Huddersfield Town 1 v 0 Bournemouth

Huddersfield Town story posted by Phill Rodgerson on 11/08/2001
It was the day that we'd all been waiting for. There was almost a division between Town fans expectations for this season. Many thought that we could hit 'cruise-control' and run rings around the opposition while walking to the Division 2 Championship. While many others felt that we'd follow last seasons trend of slipping deeper and deeper into the depths of annonymity. Today didn't really do anything to settle the debate but we did get the most important thing from the game and that was all 3 points.. just barely!Huddersfield Town 1 v 0 Bournemouth

It was a shaky start by the Town team. It was clear they weren't sure of how to play in Division 2 or how the crowd react after last seasons huge disappointment. Even one of the most experienced players on the pitch Welsh-international Steve Jenkins made an early blip by spooning the ball high in the air with not much distance down the field when trying to clear it from an oncoming Bournemouth attacker. Luckily it was soon delt with by Lucketti who seemed a rock today.

Town soon showed their class above the opposition in just the third minute when Irons sprayed a great pass to Booth who took on a defender and shot from just outside of the area only to see his shot go narrowly wide. This early spell of class seperation then continued when down the left Craig Armstrong, Chris Beech and Chris Holland had a triangle passing, stringing around 10 short, quick passes together which completely had the Bournemouth players running around like headless chickens.

It was also the return of Chris Beech today, making his first first-team appearance for almost an entire season. Lets just say, it certainly didn't show. Within the opening five minutes of the game Beechy was taking on defenders and it's clear that the shooting ability that we all knew he had is still there. When, in the fourth minute, with a little encouragement from the crowd, he hit an absolute rasper just a little wide of the keeper who was unable to hold it. It dropped to the feet of Boothy but he wasn't able to shake off his defender and wasn't able to capitalise on the situation.

Even Steve Jenkins, who seems to be a bit of Town scapegoat was able to get forward as Bournemouth were pushed back early on. He managed to get a very good cross in to the middle of the box for a somewhat rejuvinated Chris Hay who was standing in for the injured Delroy Facey to partner Andy Booth. Unfortunately he needed to be about 2 inches taller so he could get above the ball as he hit it over the bar without troubling the keeper Stewart.

What did seem to trouble the Goalkeeper an awful lot in the first half, though, was his own defenders. It seemed an almost constant display as the he would hit the ball forward only to have it returned to him moments later the moment one of the defenders heard a Town player breathing down their neck. It wasn't the most exciting football but it showed that we weren't giving them enough space to work in comfortably.

One player who oddly seemed quite out of sorts today was Criag Armstrong. Now, since I was on holiday I was unable to catch Jon Dysons testimonial match I didn't see how he performed but after reading Rachel's quick report it seems he was very much the same then. I don't know whether it was because he wasn't in his favourite position or simply because he thinks he's too good for this league but he seemed to do a 'Simon Baldry' every time he got the ball down the left wing. He would try and take on a player only to get tackled reasonably easily leaving most of the midfield ahead of him and a vulnerable defence behind him. It seemed to happen a bit too much during the first half but he must have learned his lesson by the second half as it seemed to happen far less but he still didn't look at his best.

You're probably thinking by now that this is a purely biased report to Huddersfield Town and that it was all them during the first half. Well, here's my take on Bournemouth who, although not doing a whole lot did have two very good chances. Early on, they seemed organised at the back and seemed happy to keep possession in their half. Whenever the ball did go forward it would usually be over the top resulting in an offside for their forward Eribenne. In the 24th minute the right winger Elliott seemed to suddenly be given a breath of life as he took on new-boy Gareth Evans, who up until then had had little to do, and rounded him to put in a very good ball across the box. It flashed past two players, Feeney and Eribenne, who seemed just inches away from putting it in the back of the net and it was a very good bit of luck for Town's defence who seemed to have forgotten to do any tracking at that point. Again in the 37th minute the ball was flashed across our goal line as this time 3 oncoming players all narrowly missed hitting the back of Margetsons net. Other than that, there wasn't much else from Bournemouth apart from a few dirty challenges resulting in red cards and almost a red card in the late stages of the game.

One bit of excitement for the Bournemouth fans was when they were convinced that a defelceted shot off of Kevin Gray's leg had dipped over Margetson's head and into the back of the net. The whole stand errupted, much to the Town fans ammusement as the ball actually bounced harmlessly away for a corner.

Other than that, the first half didn't really have many events to it. There was a constant war in the middle of the park with tough tacklers Beech, Holland, Fletcher and Hughes.

The first half ended goalless. It was clear that we'd need some kind of breakthrough in the second half to get the game flowing again.

Bournemouth kicked off the second half and went straight on the attack feeding a ball to right-winger Elliott who freaded a ball through only to once again find themselves narrowly offside and a let-off for Town.

It was the 50th minute when the final breakthrough that Town so desperately needed came through. Town won the ball in the middle of the park where Boothy picked up the ball and chipped it down the wing for Hay to run onto. He managed to find enough space to squeeze a cross out to the edge of the box where Kenny Irons was waiting. There was no doubt in his mind, you could see that this was going to be rocket. And that it certainly was! He let fly with his right foot on the volley connecting beatifully sending it shooting into the keepers top corner leaving him no chance in hell of saving it. It was just what Town needed!

