Huddersfield Town 1-0 Blackpool

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 21/02/2005
A vital 1-0 victory for the Terriers at the weekend was a triumph for a team that was perhaps the youngest team in Huddersfield Town history.Huddersfield Town 1-0 Blackpool
It was a good performance for such a young Town squad, especially as Chris Brandon, one of the three experienced players in the Town line-up was sent off after 57 minutes and just six minutes later John McAliskey fluffed a penalty.

The Town line up saw 17-year old defender Tom Clarke make his home debut, John McCombe was partnering Nathan Clarke in the centre of defence, Adnan Ahmed was giving a full start and 18-year old Michael Collins was given his Town debut as Danny Schofield was taken ill a few days before Saturday.

After just 84 seconds of the first half Luke Beckett was once again the goal hero, striking his sixth goal in many games since his extended loan from Sheffield United.
Collins was involved in the move, a acute ball to Brandon by McAliskey and Brandon?s back heel sent through Beckett, who showed sheer class with a low shot from the edge of the area that sank into the corner wide of Blackpool keeper Brad Jones.

The Seasiders, who had ex-Town player Gareth Evans in the team, pushed Town on the back foot for a lengthy spell, carving out some pretty good opportunities. Keith Southern got in behind the Town defence from a low cross on the right hand side and looked certain to equalize for Blackpool until Rachubka superbly saved his effort.
Keeper Paul Rachubka has a good game and managed to silence his critics with some crucial saves to ensure victory when Blackpool scrapped to get an equalizer.

Ahmed was lively on his first league start and went close with a free kick, a foul on Beckett near the Blackpool penalty area lead to a free kick, Ahmed stuck a tremendous strike that Blackpool defender Peter Clarke managed to head off the line to keep Blackpool?s hopes alive.
Town went close again with Brandon and McAliskey linking up again, McAliskey tricked the defender on the right hand side of the penalty area and drove in a hard low cross that the sliding Beckett failed to connect with it.

The Town defence looked impressive for a change, Nathan Clarke was outstanding along side the young John McCombe, who was making his first league start aswell, while Ahmed and Collins worked hard in midfield chasing every ball and putting the Blackpool players under pressure everytime they got the ball.
More good work by Brandon saw McAliskey?s shot saved and Worthington missed an absolute sitter when set up by Beckett, the ball was flicked in nicely for Beckett, instead of having a crack himself he flicked the ball over the defender?s head on the bounce and Worthington was free around twelve yards out and somehow scuffed his half volley wide when it was easier to score.

Town suffered a big blow with more than half an hour left, Blackpool?s Keith Southern was put through on goal and with Chris Brandon challenging him for the ball, tripped Southern right on the edge of the area and there was only one outcome a straight red for Brandon and he now could be banned for three matches the question was could ten men hold out after a recent record of letting leads slip and against a Blackpool side with four successive wins behind them.

And hold out they did, though the cushion of a two goal lead was lost. McAliskey was brought down in the area and a penalty was awarded. McAliskey stepped up himself but looked so reluctant to take it, his soft show saw Jones go down to his left to make a comfortable save for the Blackpool keeper.
Blackpool threw the lot at Town after, everything including the kitchen sink as they strived to get something out of the game but Rachubka was in top form, but a Danny Coid shot managed to squeeze through his grasp but McCombe was there to sweep away the danger from off the line.

Victory lifted Town to within eight point of the play-off zone but they are also just nine points away from the relegation zone. Luke Beckett was again the hero striking his sixth goal in six games.

Sean?s Star Man: Nathan Clarke.


Town: Rachubka, N.Clarke, T.Clarke, McCombe, Brandon, Ahmed, Worthington, Collins, Beckett (A.Sodje 82), McAliskey (Lloyd 75),
Subs not used: Senior, E.Sodje, Brown

Blackpool: B.Jones, Coid, Warhurst (Bullock), Clarke, Evans, Parker, Grayson (Butler), P.Edwards (Wellens), Southern, R.Edwards, Murphy
Subs Not Used: Shaw, Jones

Attendance: 10614
Referee: C Webster (Tyne & Wear)


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