Tranmere Rovers 3-0 Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 22/02/2005
The winter chill bit the Terriers hard on a cold night at Prenton Park where promotion chasing Tranmere Rovers ran out 3-0 winners over Town.Tranmere Rovers 3-0 Huddersfield Town
Tranmere 3rd in the League One showed why they are near the top as they ran riot over Town in a very poor first half performance by the Terriers.

Tranmere had Ryan Taylor, Mark Rankine and top scorer Iain Hume back in the starting line up after suspensions.
Town welcomed back Pawel Abbott back to the squad after missing the Blackpool game through suspension, Danny Schofield replaced the suspended Chris Brandon as Town kept most of the youngest in the side that beat Blackpool last Saturday.
Tranmere has a full strength squad and it showed.

After Tranmere?s dismal 1-1 draw with Colchester in their last match, a programme note questioned the team?s desire and Brian Little must have used this to fire up his players before the match as they tore Town apart in the first half. But it was Town who showed some early promise forcing a corner but a foul in the area from John McCombe stopped anything positive dead.

But the Tranmere turned the style on, with some attacking and good passing football and mainly attacked through both flanks, the Town midfield was being pulled apart but Adnan Ahmed worked tirelessly in midfield again. Tranmere looked the better side but Town defence stood firm, After a Tranmere corner Eugene Dadi forced a shot wide after Luke Beckett put him off with a sliding tackle but Dadi broke the deadlock with only 16 minutes played.

Captain Jason McAteer knocked in a cross, picked out left Ian Goodison who?s effort was goal bound but Rachubka managed to claw the ball away, the ball landed at the feet of Iain Hume who knocked the ball across goal where Dadi was waiting and tapped the ball into the back of the net. 1-0 to Tranmere.

The tricky Hume won a free-kick for Tranmere on the edge of the Town box after a foul by McCombe, which led to McCombe being shown a yellow card. Ryan Taylor stepped up and curled a free-kick goal wards but luckily for Town keeper Paul Rachubka tipped the ball over the bar. Tranmere then got a grasp on the game and took a further lead after 24 minutes.

McAteer was again involved in the move, Hume fastened on to a McAteer ball, Hume had time to chest the ball down and smacked the ball goal wards which took a deflection off the chest of McCombe on the way into the net. 2-0 to Tranmere.
Paul Hall had a shot ruled out for offside and Tom Clarke denied Roberts with a last-gasp block and Hume wriggled free again from the Town defence but the shot was straight at Rachubka.

The experience of McAteer and Rankine controlled the middle as the Town midfield was pulled apart but just after half an hour Luke Beckett had shot turned round for a corner, which Town had only a few breaks up field in a poor first half.
Hume was lucky to get just a yellow card after a bad foul on defender Tom Clarke, Tramere were on the attack but youngster Tom Clarke forced Iain Hume wide, as Clarke was challenging Hume for the ball, Hume looked agitated and after Clarke won the ball fairly near the left hand corner flag, Hume badly timed a slide tackle into Clarke and was lucky to see a yellow as Town fans thought he had done it on purpose.

In added time of the first half, a back heel from Dadi from a good passing move by Tranmere sent winger Paul Hall through, Hall was free but blasted his shot from the right wide of Rachubka?s near post. Half time arrived and Jackson had to try and get something from the game.

In the second half, Nat Brown was brought on to replace David Mirfin, Tom Clarke switched to left back as Nat Brown went on the right. With only four minutes played of the second half, Hume again was making a nuisance of himself and saw his hard shot turned over the bar by Rachubka, Tranmere lost their grip in the second half and started give the ball away with some sloppy passes which gave Town a chance to fight for it and they did, as Town looked better from the first half performance.

On 53 minutes a good cross from the right by Collins found Pawel Abbott waiting just outside the six yard box but he mistimed his volley which hit his knee but luckily landed at the feet of Nat Brown, but Brown fired across goal only to see the ball go wide. A minute later it was Town?s best chance of the game so far, Danny Schofield was put through by Beckett, Schofield got into the penalty area and managed to shrug off the Tranmere defender and have a cracking shot at goal but keeper Achterberg made a good low save to his near post. And then Nat Brown headed wide from a corner.

Town weren?t giving up without a fight and Tranmere started to faulter but soon regained their composure.
A marvellous long pass from Taylor picked out Hume, probing in between the last two defenders. He collected the ball superbly before racing into the penalty area, only for Rachubka to smother his shot.
But the majority of play in the second half?s were Town?s. Ahmed was booked in the 72nd minute after the linesman didn?t like his heavy tackle on a Tranmere player and the linesman saw it as a two-footed tackle.

Young Collins had a good second half on the right wing linking up well and Nathan Clarke was steady as ever at the back. Jon McAliskey was brought on with ten minutes left in the place of Danny Schofield changing the system to 4-4-3. But Tranmere were now content to play out the remaining time but still got a 3rd goal in the two minutes of added time.

Hume was the provider as, McAteer's cross-field pass picked out Hall, who released Hume and is low, early delivery was slotted home by Roberts.

Jason McAteer made v-sign to the Town fans earlier on in the game after being booed and called a cheat for wasting time and I hope the F.A deal with this. Town looked better in the second half but lacked conviction and anyone who went to the game will probably tell you that the referee was very poor.

Sean?s Star Man: Paul Rachubka

Teams:

Tramere: Achterberg, Taylor, Jackson, Sharps, Goodison, Hall, Rankine, McAteer, Roberts, Hume, Dadi (Dagnall 83). Not used: Whitmore, Linwood, Harrison, Beresford

Town: Rachubka, T Clarke, N Clarke, McCombe, Mirfin (Brown 46), Collins, Ahmed, Worthington, Schofield (McAliskey 79), Abbott, Beckett. Not used: Senior, Sodje, Lloyd.

Referee: Mike Pike, Cumbria

Attendance: 7,613

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