Huddersfield Town 0 - 3 Port Vale

Huddersfield Town story posted by Neil Armstead on 30/12/2005
A bitterly disappointing result to a match played on a bitterly cold evening, with Town capitulating after a good first half performance against a Port Vale side that hurt Town on the counter attack. Town were not outplayed, but yet again failed to put the finishing touch to attacking moves. It was dangerman Constantine who dealt the majority of the damage, scoring just after half time and then later in the half, before David Mirfin was dismissed for a foul in which he not only made contact with the ball, but was outside the area. Nevertheless, a penalty was awarded and Tony Dinning duly dispatched to put the game beyond the Terriers' reach.Huddersfield Town 0 - 3 Port Vale

Town srarted brightly, with Danny Schofield causing numerous problems down the left wing, and winning a corner. The midfielder took the resulting set-piece which was met by the head of Gary Taylor-Fletcher at the back post, only for the former Lincoln man to see his effort blocked on the line. Fletch was at the heart of it again 6 minutes later, forcing the keeper into a relatively easy save down low.

As Town began to dominate, it was Vale who created the next chance, with Trinidad and Tobago international Chris Birchall set up by Constantine, and forcing Town stopper Rachubka into a good save. From one end to the other, Gary Taylor-Fletcher's header from a Schofield cross looped up and onto the top of the bar.

Town were in the ascendancy, and Worthington threatened the opposition goal with a 25 yard effort before Clarke and Worthington linked up again, resulting in the midfielder attempting a similar effort from the edge of the area. Paul Rachubka was then forced into an excellent save on 35 minutes when Constantine broke free amidst offside appeals, and, in a one on one situation, the goalkeeper managed to parry the shot wide.

The remaining minutes of the first half saw Clarke header just over the bar from an Ahmed corner, and then Ahmed with a spectacular effort from almost 30 yards which sailed just inches over the crossbar.

Half Time
Huddersfield Town 0 - 0 Port Vale

Within two minutes of the restart Vale were ahead through Constantine. A corner from the left flank was flicked on at the near post, leaving the striker an easy placed header at the far post. Town looked to respong immediately, when a curling cross from right-back Holdsworth found it's way to Adnan Ahmed who, from the edge of the area, smashed a first time volley which Goodlad did very well to tip over the bar. Town kept on the pressure and Danny Adams went close to scoring his first for Town when he latched on to a low cross from Schofield. The shot, however, was no real test for the Vale keeper.

A high ball over the top had Town's defence in disarray after 64 minutes, when Lowndes raced through with Rachubka hesitating. Lowndes found himself with an open goal to aim at but fired his effort over the bar. It only took another minute for Port Vale to find the net for a second time. With Town's back four attempting an offside trap, Constantine surged onto a through ball and made no mistake in taking the ball around the stranded Rachubka and placing into an empty net.

10 minutes later the game was all but over. Lowndes appeared to have been tackled, but managed to turn on the ball and race past the Town defence with Mirfin in chase. The defdnder gained and with an outstretched leg appeared to prod the ball away from the attacker, who fell to the floor outside the area. The linesman did not signal for a foul, but the referee who was in no position to judge where the offence had taken place and whether the ball had been touched or not decided to award a penalty which Dinning dispatched to Rachubka's right. Since the linesman was in a much better position to see the incident and did not signal a foul, the question remaining is in regard to the lack of consultation with the referee.

Full Time
Huddersfield Town 0 - 3 Port Vale

Town need to find the finishing touch, and quickly, as for the first half atleast the had the majority of possession and opportunities, but failed to convert. Town have not appealed against Mirfin's red card, who will now miss Barnsley and Gillingham. Brandon and Hudson will also miss the Gillingham game.

Man of the Match: Adnan Ahmed

Huddersfield Town
P Rachubka, D Adams, D Mirfin, N Clarke, A Holdsworth, D Schofield, A Ahmed (81 M McIntosh) , J Worthington, C Brandon, A Booth, G Taylor-Fletcher (66 P Abbott)
Subs: P Senior, M Hudson, P Abbott, J McAliskey, M McIntosh

Port Vale
M Goodlad, C James, C Fortune, G Pilkington, S Rowland, M Innes (82 M Cummins) , S Togwell, T Dinning (86 D Sonner) , C Birchall, L Constantine, N Lowndes (81 M Husbands)
Subs: J Brain, D Sonner, L Matthews, M Cummins, M Husbands

Ref: A Woolmer
Att: 10824


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