Huddersfield Town 2 - 1 Oldham Athletic

Huddersfield Town story posted by Neil Armstead on 26/02/2005
A brace from Pawel Abbott secured 3 points for a young hard-working Town side today. In a game of two halves, Town attacked well and then defended well to hold on to the 2 goal lead they had taken in to half time. Both teams had been beaten in midweek and were looking for some bouncebackability, after Town had lost 3-0 on the Wirral and the Latics had been thumped 5-1.Huddersfield Town 2 - 1 Oldham Athletic

Town's young team consisted of Rachubka in goal, with the Clarke brothers, Mirfin, and Andy Holdsworth making a resturn to the first team after a hernia. In midfield were more young guns Ahmed, Collins and Worthington, with the more experienced Brandon on the right wing. Up front a return for Abbott to the starting lineup, and noteable for a return for ex town player Delroy Facey, after having spells at Bolton, Burnley, Bradford and Hull since he left Town for the Premiership over 3 years ago.

After only one minute of this local derby kicking off, Town were pressuring Pogliacomi's goal, a shot by Brandon from an Ahmed corner an easy catch for the keeper. But, only 3 minutes later Town took the lead. A defensive Blunder by Will Haining gifted Abbott the ball, and from 20 yards out he lobbed perfectly over the despairing keeper who stood helpless on the penalty spot as the Polish striker claimed his 20th of the season.

Town continued the pressure and after 9 minutes had a handball appeal turned down, however there were no major complaints from any players in blue and white. A minute later the travelling support were celebrating what they thought was a goal, however, the ball had been slotted 2 yards wide and had bounced back off a board behind the goal and bulged the net.

Another defensive mix-up saw Delroy Facey storm through on goal, but in a one on one confrontation saw his shot well saved by Pogliacomi. Again on 20 minutes, after some brilliant flowing football, Chris Brandon unleashed a shot which curled wide of the left hand upright.

It wasn't long until Abbott doubled the Terriers' lead, after loanee Facey allowed the ball to run past him and raced away from the Oldham defence, to slot the ball across the 6 yard area and gift Abbott and open goal. Delroy Facey had shown great pace and strength in creating this goal, a combination of skills which Town have missed over the past season.

Town forced another corner after 30 minutes when a Brandon volley was tipped wide, and then forced two more corners after Facey's pace again troubled the Oldham defence. However, after 39 minutes Oldham were presented with a good chance in the form of a header from a cross from Kevin Betsy, who put in an impressive performance, despite missing a sitter just 5 minutes later after an Abbott clearance had ricocheted off the leg of a Latics player. Abbott had enough time to head another chance over the bar before Town ran into the dressing rooms for half time 2-0 up.

Normally at this point I would have something negative to say, but today I find that impossible. Towns fledgeling team performed solidly in the first half, and for once the referee was making good decisions, as was the linesman who kept track of Town's impeccable offside trap.

After 6 minutes of the second half Oldham had a goal disallowed for offside. Despite the complaints of the players, the linesman had made the correct decision as there were three active players offside. Town continued to string passes together, but to less avail as Oldham began to pile on the pressure, forcing corners and half chances. David Eyres was thrown on for Oldham as an extra attacking option on his 41st birthday.

Oldham pressured, but Town were having the best of the clear cut chances, with Pogliacomi saving well from a Brandon one on one on 65 minutes, after the nippy winger had shown strength and desire for the ball. Oldham were also picking up bookings after a string of bad challenges by Appleby, Betsy and Bruce, who had been booed all game.

After 70 minutes Rachubka made a great save after Betsy had raced clear, followed by the reintroduction of Carss on for T. Clarke.

Only 4 minutes later Oldham had pulled a goal back to set up a grandstand finish, after a Betsy header from a freekick set up Guy Branston from only two yards out with a chance he couldn't miss. The last 15 minutes were dominated by Oldham pressure, but the Terriers' defence held out for an important 2-1 and 3 points.

Neil's Man Of The Match: Michael Collins

Huddersfield Town:
P Rachubka, T Clarke (71 T Carss) , N Clarke, A Holdsworth (85 E Sodje) , D Mirfin, C Brandon, J Worthington, A Ahmed, M Collins, P Abbott (90 J McAliskey) , D Facey
Subs: P Senior, T Carss, D Schofield, E Sodje, J McAliskey

Oldham Athletic:
L Pogliacomi, M Bonner (78 D Boshell) , S Stam, W Haining, A Griffin (60 D Eyres) , A Bruce, M Appleby, D Hall (45 G Branston) , M Hughes, C Killen, K Betsy
Subs: D Boshell, S Mildenhall, K Cooper, G Branston, D Eyres

Referee: E Ilderton
Attendance: 11161


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