Chesterfield 2 - 1 Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield Town story posted by Neil Armstead on 12/03/2005
Two penalties were enough to hand 9 man Town their 7th straight away loss, the second in the past week away to local rivals. Mirfin had pulled one back for the Terriers after a double strike from the spot from Shane Nicholson, and the dismissals of both Tom Clarke and Efe Sodje in the second half gave Town a massive uphill task. Town started with Rachubka between the sticks and a defensive line of both Clarke brothers, the oldest of which was handed the captaincy for the match, Mirfin and Holdsworth. Filling in for suspended Worthington was Tony Carss, joined by Collins, Ahmed and Brandon making his first return to Saltergate since leaving Chesterfield at the end of last season. Up front, Booth was preferred to Abbott and started alongside loanee Delroy Facey.Chesterfield 2 - 1 Huddersfield Town

It was nearly a dream start for Brandon, who was incessantly taunted by the Spirites faithful through the game, as he was put through and tested keeper Marton Fulop after only one minute. 5 minutes after, Booth headed from a Clarke long throw but Fulop was equal to the effort. Booth continued to cause problems, and after another dangerous long throw his looping header cannoned off the bar and into the Saltergate Kop. Town continued to pressure, and the hard working Ahmed volleyed wide after neat interchange between the midfielders.

With only 15 minutes elapsed, former Town striker Wayne "Chief" Allison replaced Mark Hudson to applause from the congregation of Terriers fans behind the goal.

After 21 minutes Town had a penalty appeal turned down, as a cross from Ahmed saw Booth fouled in mid-air by a defender. The appeals fell on deaf ears and play continued. Chesterfield's first real chance fell to Allison after 22 minutes, but Rachubka made an easy save. Another chance followed for O'Hare who fluffed at the ball which bobbled over his foot from 6 yards out, much to the delight of the Town fans.

Town continued the pressure, but Booth was booked with 9 minutes of the half remaining. After a tense goalmouth scramble, Booth gave away a freekick on the edge of the area which was blocked by the wall.

The first half performance from Town had been solid, despite bad refereeing, however, the referee had been equally bad towards both sides, and both could rightly feel agrieved at some decisions which were not given. It did however seem at times that Booth had been unfairly singled out by the officials.

The first action of the second half was the booking of Wayne Allison. Soon after, Chesterfield had the ball in the net after McMaster had hammered a volley home after a looping cross over the head of Tom Clarke, but he was adjudjed to have been offside. It was an identical cross which undid Clarke again, the ball looped over his head but McMaster this time opted to control the ball and dribble, only to be upended by Tom Clarke. Clarke was controvertially dismissed for denying a goalscoring opportunity and Nicholson duly dispatched the penalty past Rachubka who had guessed correctly.

This only spurred Town on, who began to play better football and put on more pressure. Sodje replaced Collins, and Ahmed had a brace of long range efforts stopped by the keeper. Abbott then replaced Holdsworth as Town switched to a 3-3-3 formation in an attempt to salvage something from the game.

However, it was Chesterfield having the majority of chances. Rachubka was forced into good saves from both Niven and McMaster, and Holdsworth had cleared an effort off the line. Unfortunately, Town gave away a second penalty when Mirfin fouled McMaster after the former Leeds man had tricked the defender with a spate of stepovers. Nicholson again fired in the penalty into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. Jacko took up a Wadsworth like pose inside his technical area, leaning hopelessly against the post of the dugout. It seemed all hope of a point was lost.

But Mirfin made up for his mistake just one minute later, handing Town a lifeline in the form of a header from a Carss freekick. Another chance then fell to Carss who shot just wide.

Moments later a scuffle between Nicholson and Brandon broke out, with the Spirite appearing to throw out an arm in Brandon's direction. The mass of players who got involved were separated and both proprietors were booked for their troubles.

Efe Sodje then did what he does best. He got sent off, destroying Town's chances of a fightback. It was a stupid foul, as McMaster faced away the prostrate Sodje had reached out an arm and attempted to grab the heel of the attacker, who fell to the floor. Sodje was given his second booking and an early bath. Town had another penalty appeal fall on deaf ears shortly after, but it was a clutching at straws moment, as Chesterfield reached the magical 50 points mark.

Will we ever win away? (or get a decent set of officials??)

Neil's Man Of The Match: Adnan Ahmed, who worked incredibly hard all game

Chesterfield
M Fulop, A Bailey, S Blatherwick, I Evatt, S Nicholson, M Allott, M Hudson (16 W Allison) , D Niven, A O'Hare, J McMaster, M De Bolla (87 G Davies)
Subs: W Allison, G Davies, A Richmond, J Fowler, C Logan

Huddersfield Town
P Rachubka, D Mirfin, T Clarke, N Clarke, A Holdsworth (66 P Abbott) , C Brandon, A Ahmed, T Carss, M Collins (54 E Sodje) , A Booth, D Facey
Subs: P Senior, J Mendes, D Schofield, E Sodje, P Abbott

Referee: B Curson
Attendance: 4827

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