Huddersfield Town 2-1 Hartlepool United - Report

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 21/11/2009
A superb solo run and match-winning strike from Town left back Robbie Williams was enough to secure all three points in a hard-fought victory against visitors Hartlepool United. The Pools had taken the lead through midfielder Gary Liddle but a second half fight back produced an own goal from an Anthony Pilkington free-kick which rebounded off the post and went in off Peter Hartley with Robbie Williams great solo run and 20-yard strike completed the fight back.Huddersfield Town 2-1 Hartlepool United - Report

Terriers boss Lee Clark was looking for a fifth straight win against an Hartlepool side with a good defensive record of only conceding 16 goals so far this season but only having scored 18. Clark stayed with the same eleven for the fifth game running.

It was clear from the outset that the visitors had a game plan. Keeper Scott Flinders wasting as much time as he could as the Pools got back in numbers, crowding out Town's passing game.

With their first chance, Hartlepool took it with only 18 minutes gone. A free-kick was awarded for a handball by Nathan Clarke down the right wing, defender Neil Austin curled in the free-kick towards the back post where Gary Liddle was waiting unmarked to nod in past Alex Smithies.

The visitors frustrated Town in the first half, Chris Turner's side were themselves unbeaten in five coming into this match. The Pools were a physical side not afraid to get stuck in, Flinders time wasting was going unnoticed by referee Mr Tierney, who was the biggest time waster himself, at times not letting the game run smoothly.

Whatever was said at half-time to the Town it seemed to do the trick, as Town stepped up a gear which proved too much for Hartlepool.
Within five minutes of the restart Anthony Pilkington rattled the ball with a vicious free-kick 30-yards from goal that would have beaten Flinders in the Pools goal, as the ball stayed in play Lee Peltier clipped the ball back in only for Jordon Rhodes to head the ball wide of the target.

Surely enough Town were back on level terms five minutes later, former Town defender Sam Collins fouled skipper Peter Clarke 25-yard from goal, Pilkington stepped up again to rattle the free-kick against the post only for the ball to hit Pools defender Peter Hartley and roll into the back of the net.

Michael Collins was denied a certain goal with a superb tackle from Liddle, Antony Kay headed straight at the keeper after good work from Gary Roberts, Hartlepool themselves had a chance to get back in front substitute Leon McSweeney beat Williams only to see hit shot well saved by Town stopper Alex Smithies.

With 67 minutes gone on the clock Williams picked up a pass from Pilkington on the left, cut in from the left and beat three Pools defenders on a brilliant surging run and smack the ball into the back of the net from just inside the penalty area with his weaker foot with Flinders rooted to the spot.


Town still pushed on looking for more, Pilkington, Kay, Roberts and Peter Clarke all having chances to add to Town's tally.
Substitute Theo Robinson should have killed the game off when Rhodes passed the ball across goal only to see Robinson failing to hit the target with an open goal at his mercy. Some fans might be getting on his back after missing some sitters against Wycombe and this chance against Hartlepool, but he is getting in the right positions and it will only be a matter of time before the goals come.

A hard-fought victory for Town, it showed character to come from behind to win. There will be more games like that during season and if Town grind out results away from home then automatic promotion could be a real possibility.

Sean's Star Man - Gary Roberts
Had a quiet first half but his head never went down, always looking to take people on and make things happen, made the full back work in the second half.

Teams:

Town: Smithies, Peltier, P Clarke, N Clarke, Williams, Pilkington, Kay, Collins, Roberts, Rhodes, Novak (Robinson 77)
Subs not used: Glennon, Goodwin, T Clarke, Butler, Berrett, Ainsworth.

Hartlepool: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Liddle, Hartley, Monkhouse, Jones, Humphreys, Larkin (L McSweeney 64), Brown, Boyd (Behan 64)
Subs not used: A McSweeney, Clark, Fredriksen, Cook, Greulich.

Referee: Mr P Tierney (Wigan)

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