Report: Notts County 0-3 Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 07/08/2010
Huddersfield Town looked a different class as they hammered Notts County at Meadow Lane on the opening day of the Npower League One. A brace from Anthony Pilkington with a goal from Jordon Rhodes in between brought County back to down to earth with a bang after winning League Two the previous season. Town really should have won by more as County looked unable to cope with the Town pressure.Report: Notts County 0-3 Huddersfield Town

Jamie McCombe, Joey Gudjonsson, Scott Arfield, Gary Naysmith and Joe Garner were in the Town side making their debuts for the club alongside some familiar faces in Alex Smithies, Lee Peltier, Peter Clarke, Gary Roberts, Anthony Pilkington and Jordon Rhodes in a 4-4-2 formation. On the bench were summer loan signings for Graham Carey and Lee Croft alongside another loanee in Damien Johnson from Plymouth who signed on Thursday night. Ian Bennett signed in the summer was on the bench with Antony Kay and Theo Robinson.
County gave debuts to four of their summer signings in Jon Harley, Liam Chilvers, Rob Burch and former Hull City striker Ben Burgess partnering Lee Hughes up front which could be the slowest attack in League One, with Town fans venting their dislike for Hughes.

It was Joe Garner that impressed right from the start with some intelligent movement and not afraid to back out of a challenge. Early on he flicked the ball on for Rhodes down the right channel that forced County keeper Burch in a point-blank save on six minutes.
Garner himself missed a great opportunity to put Town into the lead. Gary Roberts' clever pass found Rhodes, who flicked the ball on neatly into Garner's path, but the on-loan Nottingham Forest striker scuffed his effort wide with a one-on-one with Burch.

The Terriers dominance paid off with 32 minutes gone thanks to winger Anthony Pilkington. Roberts played in the ex-Stockport player down the right, who ironically scored his first goal for Stockport against County, Pilkington still had some work to do but smartly crashed in a fierce shot from a acute angle.

Just three minutes later Town doubled their lead. Garner found space on the right and crossed the ball into space for Rhodes who got ahead of his marker and tucked the ball away from around six yards out.

Town's defence coped with County's attack, Peter Clarke and Jamie McCombe easily dealt with the aerial ability of both Hughes and Burgess. Hughes was up to his old tricks after realising he couldn't beat McCombe and tried to con the referee by diving anytime the ex-Bristol City defender went near him. The referee didn't even book Hughes for his late kick on Smithies which any other referee would have easily have given a yellow.

County did have a chance just before the break, Liam Chilvers drove a rebound that was certainly heading for the net until Garner bravely blocked the effort to keep Town in command.

After the break Town didn't take their foot off the gas and were pushing to increase their lead. Pilkington's cross from the left found Rhodes but he hit the shot just wide from six yards on with 58 minutes gone.

Town keeper Smithies could have got his deckchair out for most of the game but he had to be on guard when Hughes' curling lob from 18 yards just fell past the post on the hour mark.

Town continued to attempt to add to their lead with some impressive play. Garner hit a dipping 25-yard half volley that smacked the bar and Rhodes fired in a similar effort just over two minutes later. Garner and Rhodes both put in a impressive shift for Town with Peter Clarke as ever at the heart of the Town defence sweeping anything that Notts County threw his way.

Pilkington got his second goal of the game and wrapped the game up on 72 minutes. Joey Gudjonsson, who had been pulling the strings in the Town midfield, caught everyone by surprise with a short free-kick on the right channel into Pilkington's path. Pilkington's first shot was blocked but he powered his in second effort with Burch in the County goal having no chance of stopping it.

Over 3500 Town fans travelled down to Meadow Lane and went home in buoyant mood after seeing the Terriers easily dispatch the League Two champions. If Town keep up this kind of performance throughout the season, automatic promotion is a real possibility.

Sean's Star Man - Joe Garner
The striker on-loan from Nottingham Forest, impressed on his debut and was unlucky not to have had two goals himself. Telling runs and not afraid to put himself about and in the second half took a bit of a battering from the County defence but still was afraid to get stuck in. I think it is only a matter of time before this lad starting hitting the back of the net.


County: Burch, Thompson, Lee, Chilvers, Hunt (Westcarr 57), Davies, Raven hill (Spicer 74), Bishop, Harley, Hughes, Burgess (Jervis 57).
Subs not used: Nelson, Edwards, Smith, Pearce.

Town: Smithies, Peltier, P.Clarke, McCombe, Naysmith, Pilkington, Gudjonsson, Arfield (Damien Johnson 79), Roberts, Garner, Rhodes (Novak 82).
Subs not used: Bennett, Kay, Robinson, Croft, Carey.

Referee: Trevor Kettle (Rutland)
Attendance: 10,342.


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