Rotherham United 1 - 1 Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield Town story posted by Neil Armstead on 27/12/2005
Town left it late to steal a valuable point away at local rivals Rotherham in a derby where the near sell-out croud witnessed a variety of debatable decisions by an unconvincing referee. It was substitute Gary Taylor-Fletcher who was the hero, prodding home the equaliser from close range after 92 minutes of play, after transfer listed striker Deon Burton had put the home side into the lead with a fierce drive on 8 minutes.Rotherham United 1 - 1 Huddersfield Town

Heading into the hectic Christmas period, Jacko made just one change to the starting line-up, with fit again Danny Adams replacing Tom Clarke in the back four.

Town started slowly and found themselves under huge pressure in the opening exchanges. After 3 minutes Deon Burton, who was to prove a thorn in Town's side, slid a through ball into the path of Martin Butler, who found his route to goal blocked by an excellent tackle by Nat Clarke. Then, following a Rotherham set-piece, Williamson struck a first time volley from the apex of the area which beat Rachubka and would have put Town one down had it not been for Clarke's excellent covering to clear off the line.

It made no difference, Town had not yet adjusted to the early pace of the game, and this told after only 8 minutes, when dangerman Burton smashed a right-footed freekick which Rachubka could only help into the roof of the net. This finally kickstarted Town into action, and following some net passing Andy Booth was felled two yards inside the area and the referee blew for a foul. The Town faithful behind the goal were stunned as the referee proceeded to award Town a freekick and not a penalty, when the offence clearly look place inside the area.

Rotherham began to pressure again and came close on a number of occasions, culminating in Rachubka making a tidy save down low at his near post from a Burton shot. Following a number of bookings on Town players by the referee, Town won a string of corners, the last of which was met by Nathan Clarke 8 yards out. The defender rose above the rest and headed down only to see Rotherham goalkeeper Cutler make an excellent save from point-blank range. From one keeper's heriocs to anothers, Paul Rachubka produced a save any goalkeeper would have been proud of. A Freekick found Burton at the back post who had the simplest of tasks to fire the ball home, but Rachubka flying across his goal managed to tip the ball over.

Half Time
Town found themselves a goal down, but should have had a chance to level the scores from the spot. I was sat directly opposite the incident only a few rows back, and witnessed a Rotherham defender covering the the holes in the pitch where the fould took place such that the referee could not see properly where the offence took place. This, however, is no excuse for the linesman who was no more than fifteen yards away from the incident and should have indicated a penalty.

Town made a substitution at half time, with Ahmed replacing Mark Hudson, and the substitute was to have immediate effect on the game. Following an uneventful first 15 minutes, Town forced the first real opportunity as Ahmed and Abbott linked up to play Danny Schofield in. Unfortunately, the tricky winger could not convert from inside the area.

Ahmed certainly made a huge difference to the midfield. Town were putting some good passes together and not giving away possession as easily as they had done in the first half. However, as Rotherham defended with a particularly good performance from their number 6 at centre half, Town could not find a crucial pass in and around the area. Gary Taylor-Fletcher was introduced for Abbott and Town began to push in the final few minutes.

It paid off. After two minutes of injury time had elapsed, a Danny Schofield shot rolled across the 6 yard are with pace, and Chris Brandon did well to collect and hold the ball up. He waited for the onrushing midfielders and played the ball to Adnan Ahmed, who's low shot was parried to the feet of Taylor-Fletcher who prodded into the empty net.

Full Time
Rotherham United 1 - 1 Huddersfield Town

Man of The Match goes to Adnan Ahmed, the 45 minutes he had on the pitch made all the difference. Shocking refereeing, wrong decisions were given to both teams throughout. Town need to get back to winning ways against Port Vale on Wednesday.

Rotherham United
N Cutler, D Worrell, C Murdock, P Gilchrist, G Robertson, J Mullin, P McLaren, L Williamson, M Keane (79 P Hurst) , D Burton (73 W Hoskins) , M Butler
Subs: G Montgomery, J Otsemobor, S Barker, W Hoskins, P Hurst

Huddersfield Town
P Rachubka, A Holdsworth, D Adams, D Mirfin, N Clarke, M Hudson (45 A Ahmed) , C Brandon, D Schofield, J Worthington, P Abbott (72 G Taylor-Fletcher) , A Booth
Subs: P Senior, G Taylor-Fletcher, A Ahmed, T Clarke, M McIntosh

Ref: N Swarbrick
Att: 7380


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