Hay continued to show his determination to keep his first team place when he chased down the keeper, who seemed reasonably dodgy, and blocked a kick out which could have ended up anywhere but unfortunately only went wide.

Feeney did manage to find a way through the defence in the 54th minute when it seemed he was more likely to score than not. Only to see him sky it, much to Gray's and Lucketti's relief.

If there was ever a doubt in anyone's mind that Martyn Margetson was the man to fill Nico Vaesens boots then he certainly proved it in the 65th minute. James Hayter had once again found a whole in the Town defence who seemed to be able to cope with anything put up in the air but when it was threaded along the floor didn't really have a clue. Margetson was sent the wrong way as he went one-on-one with Jamie but managed to stick his legs out stopping an almost certain goal and keeping Town's lead.

Another crucial event occured just 2 minutes later as Hay was left through on goal when the right back Broadhurst slipped as he went to pass his ball back to the keeper. This left Hay out wide one-on-one with Stewart, the Bournemouth keeper. Hay took it along the edge of the box leaving the keeper sprawled accross the floor and only a defender and a net to beat. He went for the cool chipped finish only to see it float aimlessly over the bar, much to his shock as he put his head in his hands for a few seconds.

Once again Hay was involved in a good build up in the 72nd minute where a Bournemouth attack was broken down early on leaving him almost clear on goal from the halfway line. Unfortunately he hasn't got the pace or strength of Delroy who would have probably have raced clear of the whole defence in no time and so was forced to slip a square ball to Boothy. This left him a little out wide but close on goal on his left foot. Unfortunately, once again, his left isn't his best and he blundered it wide of the target.

The two Town youngsters John Thorrington and Danny Schofield were brought on quite late on in the second half and given their chance to show their quality. And although the nerves were certainly there they did manage to give us a few glances of what they could do. Schofield had a late chance in the ludicrous 5 (or 6) minutes of added time when Kenny Irons, who had quite a solid game, put a long distance cross in only to see Schofield's glancing header skim past the post. Thorrington also made some useful runs which didn't really result in much since Boothy's legs seemed to have almost dropped off by that point.

The strong tackling did lead to things flaring up a bit in the 90th minute as well. Both teams scuffled near Town's 18-yard box after it looked like Bournemouth's number 7 Carl Fletcher had elbowed Craig Armstrong in the face. It seemed an almost certain sending off after his first-half booking but the referee took pity on him and left him with a warning and booked Elliott instead.

Armstrong also had a decent chance where the ball was only half cleared leaving an empty goal from 40 yards out but he didn't manage to get the ball under control quick enough and was soon surrounded by defenders.

After what seemed like an eternity of added time the referee blew his whistle to give Town all 3 points along with a rapturous applause from the Town fans. This will deffinitely give their confidence a big boost for future Town games and hopefully they can build on this win next week at the Madejski Stadium against Reading.

These are my player ratings:

13. Martyn Margetson - 7
2. Steve Jenkins - 7
3. Gareth Evans - 6
5. Chris Lucketti - 7
12. Kevin Gray - 6
8. Kenny Irons - 7
22. Chris Beech - 8
4. Craig Armstrong - 6
23. Chris Holland - 6
18. Chirs Hay - 7
32. Andy Booth - 7

Subs 29. John Thorrington - 6
24. Danny Schofield - 6

Half Time: (0 - 0)
Attendance: 10,137 (549 away fans)


Huddersfield Town - 13. Martyn Margetson, 2. Steve Jenkins, 3. Gareth Evans, 5. Chris Lucketti, 12. Kevin Gray, 8. Kenny Irons, 22. Chris Beech (off 77th minute), 4. Craig Armstrong, 23. Chris Holland, 18. Chirs Hay (off 84th minute), 32. Andy Booth.

Subs - 35. Phil Senior, 20. Thomas Heary, 26. Adi Moses, 29. John Thorrington (on 77th minute), 24. Danny Schofield (on 84th minute).

AFC Bournemouth - 1. Gareth Stewart, 21. Karl Broadhurst (off 75th min) , 4. Eddie Howe, 18. Jason Tindall, 16. Wade Elliott, 7. Carl Fletcher, 11. Richer Hughes, 3. Stephen Purches, 14. James Hayter (off 82d min), 5. Warren Feeney, 9. Chukki Eribeene.

Subs - 13. Michael Menetrier, 20. Amos Foyewa (on 75th min), 25. Danny Smith, 23. David Birmingham, 12. Garreth O'Connor (on 82nd min).


Huddersfield Town - Kenny Irons (50 mins)


Huddersfield Town - 22. Chris Beech (25), 12. Kevin Gray (63).

Bournemouth - 7. Carl Fletcher (18), 11. Michael Menetrier (59), 4. Eddie Howe (84), 16. Wade Elliott (90).

My MOM - Chris Beech.


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