Dyson (7): Even though he had been out of the first team for a while he made plenty of good clearances and very important tackles which will give him lots of confidence.

Irons (7): Lasted the full match and hit the bar direct from a free-kick, however he often plays too defensive and wastes a lot of corners and free-kicks.

Holland (8): Tackled back well and looked good in midfield with lots of good distribution to the wings. However, must be more confident going forward and should play more balls through to the front.

Thorrington (5): Didn't look himself and didn't produce the ammunition that our strikers need if they are to start scoring more goals.

Schofield (5): Wasted arguably the best chance of the second half and didn't produce anything to note on the wing.

Booth (6): Managed to get plenty of header chances from free-kicks and corners but when will he put them in the back of the net?

Gallacher (7): Had the only noticeable shot from open play blocked by his own man, also had lots of other chances including a header that was cleared off the line.


Stead (5): Looked lively but needs to impress in front of goal to get in first eleven.

Macari (6): A lot better than the few showings last season. Had a good chance but is yet another striker who could be a hero if he starts a goal scoring run.

Referee rating:

Mr A. R. Leake (5): Doesn't like booking people and doesn't want to be predictable can really some him up. He gave a number of decisions the wrong way and missed two brutal attacks on Nat Brown (including the one prior to the goal).


Huddersfield Town:

1. Scott Bevan 2. Steve Jenkins (CAP) 22. Kevin Sharp 23. Jon Dyson 8. Kenny Irons 27. Nat Brown (MOTM) 6. Chris Holland 9. Andy Booth 7. Danny Schofield 10. John Thorrington (OFF 63) 12. Kevin Gallacher (OFF 63)


35. Phil Senior 31. Paul Macari (ON 63) 33. Dwayne Mattis 14. Jon Stead (ON 63) 15. Scott McDonald

Luton Town:

16. Carl Enberson 21. Paul Hughes 8. Kevin Nicholls (CAP) 15. Dean Crowe (OFF 80) 4. Matthew Spring 11. Steve Robinson (OFF 89) 24. Sol Davis (OFF 80) 19. Steve Howard (GOAL) 12. Chris Coyne 5. Russell Perret 17. Emmerson Boyce


23. Ian Hillier (ON 80) 14. Andrew Fotiadis (ON 80) 20. Peter Holmes (ON 89)


There are currently no comments for this story. In order to post a comment, you need to be a registered Terrier Bytes member and logged in. Click here to login or here to register with Terrier Bytes.




10th Anniversary Edition - 2001 to 2011