Report: Walsall 2-3 Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 20/04/2009
The veteran striker Andy Booth rolled back the years with a double strike just before the break turning the game on its head as Walsall dominated the first 40 minutes going 2-0 up. Then the on-loan Liverpool defender Martin Kelly completed the fight back with a lovely curled shot to sent the Terriers back to West Yorkshire with all three points.Report: Walsall 2-3 Huddersfield Town

Town boss Lee Clark has hinted that he might try and persuade Liverpool chief Rafa Benitez into having Kelly on a season-long loan for the next campaign and has also said that he will have a chat with fans' favourite Booth about his future at the club whether it being on the playing staff or in a non-playing capacity.

Manager Clark had made one change from the 1-0 win against Carlisle the previous week, Andy Booth replaced the injured Anthony Pilkington. Clark must have been worried as Walsall dominated in the first 40 minutes, former Town player Chris Hutchings, now manager of Walsall had the Saddlers running riot against the Terriers looking likely to score on every attack.

Jabo Ibehre gave the Saddlers the lead with 14 minutes gone with the aid for a wicked deflection off Town defender Nathan Clarke. Troy Deeney sent Ibehre away with a pass from midfield, his shot was deflected off Clarke and over the head of Town stopper Alex Smithies.

Walsall doubled their lead on 28 minutes, Ibehre grabbing his second goal of the game, the former Leyton Orient forward flicked a long pass past Nathan Clarke and Andy Butler to create some space before lashing a shot into the bottom corner.

Town then started slowly to come to life, Tom Clarke, Jim Goodwin and Michael Flynn, who replaced the injured Michael Collins just before Walsall's 2nd goal, rule the show in midfield while Robbie Williams had an impressive game at left-back, often getting forward and willing to shoot. Williams has started to put in some good performances since Lee Clark has come to the club.

It was Booth who sparked Town's fight back on 43 minutes with help from the Saddlers keeper Rene Gilmartin, Danny Cadamarteri's low cross from the right was hit on the volley by Booth. It should have been a straight forward save for Gilmartin but the ball managed to squeeze through his legs as he went down to smother the ball.

Literally second before the break Gary Roberts forced a corner in which Jim Goodwin swung in and found Booth who shook off his marker to net with a trademark header at the far post. That was his 148th Town goal for the iconic striker. Two goals in two minutes before the break turned the game on its head and must have changed Lee Clark's half-time team talk.

Walsall were a shadow of themselves from the first 40 minutes and Town took control in the second half.
Roberts turned his man before curling a shot just wide of the post, with 10 minutes of the restart gone, Roberts created a chance for Flynn but the attacking midfielder scuffed his shot wide.
Williams unleashed a 35-yard striker that flew just wide with Gilmartin scrambling across his line.

Town took the lead with 63 minutes gone that had the home fans turning on the club chairman calling for his head.
Williams, Roberts and Goodwin were all involved in a neat passing move which Martin Kelly finished off, drifting inside and rifling a lovely curling 25-yard shot into the bottom corner.

Former Bolton and Middlesbrough striker Michael Ricketts nearly had the home side level just minutes after Town took the lead.
Tripped by Williams, the big striker took the resulting free-kick 25-yards from goal in which Town keeper Smithies smartly tipped over the bar.

Walsall never really troubled Town after Ricketts's free-kick taking back all three points to West Yorkshire with a superb fight back that showed character.

Most Town fans will be hoping that Martin Kelly stays on for next season, the versatile defender has impressed since joining Town in March and could be a player for the future. Andy Booth could still do a job at this level despite being 35-year old, there is no one better in the air in our division than Boothy.

Sean's Star Man - Robbie Williams Impressed at left back getting in some good challenges and bombing forward helping out the attack and willing to have a crack at goal.


Walsall: Gilmartin, Weston (Taundry 86), Gerrard, Smith, Palmer, Bradley (Mattis 88), Hughes, Zaaboub, Ricketts (Nicholls 76), Ibehre, Deeney.
Subs not used: Ince, Boertien

Town: Smithies, Kelly, N Clarke, Butler, Williams, Cadamarteri, T Clarke, Goodwin, Collins (Flynn 27), Roberts, Booth
Subs not used: Eastwood, Holdsworth, Craney, Berrett.

Referee: T Kettle (Rutland)
Attendance: 3,951


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