Rochdale 3-0 Huddersfield Town: - Match Report

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 28/09/2010
Huddersfield Town and over 3,000 Town fans travelled the short distance down the M62 (making up nearly half of the crowd) only to see a frustrating game and a defeat which didn't reflect the balance of play. Town bossed the majority of the match but lacked the cutting edge in the final third as Rochdale struck early and then two late goals by the Lancashire side killed off any hope of salvaging at least a point.Rochdale 3-0 Huddersfield Town: - Match Report

Town boss Lee Clark made three changes, in came Liam Ridehalgh, Anthony Pilkington and Joe Garner for Joey Gudjonsson, Alan Lee and Gary Roberts, who was out with a broken arm.

Town did start promisingly and threatened first. A smart one-two between Scott Arfield and Pilkington, the former Stockport winger raced away down the right and picked out Garner who forced Josh Lillis, son of former Town favourite Mark Lillis, into a save at the near post. The hosts went one better taking the lead with just 6 minutes gone. A soft decision by the referee in the first place to give the foul, Brian Barry-Murphy's free-kick was met by Craig Dawson and as the ball ricocheted around the Town box, Jason Kennedy stabbed home from close range.

Jordan Rhodes looked to get on to a Garner flick on in the Rochdale penalty area but was nudged by a Dale defender but the referee waved any claims for a Town penalty away.

Referee Mr. Grant Hegley gave Town absolutely nothing in the first half and one of his worst decisions of the night had to be on the 25th minute, when Town broke from a Rochdale corner, As Anthony Pilkington tried to race away clear on goal from the halfway line he was deliberately hacked down by Marcus Holness and the referee didn't even book him.

Rochdale did put bodies on the line, getting men behind the ball as Town looked in search of an equalizer. Graham Carey had a shot blocked and Arfield drove a 25-yard shot just wide of the post.

Garner was receiving a bit of a battering by the Dale defence in the first half but the referee chose to turn a blind eye and Arfield went down in the area after his shirt was being pulled but waved away any claims.

As the half drew to a close Joe Thompson beat Jamie McCombe for pace but Town keeper Alex Smithies turned his shot round the post.

Early in the second half, Rochdale's Josh Thompson, on loan from Celtic had a header cleared off the line from a Dale corner but the referee had judged the defender to be climbing over McCombe.

Arfield's blocked shot was then put over by Rhodes, Carey struck a dipping free-kick just over the bar and seconds later his drive across the face of goal was dying to have been just stabbed into the back of the net.

It was one-way traffic for long periods with Rochdale attacks few and far between. Peltier and Pilkington were working well together down the right flank.

McCombe was left frustrated (like the travelling Town fans were) when he swept Pilkington's free-kick towards goal only to be denied by Lillis.

On the rare occasion in the second half Rochdale got forward, winger Matt Done found the unmarked Gary Jones who headed wide from around 10 yards out.

Town were just lacking in the final third, getting into great areas but either the crosses were over-hit or good balls into the box saw no one connecting.

Good work down the right again from Peltier and Pilkington saw Peltier smash the ball into the side netting. Peltier was again involved after beating his man down the right before playing a low pass into the box for Garner, the on-loan Nottingham Forest striker smashed the ball towards goal only to see Lillis pulling off a magnificent save to keep Dale in front.

Rochdale sub Matthew Flynn's first contribution of the game saw his header tipped over the bar by Smithies and the resulting corner saw Dawson fire wide. Seconds later Town's on-loan midfielder Damien Johnson fired wide from 25-yards.

Peltier's overlapping run once again saw Lillis deny Garner from close range but Rochdale put the final nail in the coffin to any Town's hope of salvaging a point. Sub Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro beat McCombe and chipped the ball over the diving Smithies and into the net.

At this point with passions running high, the Rochdale captain, Gary Jones, decides to celebrate in front of the Town fans and mouth off. Lets have a whip round for the bald average League One (at best) player and buy him a Tony Blackburn-style toupee or a nice wig for Christmas to cover his baldness.

Within a minute of Akpa Akpro scoring Chris O'Grady, no relation to the TV chat show host Paul O'Grady, rounded Smithies to crown a miserable day for Huddersfield Town.

Two defeats within four days. Bristol Rovers visit the Galpharm on Saturday in a match Town must return to winning ways in order to keep up with the chasing pack. Dropped to 8th in League One but still a long way to go.

Sean's Star Man - Anthony Pilkington
Not quite as good as when he first arrived but there were glimpses against Rochdale. Never gave up throughout the 90 minutes and linked well with Lee Pelier down the right flank, always willing to take on his man and get crosses into the box. Vital that Pilks keeps it up with Gary Roberts being out of action for six weeks.


Rochdale: Lillis, Josh Thompson, Holness, Dawson, Goodall (Flynn 68), Brian-Barry Murphy, G Jones, Kennedy, Joe Thompson (Akpa Akpro 85), O'Grady, Done (Smalley 76).
Unused subs: Tutte, R Jones, Elding.

Town: Smithies, Peltier, P Clarke, McCombe, Ridehalgh (Lee 88), Pilkington, Carey, Johnson, Arfield, Rhodes (Novak 62), Garner.
Unused subs: Bennett, Kay, Gudjonsson, Atkinson.

Referee: Grant Hegley (Hertfordshire)
Attendance: 6,121


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