Stockport County 3-1 Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 13/11/2004
Huddersfield Town crashed out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle due to some disastrous first half defending from the Terriers at Edgeley Park on Saturday.Stockport County 3-1 Huddersfield Town
Town had one change from the 1-1 draw with Brentford Tony Carrs was injured and Anthony Lloyd was thrown back into the first team at left wing back. Stockport were without there prolific striker Luke Beckett who has today joined Sheffield United but was originally going to sign for Hull City on Friday but pulled of out of the deal, He wasn?t even on the bench for Stockport so Andy Smith on loan from Preston started up front for Stockport. It was the third time I?ve been to Stockport?s Edgeley Park in under two years.

Of course Stockport, rock bottom of the league and previously without a home win this season, ravaged Peter Jackson?s side with three first half goals, two from set-pieces. Watching the game would have looked like Town were bottom of the league as Stockport, weren?t playing good themselves, booked their place in the 2nd round.

Before Pawel Abbott pulled one back in added time following 90 minutes of torment, large numbers of Town fans who made up half of the 3.479 crowd had already streamed away before Abbott?s goal. I saw a few Town fans leave at half time.
The writing was on the wall for Town after only 7 minutes played, County defender Ashley Williams was allowed to ghost in and was not picked up to meet a Danny Griffin corner and had all the time in the world it seemed like to glance a header inside Paul Rachubka?s right hand post.

If that was awful enough it was nothing compared to how crap Town?s defending was on 19 minutes played as Warren Feeney made it 2-0
Caught out by a quick County break, Town?s cover was dyer, badly exposed and down right bloody awful as the allowed Chris Williams to much time and space with the ball at his feet, He picked out Feeney from wide on the left with a cross field ball and he had all the time in the world to put it past Rachubka and he did just that, driving a shot in low to Rachubka?s right. 2-0 County- guttering.

It was typical Town all over; play good against the top teams and against the team at the bottom they wont have to try as hard. It was diabolical in the first half from Town as they struggled to get any rhythm, while Abbott and Junior Mendes up front made little impact as Town?s finishing lacked that killer punch and conviction.

The shambles wasn?t over yet after Town managed to survive more scares, But County basically killed off the game with a third goal on the stroke of half time courtesy of more shocking and down right bloody awful defending which left Town fans pulling their hair out.
Chris Williams delivered probably one the worst corners I have ever seen but the low ball was missed kicked by Danny Schofield who was waiting just a just yards ahead on the near post and Rachubka could only push the ball to the feet on Feeney. 3-0 to County- dead and buried.

Abbott should have pulled on back immediately after the break when Schofield, having missing a shooting opportunity earlier, turned the ball inside only for the League One?s top scorer to blast wide when it seemed easier to scoree, which summed up this sad show.
Jackson didn?t have a striker on the bench, threw on Lee Fowler for Steve Yates, Which meant Schofield was pushing forward more in a bid to salvage something from the game, though the game seemed dead and buried.

Fowler stung the hands of James Spencer in the Stockport goal when he came on with a 20-yard piledriver which forced Spencer to save the ball at the second attempt, Which was followed by an Andy Holdsworth free kick which managed to get threw the ball and forced Spencer to fumble the ball.

Town were unlucky not to have a penalty when Junior Mendes, who didn?t have a good game, wiggled through a crowded County defence in the penalty area, took it round Spencer only to see his low shot blocked on the line by a County defender, who sat on the ball and clearly used his hand to move the ball away from the goal line. Minutes later Holdsworth had a shot blocked off the line as well.

Town?s second half performance was a big improvement from the first half, with Lloyd surging forward often, yet all were well below their best.
County survived spells of pressure which they broke only by sporadic breaks.
Town skipper Worthington, driving forward, curled a shot from distance narrowly wide and when he was hauled down on the edge of the box, Lee Fowler drove the ball straight into the wall with Worthington doing the exact same from the follow-up.

In added time Abbott wiggled in way through the County defence to finally put the ball in the back of the net but it was too little too late. It mattered little.
Stockport had done enough to extend their FA Cup earnings to ?24,000 by reaching the second round, Town are now out of all cup competitions and must now concentrate on the league.

One of the worst Town performances I have seen by Town probably since the 6-2 mauling by Scunthorpe United last November.

Sean?s Man Of The Match: Chris Brandon- The only one who showed commitment.

Teams:
Stockport: Spencer, Hardiker, A Williams, Griffin, Adams, Cartwright (Lambert 90), Goodwin, Robertson (Mair 70), C Williams, Smith (Barlow 90), Feeney
Subs not used: Culter, Welsh

Town: Rachubka, Yates (Fowler 65), Mirfin, Clarke, Holdsworth, Brandon, Worthington, Schofield, Lloyd, Abbott, Mendes
Subs not used: McCombe, Senior, Brown, Ahmed

Stats:
14 Goal Attempts 15
7 On Target 7
7 Off Target 8
0 Hit Woodwork 0
3 Offsides 0
5 Corners 9
16 Fouls 9

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