Huddersfield Town 2-2 Swindon Town - Report

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 14/02/2010
It was a clash of the play-off chasers at the Galpharm Stadium as the Terriers were unlucky not to have taken all three points as Swindon rode their luck to hold out for a precious away point.Huddersfield Town 2-2 Swindon Town - Report
It was a match that was built up as the Terriers' most important game of the season so far but Lee Clark's men have now drawn their last three games on the spin and have only picked up three points from a possible nine in their last three home games.
Not to take any credit away from the Terriers, as they showed a solid display against a side that have rocketed into the play-off places and that stats don't like with 18 goal attempts, won just as many corners and had got 30 crosses into the Swindon box. The Robins must thank their goalkeeper David Lucas, as he produced some top draw saves that kept Swindon in the game.

Over 14,000 turned out at the Galpharm as Lee Clark changed his team from the 0-0 draw down at Brighton in midweek. Out went Nathan Eccleston and Robbie Simpson which meant Lee Novak and Jordan Rhodes were spearheading Town's attack. Nathan Clarke wasn't in the starting 18 instead Lee Clark decided to have three strikers on the bench in Eccleston, Simpson and Theo Robinson.

The faithful Terriers fans didn't have to wait long as Town skipper Peter Clarke gave his side a huge boost with putting his side in front after only eight minutes. Usually a rearguard at the back, Clarke found himself on the Swindon left byline, after wriggling his way past the Robins defence down that byline he slotted his fifth goal of the season from an astonishing angle. Intended or not, it was a brilliant finish.

It was disappointing that Town let Swindon back into the game just two minutes later. Awful defending allowed Charlie Austin to equalize for the Robins. Danny Ward hitting a cross into the Town box from the left, Neal Trotman missed the header at the near post and Austin nipped in front of Peter Clarke to head home from around six yards out.

Ex-Bradford City striker and Swindon top scorer Billy Paynter provided Town a scare with a header that was saved by Alex Smithies but the big striker was involved as Swindon took the lead before the half hour.
Paynter was allowed to move the ball on for Ward, and as the Town defence gave the winger yards of room, he slot in a shot past Smithies from the corner of the box.

It was a shaky moment for Town as the defence was at disarray, Trotman getting himself into all sorts of trouble at the back as Swindon looked dangerous going forward at times during the first half.

But before the break the Terriers picked up their game and created a number of half chances while Novak will be disappointed not to have hit the target after neat work from Rhodes and Gary Roberts.
Novak was unfortunate not to bring his side level moments later as Lucas pulled off a top save to deny a superb header by the former Gateshead striker as Town pilled on the pressure. Michael Collins was unlucky with a superb volley from the edge of the area that moved in mid air and flew past Lucas' post.

Whatever the manager said at half-time appeared to have worked as Town responded well after the break.
Pilling on the pressure on the Robins, Town were on level terms on 50 minutes with midfielder Antony Kay powering a header from a Roberts corner.

Lucas again pulled off a smart save to deny Anthony Pilkington but had to thank his team mate Jon-Paul McGovern moments later as the midfielder cleared off the line to deny Kay his second of the match.

Town cranked up the pressure on Swindon but just couldn't find the net as again Lucas superbly tipped over the break a fine volley by Lee Novak.

The Terriers were finding their passing rhythm that had been missing in the previous home matches as Swindon couldn't keep up with Town's quick flowing passing game.

Substitute Theo Robinson, on for Rhodes, narrowly failed to make clean contact with a Novak pass and then at the death, Swindon sub Craig Easton knocked a Peter Clarke header off the line after a Town corner.

A draw was not ideal for Town but their performance after the Swindon second goal did improve vastly and were unlucky really not to win.
Three away games on the trot for Town now with a visit to Carlisle Tuesday night, Hartlepool United on Saturday and then Tranmere Rovers a week on Tuesday, it is going to be tough but Town do really need to pick up points away from home if they are going to maintain their play-off push.

Sean's Star Man - Peter Clarke
Superb goal from the Town skipper and got his defence back playing after a sticky spell in the first half. A rock at the heart of the Town defence.


Town: Smithies, Peltier, Trotman, P Clarke, Heffernan, Pilkington, Kay, Collins, Roberts, Novak, Rhodes (Robinson 79)
Subs not used: Eastwood, Pearce, T Clarke, Drinkwater, Eccleston, Simpson

Swindon: Lucas, Amankwaah, Cuthbert, Greer, Jean-Francois, McGovern, Douglas, Ferry (Easton 75), Ward, Austin (Pericard 62), Paynter

Referee: Steve Rushdon (Staffordshire)
Attendance: 14,610


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