Chesterfield 4 - 3 Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield Town story posted by Neil Armstead on 22/10/2005
An entertaining, if disappointing match saw Town leave Chesterfield empty handed on Saturday afternoon after they had threatened to steal a point with a late comeback. Town had found themselves three goals down at the break after former player Wayne Allison had netted first, followed by goals from Hall and Colin Larkin, seeking revenge for Mansfield's playoff final defeat two seasons earlier. After Abbott had missed from the spot, former Spireite Mark Hudson pulled a goal back. Unfortunately, the three goal lead was restored minutes later by Nicholson from the spot. Even so, Town continued the fight and pulled back two more goals through Worthington and Holdsworth, and could have nicked it at the death.Chesterfield 4 - 3 Huddersfield Town

Jackson opted to start with the same side that beat Walsall the previous Saturday, with Carss, Schofield, Booth and Adams returning.

Town started slowly, and after 4 minutes Allison was already proving to be the dangerman, shooting low into the grasp of Rachubka. Moments later Town were on the back foot again, but this time Allott was guilty of not punishing as his close range header looped harmlessly over the bar. Town did not heed the warnings and continued to allow Chesterfield to pressure, and were almost made to pay when Niven tried an audacious lob which Rachubka managed to fingertip around the post.

Town were riding their luck, but it soon ran out. After only 11 minutes, Colin Larkin rounded Holdsworth on the left wing and sent in a low cross. While the Town defence expected Rabs to collect, the Town keeper expected the defence to clear and Wayne Allison stole in and poked home from four yards to punish the indecision.

Town finally took the warning and began to play some better football. After 20 minutes Andy Booth came close with a header, and moments later keeper Roche saved brilliantly low to his left when an Abbott freekick had deflected off the defensive wall. Unfortunately, Chesterfield dealt a second blow after half an hour of play. Abbott was caught in possession in the centre of the field by Allison, who played the ball to Hall on the edge of the Town area. Hall controlled the ball and with no defender closing him down, curled a sweet shot from 20 yards which dipped over Paul Rachubka and went in off the left hand upright.

Just as Town were beginning to pressure again after going close through Abbott who had directed a Carss cross goalward only to see his effort cleared wide, Chesterfield were to deal another blow. On the stroke of half time more confusion between Rachubka and the defence, in this case David Mirfin, allowed Colin Larkin to nip in between the two and was left with an easy tap-in.

Half Time
Chesterfield 3 - 0 Huddersfield Town

Realisng that Town needed to fight back, Jackson brought on Taylor-Fletcher and Chris Brandon in place of Schofield and Carss respectively to add a more attacking edge to the side. It worked almost immediately, with Pawel Abbott finding himself with room to shoot on the edge of the area. The Pole saw his low driven effort expertly saved by Roche and directed out for a corner.

After one blatant penalty appeal was turned down, another was given after Mirfin was bundled over in the area by Wayne Allison. Abbott stepped up to take the kick and aimed to the bottom right. Again, Roche was unbeatable and saved the effort. It seemed that Town's chance to get back into the game had passed. Thankfully, the players did not take on this mentality and continued to press only to be frustrated by the in form Roche. Hudson went close after 60 minutes from a wide angle, and again 15 minutes later after a Booth header set the midfielder through into the box. Hudson's placed effort was saved by Roche.

On 79 minutes the breakthrough came. Booth headed on for Hudson who did well to place the ball out of the air from an acute angle to give Town hope. It seemed ,however, that all hope had been lost minutes later when a debatable refereeing decision gave Nicholson the chance to make it four from the spot, after it appeared that Mirfin had wrestled over Larkin in the area. Nicholson made no mistake, despite Rachubka guessing the right direction.

This wasn't the end of the drama. As many disappointed Town fans made for the exits, Worthington prodded home a shot from 2 yards after good work by Booth gave Taylor-Fletcher the chance to cross along the 6 yard box. Fletch was provider again 3 minutes later when Holdsworth diminished the deficit to just one goal after latching onto the cross and calmly firing past Roche. With four minutes of injury time played, Town were only inches away from stealing a point, as another Taylor-Fletcher cross found the back post where Hudson was rushing in. Defender Bailey managed to stick a foot out and deflect the ball towards his own goal. The ball looked to be going beneath the crossbar but sailed fractionally over to the despair of the remaining fans behind the goal.

Full Time
Chesterfield 4 - 3 Huddersfield Town

Man of the Match, Gary Taylor-Fletcher on the sole basis of the difference he made when he came on in the second half. Town were desperately unlucky in the end, but the damage had been done in the first half. Town need to sure up the defence if they are to keep stay at the top for the rest of the season.

B Roche, A Bailey, S Blatherwick, R Hazell, S Nicholson, P Hall (88 S Clingan) , D Niven, M Allott, K Hurst (88 A Smith) , C Larkin, W Allison
Subs: C Muggleton, J Kovacs, G Davies, A Smith, S Clingan

Huddersfield Town
P Rachubka, A Holdsworth, D Mirfin, N Clarke, D Adams, D Schofield (45 G Taylor-Fletcher) , M Hudson, J Worthington, T Carss (45 C Brandon) , A Booth, P Abbott
Subs: P Senior, C Brandon, G Taylor-Fletcher, M Collins, J McCombe

Ref: P Walton
Att: 6206


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