Huddersfield Town 1-0 MK Dons - Match Report

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 28/12/2009
A stunning strike from Town ace Anthony Pilkington was enough to ensure all three points for the Terriers against one of their promotion rivals. It was just what the doctor ordered after a dismal 3-0 loss to Norwich City the previous weekend. The Terriers had the advantage over the Dons, not having a match in 9 days due to the Boxing Day clash with Carlisle United being postponed while the Dons played twice in three days.Huddersfield Town 1-0 MK Dons - Match Report
Pilkington's seventh goal of the season ensured Town moved ahead of the Dons in the League One table, putting Town nicely in 5th place at the end of 2009, but should have scored more as Town wasted chances against a physical MK Dons side, who Town have done the double over having beaten Paul Ince's men 3-2 at Stadium:mk.

Paul Ince decided to go defensive against the Terriers, favouring a 4-5-1 instead of the usual 4-4-2, dropping Dons' top scorer Jermaine Easter in favour for the extra man in midfield. While Town welcomed back Antony Kay to the starting XI after a one match suspension . Also Tom Clarke was making a rare start in place of Michael Collins, who was not even on the bench.

Town skipper Peter Clarke nearly put Town in the lead with just 14 minutes gone, a deep free-kick was pumped into the Dons' penalty area, captain Clarke rose the highest with a thumping header only to see Dons' stopper Willy Gueret produce a superb one-handed save with hit the post and bounced away to safety.

Less than five minutes later the Dons were awarded a dubious penalty by referee Mr D Foster, who gave more handball decisions throughout the game than any other referee I've seen.
Dean Lewington hit a high ball into the Town box and as the ball bobbled around in the area David McCracken flicked the ball up with his foot which resulted the ball striking Joe Skarz on the arm, who was standing very close to McCracken and the award seemed very harsh on the young Town full-back.
Peter Leven, who is the regular penalty taker for the Dons, stepped up only for his strike to be smartly saved by the legs of Alex Smithies.

That penalty save from Smithies seemed to spur Town in life and less than ten minutes later they were in front thanks to a sweetly struck strike from Antony Pilkington. Picking up a cross-field pass by Lee Peltier, Pilkington went past two Dons defenders and struck a thumping shot from 25-yards past the diving Gueret and into the net.

In the second half Gary Roberts, who was a thorn in the Dons side, saw a clever lob fall just over the crossbar before selfishly speeding down the right-wing and going for goal himself rather than cross to the unmarked Jordan Rhodes.

Rhodes himself was put clear down the right only for Gueret to produce a smart save to prevent Town doubling their lead but it could have been a costly miss had Luke Chadwick not missed his close-range header.

Dons stopper Gueret then tipped a Rhodes 20-yard strike round the post, and then Town's top scorer missed a golden chance to add to his 15 goal tally.
Great play from Tom Clarke and Gary Roberts sent Lee Novak racing down the right wing, Novak's cross evaded Tom Clarke at the near post but Rhodes put his shot over the bar after being unmarked from around eight yards out.

Dons manager Paul Ince then threw on two strikers in top scorer Easter and Sam Baldock to rescue the game.

Novak was then denied by a superb last minute challenge by McCracken, Rhodes did have the ball in the back of the net with 72 minutes gone only for it to be ruled out by the offside flag.
Rhodes headed over after from a Roberts free-kick and Gueret was on call again to deny Rhodes with a close range header.

Easter then fired over from a good cross by Lewington, then in the closing stages Easter's shot was blocked on the line by a Town defender to the relief of the Town fans in a 16,086 crowd.

In the dying minutes a scuffle broke out after Luke Chadwick had deemed to deliberately go in late on Tom Clarke in a aerial challenge, which resulted in a mass brawl which saw Jude Sterling and Lee Peltier both booked by the referee.
After the game Paul Ince has accused Peter Clarke of deliberately trying to prove the referee to send off Luke Chadwick, who had already been booked. From where I was sat in the crowd it looked like one of the Dons players took a swing at a Town player, I think Paul Ince should look at his own players conduct first before he judges anyone else.

A great win for Town against a side who made their physical presence felt. Next up for the Terriers is a tasty FA Cup round 3 clash with high-flying Championship side West Bromwich Albion.

Sean's Star Man - Anthony Pilkington
A superb goal that wouldn't go a miss in the Premiership, a player with such potential and seems to be getting better every game. Another fine display, terrorising the MK Dons defence.


Town: Smithies, Peltier, N Clarke, P Clarke, Skarz, Pilkington, Kay, T Clarke, Roberts (Drinkwater 87), Rhodes, Novak (Robinson 87)
Subs not used: Glennon, Butler, Berrett, Simpson, Ainsworth

MK Dons: Gueret; Woodards, Doumbe, McCracken (Sterling 74), Lewington; Gobern (Baldock 65), Gleeson, Quashie (Easter 65), Leven, Chadwick; Wilbraham. Unused substitutes: Howell, Powell, Morgan, Devaney.

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