Leeds 2-2 Huddersfield Town - The Match Report

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 06/12/2009
Leeds 2-2 Huddersfield Town - The Match Report
Jordon Rhodes' second half goal shared in the honours in a fantastic West Yorkshire derby that was end-to-end for both teams as Town came back twice to secure a point to avoid a fate that has happened to so many League One teams at Elland Road this season.
Rhodes converted a close-range header 12 minutes from the end to ensure that Town became only the third club to take a point from a league game in Leeds this season. The draw ended Town's sequence of three successive wins over Leeds, but it has been two years since the Whites have outsmarted the Terriers.

It looked as though it could be Leeds' day with just over a minute played, a rare mistake from Town stopper Alex Smithies gifted a goal to Robert Snodgrass. Smithies made a mess of his first save, spilling the ball towards Snodgrass who had the simple task of tucking the ball away. But Town did not surrender as Lee Novak pounced just after the break to put Town back on level terms, Max Gradel put Leeds back in front with virtually his first touch after a counter attack from Leeds but Rhodes, who had been out-of-sorts lately and missed chances during the game, popped up from a Gary Roberts cross to nod in the equalizer. A game that was a fantastic advertisement for League One.

The mark of what was to come was when minutes after Leeds had taken the lead Rhodes hit the post with the Leeds keeper Casper "Dracula" Ankergren beaten.
Anthony Pilkington's cross found Rhodes unmarked in the box, his instinctive shot smacked against the post.
Moments later, Gary Roberts was slicing his shot wide from a good position but manager Lee Clark must have been pleased that his players' head didn't drop after conceding a soft goal so early. The goal aside, Town made the more fluent start.

Leeds could have doubled their advantage, Jermaine Beckford combined with Jason Crowe and curled a cross towards Sam Vokes, whose glancing header had Smithies diving at full stretch but luckily for Town the ball bounced a yard beyond the post.
Leeds began to look a shaky at the back and both full backs Crowe and Tony Capaldi were both booked for rational fouls on the same touchline, Neil Killkenny was fortunate not to go into the book as he lashed out at Town's Antony Kay.
The height of Whites defender Lubomir Michalik was proving a problem, but failed to test Smithies, heading wide of the target from a Leeds corner.

Town pushed on late in the first half looking for the equalizer it might have been a different story has Snodgrass found the net for his second of the game three minutes before the break. The winger reacted to a weak clearance header by Joe Skarz with a overhead kick which managed to loop over Smithies and struck the base of the post before rolling behind to the relief of the travelling faithful.

Leeds fan were relieved when the ball found its way to Rhodes in the box but Ankergren managed to block with his legs from around six yards out, a point-blank save that that Rhodes with his head in his hands.

The first 45 minutes gave the signs that Town had an equalizer in them and it duly arrived three minutes into the second half.
Nathan Clarke was left unmarked as the cross dropped into United's box, the defender's somehow mis-hit sat up nicely for Lee Novak to plant a close range header beyond Casper "Dracula" Ankergren for his 7th goal of the season.

Both teams were going all out of the win, Leeds manager Simon Grayson making two changes that seemed to baffle their own fans, bringing off Snodgrass, who had been a thorn in Town's side and Kilkenny for Max Gradel and Luciano Becchio. It proved to be the right move by Grayson.
Dracula was called upon after he saved well from a superb overhead kick by Kay from a Town corner, The Dane's long clearance downfield saw Beckford and Smithies challenging for a bouncing ball which neither claimed, Gradel collected and from a tight angle manage to steer the ball into the bottom corner.

That goal fired a response from Town, to the delight of Lee Clark as the Terriers responded impressively.
After a number of scares, Rhodes hitting a side-footed shot wide and Kay's deflected drive, Leeds succumbed to the Town pressure, Roberts' cross met the head of Rhodes to nod home, the goal that seemed destined to elude him.

Town kept the pressure on as they had been doing for the last 20 minutes of the game, Pilkington so nearly won it with a superbly struck 30-yards free-kick that his the underside of the crossbar and bounced off Dracula's (Ankergren) head to safety.

Not many teams will give Leeds a scare at their own place like we did.

Sean's Star Man - Jordon Rhodes
The 19-year old former Ipswich striker must have thought it wasn't going to be his day as the ball just didn't seem to want to go in but he wasn't going to give in and his determination was rewarded with the equalizing goal.


Leeds: Ankergren (Dracula), Crowe, Bromby, Michalik, Capaldi, Howson, Doyle, Kilkenny (Gradel 63), Snodgrass (Ephraim 86), Vokes (Becchio 63) Beckford.
Subs not used: Alan Martin, Marques, Prutton, Grella

Town: Smithies, Peltier, P.Clarke, N.Clarke, Skarz, Pilkington, Kay, Collins, Roberts, Novak, Rhodes (Robinson 88)
Subs not used: Glennon, Goodwin, Williams, Butler, Berrett, Ainsworth

Referee: M Jones (Cheshire)
Attendance: 36,723


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