Chelsea 2 - 1 Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield Town story posted by Neil Armstead on 08/01/2006
Town came away from Stamford Bridge today with their heads held high in what was a hugely entertaining FA Cup 3rd Round tie against one of, if not the, best club team in the World at the moment. It was Gary Taylor-Fletcher who scored Town's equaliser, after Carlton Cole had headed the home side ahead following a defensive mix-up. Town were level for only eight minutes, before substitute Dutch international Arjen Robben set up Eidur Gudjohnsen for the winner on 82 minutes. Atleast 6100 Town fans made the journey, and all stood to applaud the players for their battling performance.Chelsea 2 - 1 Huddersfield Town

Town's team lined up with two changes to the starting line-up, with Brandon and Hudson returning in midfield in place of the suspended Wotrhington and the injured Booth, leaving Gary Taylor-Fletcher with the chance to play up front alongside Abbott. David Mirfin returned from suspension to sit on the bench. Chelsea started with Cudicini in goal, with Glen Johnson, Ricardo Carvalho, Robert Huth and Wayne Bridge making up their back four. The midfield consisted of Damien Duff, Joe Cole, Lassana Diarra, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Shaun Wright-Phillips. The lone striker was Carlton Cole, making his first start of the season, after being loaned out to Charlton and Aston Villa in previous seasons.

Within 30 seconds Town had shot, through Pawel Abbott. Abbott collected the ball and his shot from 25 yards deflected off Carvalho and looped up into the air, giving Cudicini an easy first catch of the game. Town regained possession from the goalkick, and Chris Brandon fed in Danny Adams with a tidy backheel. Adams' cross was partly cut out by Huth, but only as far as Taylor-Fletcher who wasted a glorious opportunity from 6 yards, his weak shot not troubling the keeper.

These were just about Town's only opportunities of the half, as the Terriers sat back and allowed Chelsea to play, with free-roaming Joe Cole and Damien Duff causing most of the problems. After 5 minutes the England international played the ball to French under-21 star Lassana Diarra, who's 25 yard drilled shot was well saved down low by Phil Senior in goal. Chelsea's class was already beginning to tell, as Damien Duff curled a right footed effort from the apex of the area after 7 minutes. The pressure didn't relent, Damien Duff managed to outfox Andy Holdsworth and cross for Wright Phillips, who was unmarked at the far post. The tricky winger skied is shot well over the bar.

Four minutes later the Premiership Champions were leading. The ball fell to Carlton Cole inside the area and his shot ricocheted high into the air after hitting the leg of McIntosh. Hesitation between the keeper and defence allowed Cole an easy header over the arms of Senior. Town were giving the ball away way too easily, and Gudjohnsen wasted a clear opportunity after 15 minutes, blazing over from close range, before Shaun Wright Phillips attempted a tight angled shot which flew only inches over the bar after the impressive Diarra's through ball.

Senior made for his earlier blunder with a point-blank save from the head of Carlton Cole. Duff again causing problems, crossed from the left onto the head of Cole, who outjumped Nat Clarke and from two yards out must have thought he'd scored, until the outstretched fingers of Senior tipped the ball over the bar.

Minutes later, Town managed to win a freekick 25 yards out. Adnan Ahmed decided to cross, and under pressure Carlo Cudicini dropped the ball. Luckily for the Blues, the ball bounced kindly in between two Town players and Cudicini was able to race out and hoof the ball clear. Chelsea came the closest to doubling their lead soon after when German Robert Huth connected with a Duff Corner. His strong header dipped onto the crossbar and back out into play.

Half Time
Chelsea 1 - 0 Huddersfield Town

Town were defending resolutely but giving the ball away way too easily in midfield. This prompted Jacko to bring on Tom Clarke in place of Adnan Ahmed, who looked slightly out of his depth, at the start of the second half.

From a Chelsea corner, Damien Duff was allowed to line up a shot from outside the area, only for Andy Holdsworth the clatter in with a superbly timed tackle. The away fans in the shed end were making the most noise, and the Town players were visibly lifting themselves on the pitch. After Senior had saved well from Glen Johnson, Town would enter into their best period of the game.

After 56 minutes, Town won their first corner of the game after a shot was adjudged to have been deflected wide. From the resulting Schofield set-piece, Nathan Clarke found enough space on the edge of the area to attempt a first time volley. For a moment the effort appeared to be on target, but it curled around the post by about 6 inches. Town were keeping the ball in midfield, and their opponents were beginning to get a little frustrated. Tom Clarke, playing in midfield, was making a huge difference, with his ability to win the ball where Town would have lost out in the first half. It was he who won a freekick over 30 yards out, which Martin McIntosh curled just wide with his left foot with Cudicini flinging himself across his goal.

Town replaced Danny Schofield with youngster Micheal Collins on the wing. After 66 minutes, Town won a free kick on the right flank, which Hudson duly floated toward the back post were it was met by pintsized winger Chris Brandon. His first time effort caused massive indecision in the Chelsea penalty area. Cudicini failed to connect with the ball and Abbott was unlucky not to connect fully with the ball, allowing Carvalho to take the ball clear.

Jose Mourinho opted for a like-for-like change, replacing the influential Duff with Dutch International Arjen Robben, who was on the pitch just in time to see Gary Taylor-Fletcher send the Town fans behind the goal into mass hysterics. Tom Clarke won the ball in the centre of the park and picked out Micheal Collins out on the wing, who controlled and played a delightful through ball into the path of the striker who was hotly pursued by Diarra. Taylor-Fletcher kept his cool to place past Cudicini who managed to get a hand to the ball.

Martin McIntosh was replace by Mirfin, followed by a Chelsea double substitution, with Asier Del Horno replacing Bridge and Paulo Ferreira replacing Shaun Wright-Phillips. This appeared a slightly defensive move, but Ferreira slotted into the right wing position instead of his normal defensive role.

Eight minutes from the end, Chelsea turned on the style that has propelled them to the top of the Premiership. Arjen Robben outpaced David Mirfin down the wing after some trickery, and upon reaching the byline played the ball back to give the onrushing Gudjohnsen an easy finish from 8 yards.

Full Time
Chelsea 2 - 1 Huddersfield Town

Town did themselves proud against opposition of such quality and stature. Nathan Clarke was my man of the match, solid as a rock at the back when faced with Damien Duff, Carlton Cole, Joe Cole and Eidur Gudjohnsen. Danny Adams played well against Wright-Phillips, and substitute Tom Clarke should play in midfield more often if he plays like he did when introduced at Stamford Bridge. The noise generated from the fans behind the goal was incredible in parts of the game, and Jose Mourinho stopped to clap the Town fans when the players had disappeared down the tunnel.

C Cudicini, G Johnson, A Ricardo Carvalho, R Huth, W Bridge (77 A Del Horno) , S Wright-Phillips (77 R Paulo Ferreira) , J Cole, L Diarra, E Gudjohnsen, D Duff (72 A Robben) , C Cole
Subs: L Pidgeley, A Del Horno, A Robben, R Paulo Ferreira, M Nuno Morais

Huddersfield Town
P Senior, A Holdsworth, N Clarke, M McIntosh (77 D Mirfin) , D Adams, C Brandon, M Hudson, A Ahmed (45 T Clarke) , D Schofield (63 M Collins) , P Abbott, G Taylor-Fletcher
Subs: P Rachubka, D Mirfin, T Clarke, J McAliskey, M Collins

Ref: A Wiley
Att: 41650


There are currently no comments for this story. In order to post a comment, you need to be a registered Terrier Bytes member and logged in. Click here to login or here to register with Terrier Bytes.




10th Anniversary Edition - 2001 to 2011