Craney's Strike Give Town All Three Points

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 15/12/2008
Ian Craney's goal separated the two sides at Roots Hall in a display that will have surely have impressed new manager Lee Clark who was watching on from the stands.Craney's Strike Give Town All Three Points
Graham Mitchell was in charge as caretaker manager Gerry Murphy missed the trip down to Southend due to illness.
Young goalkeeper Alex Smithies made a name for himself saving a penalty with 8 minutes left.
Away win number five and the Terriers have now climbed to 10th in the League One table, 7 points away from the play-offs.
Town's away form is better than their home form, it is an issue that new boss Lee Clark will want to address.


Southend poured it on after Town dominated the first half with some slick approach work, the only surprise was Town had to wait until the 47th minute before Craney broke the deadlock.
Mid-table Southend were desperate for a home, their last in the league being against Leeds United back in October.
Town produced neat attacking play that had Southend on the back foot, stringing together a series of passing though the final ball was lacking.

Southend's back line often stretching to sex or seven men held firm as Town tried to break them down with fast flowing football. Mitchell was a lone figure in Town's technical area but sat close behind him, Clark must have been impressed with Town's first half display.
Gary Roberts threatened with a 25-yard strike that beat Steve Mildenhall but narrowly missed the target.

As Town commanded affairs, Southend carved out the better chance when ex-Barnsley Kevin Betsy floated in a right-wing cross that Francis Laurent wastefully headed high from close range.
Laurent then fired a 30-yard strike against the post with Smithies beaten but the linesman flag was up.

Town's defence was pretty solid with Nathan Clarke and Andy Butler at the heart of it, but up front Town lacked the cutting edge, notably in the air.
Town should have done better when the lively Danny Cadamarteri set up Roberts but his delayed shot fractionally and the chance was lost.

Southend posed a threat a minute into the second half when Betsy out-muscled Nathan Clarke and headed over but Town punished the Roots Hall side seconds later.
Michael Collins broke on the left and his low cross caught defenders back pedalling and Craney had a simple side-foot at the back post for his sixth goal of the season and a deserved lead.

Junioe Stanislas tested Smithies with a free-kick but the young keeper was up to it then was quick off his line to break down another raid in the Town goal.
Southend piled it on and Town were fortunate when a Simon Francis cross ran along the line and Alex Revell poked the ball wide.

Town had their backs to the wall with Smithies tipping over Adam Barrett's header. Town raid of note were rare and skipper Andy Holdsworth sparked one promising attack with a mazey run into the box but it came to nothing with Mildenhall easily holding a soft Roberts effort.

It looked like Town would lose out on all three points when Robbie Williams hauled down Betsy in the box on 82 minutes.
James Walker stepped up but his weak effort was easily saved by Smithies low down to his left. He then made sure of a clean sheet by turning over a dangerous free-kick,

Southend: Mildenhall, Francis, Barrett, Clarke, Harding, Betsy, McCormack, Milson, Stanislaw (Barnard 84), Revell (Walker 74), Laurent (Freedman 61).
Subs not used: Grant, Sankofa

Town: Smithies, N. Clarke, Berrett, Craney, Butler, Holdsworth, Goodwin, Collins (Tom Clarke 84), Williams, Roberts (Kamara 90), Cadamarteri
Subs not used: Glennon, Worthington, Jevons.


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