Huddersfield Town 0-2 West Brom - The Match Report

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 02/01/2010
Coca Cola Championship high-flyers West Brom were the visitors at the Galpharm on a freezing Saturday afternoon for an FA Cup 3rd round tie and ran out 2-0 winners thanks to Graham Dorrans and Chris Wood, but Town were denied a dubious penalty which would have changed the course of the game with the score being at 0-0.Huddersfield Town 0-2 West Brom - The Match Report
The Baggies had the edge in a stalemate first-half, but Town made a fight back in the second half and were denied a golden chance to take the lead by referee Kevin Wright. Jordon Rhodes appealed in vain when clearly shoved to the ground by the Baggies' Swedish defender Jonas Olsson, a decision neither the referee or linesman was willing to give.

Moments later Gary Roberts was flattened by Chris Brunt, who was yellow-carded, and when Roberts delivered the free-kick from out wide, more penalty appeals made no impression on a referee whose decision throughout the match angered Town fans. The previous week at the Galpharm against MK Dons , the officials at that game gave every decision for handball, fast forward a week later, the officials against the Baggies never gave a handball decision, even when a West Brom player tried to catch the ball above his head.

Albion's quality was often evident as they showed the gulf between the two divisions, West Brom's passing game was at times good to watch, they closed down Town quickly and quickly clamping down on Anthony Pilkington and Roberts, often the major threats for Town.

West Brom were the better side in the first half but chances were rare for the Championship high-flyers, their best falling to Scottish midfielder Dorrans, who contrived to sky a simple chance from close range when found unmarked from a Brunt cross.

That followed Pilkington missing a half chance after good work from Roberts. Town could only find their passing game in patches and the Baggies were glad to see their keeper Scott Carson well positioned when Lee Novak directed a neat header on target.

The Town defence had to be on full alert every time the Baggies pushed forward, Peter Clarke and his namesake Nathan showed some timely interceptions, while Joe Skarz had a first half nightmare up against the former Sheffield Wednesday winger Chris Brunt, Albion's main threat, and Alex Smithies had to stretch full length to tip wide a stinging drive by the Northern Ireland international. The Dutchman Felipe Texeria also tested the young goalkeeper who more than matched what West Brom through at him.

Town coped and even stepped up the tempo after the break and looked a different side from the first half, midfielder Antony Kay should have hit the target, heading over from around 10 yards out from a Roberts free-kick.

The Albion responded with a smart attacking move which resulted in Marek Cech smashing a shot against the post when turning neatly on the edge of the area.

Town boss Lee Clark, concerned about the freedom the Baggies were having in midfield through on Tom Clarke for Novak to tighten up the midfield, even though Novak was Town's best player on the pitch, Town put in some intense efforts and should have broken the deadlock with 64 minutes gone.
Pilkington's cross was turned by Roberts into the path of Kay but the former Tranmere man slid a great chance wide from 15 yards wide of the target.

The Baggies were forced to defend desperately and look uncomfortable as Town stepped up the pressure. They escaped twice in quick succession as Roberts narrowly failed to connect with Pilkington's low cross then Carson saved a Roberts shot, hit through a packed penalty area, at the second attempt.

Then a real sucker punch for Town, moments after Rhodes being manhandled by Olsson in the Albion penalty area which how the referee nor linesman never gave the penalty was beyond anyone in the crowd, Nathan and Peter Clarke, up in support of a Town corner, Nathan Clarke's weak pass around 30 yards out was intercepted allowing the Baggies to break away.

Brunt sent away Dorrans, who raced on to beat Smithies with a low drive.

That goal seemed to put a massive dent in the Town players' confidence, Town conceded again on 82 minutes, Town's defending all at sea as sub Chris Wood linked well with Brunet then finished clinically to book the Baggies a place in the 4th round.

As four minutes of added time were shown, Kay fired a crisp 30-yard drive but the former Liverpool keeper Carson more than matched the effort with a superb flying save to tip wide that proved to be Town's final effort.

Town should be not too downhearted from this defeat and now full concentration will be on the league, at times Town matched West Brom but the gulf between the two division was evident. Town still need to tighten up their defence, word on the grapevine is the Millwall defender Zak Whitbread, who was going to join Town on loan but missed the deadline, is linked with a permanent move to the Galpharm. The American defender's contract expires in the summer.
The officials that are put in charge of games this season at the Galpharm have been inconsistent every game, this game was no different as the officials were shocking, missing clear-cut decisions that everyone could see except them.

Sean's Star Man - Lee Novak
Even though Peter Clarke got man of the match, I thought Lee Novak played well, ran himself into the ground against the Albion defence and seems to getting better game by game. Was unlucky to be subbed in a tactical decision but when on the pitch he looked like he could have made something happen.


Town: Smithies, Peltier (Drinkwater 78), P Clarke, N Clarke, Skarz, Pilkington, Kay, Collins, Roberts (Robinson 85), Rhodes, Novak ( T Clarke 58)
Subs not used: Glennon, Butler, Ainsworth, Simpson

WBA: Carson, Jara, Olsson, Martis, Cech, Brunt (Reid 88), Dorrans, Mulumbu, Teixeira (Koren 66), Bednar, Cox (Wood 75)
Subs not used: Kiely, Moore, Thomas, Samuels

Referee: Kevin Wright
Attendance: 13,472

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