Huddersfield Town 0-1 Bristol Rovers: - Report

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 02/10/2010
Sat in my seat at the Galpharm Stadium on a mild September Saturday before the match I wondered which Huddersfield Town team was going to show up today. The team that demolish teams and look like scoring on every attack or the team that have most of the possession but couldn't score if they played all night, unfortunately the latter turned up as Town were beaten by a single goal in the dying moments by Bristol Rovers, their first victory in Huddersfield in over 20 years.Huddersfield Town 0-1 Bristol Rovers: - Report

To make matters worse Jamie McCombe was sent off for after receiving two bookings and will miss the Johnstone's Paint Trophy match against Peterborough United on Tuesday night.

Three defeats on the bounce conceding five goals and no goals in reply. This time last year we were scoring goals for fun even with added fire power this season it is simply baffling.

Terriers boss Lee Clark resisted to make any changes from the 3-0 defeat at Rochdale and stuck with the same line-up for the first time since August. Alex Smithies and Scott Arfield are due to meet up with the England U21s and Scotland U21s this week respectively.

Left-winger Graham Carey's free-kick after just 60 seconds gave Joe Garner a chance but the on-loan Nottingham Forest striker headed wide.
Jordan Rhodes looked to be through on goal from Anthony Pilkington's pass but a well-timed tackle from Rovers centre-back Byron Anthony denied Town's top scorer.

Scott Arfield didn't have his shooting boots on as he blasted the ball high and over with 11 minutes gone and skipper Peter Clarke couldn't get clean contact on Carey's corner and keeper Mikkel Andersen easily swept up any danger.

Rovers had their chances too and really should have gone ahead through Jo Kuffour. The former Bournemouth striker who once turned down a chance to move to Town under Andy Ritchie, left the entire Town defence flat-footed as all four defenders chased the pacey striker (like a scene from the Benny Hill) but luckily for Town he drilled horribly wide with Smithies just to beat.

The half drew to a close with neither side really testing the goal.

Just after the break John Akinde almost caught Town out as he flicked Gary Sawyer's cross just wide before Will Hoskins brought out a smart save from Smithies.

With only 52 minutes gone Clark took off both of his strikers Rhodes and Garner and threw on Alan Lee and Lee Novak to try open the game up. Garner looked out of sorts and Rhodes has seemed to have lost his confidence in the last few games.

Three minutes later good work by Pilkington down the right and his picked out Carey at the back post with a lovely dinked cross but the on-loan Celtic man blasted way high over the bar from six yards out.

Town huffed and puffed but it looked as though it was going to be one of those afternoons again. Practically identical to the Rochdale game on Tuesday night, most the possession but lacked the cutting edge in the final third.

From a corner Clarke's effort somehow stayed out and from the resulting corner Clarke again flung himself at the ball only to end up in the back of the net instead of the ball. Lee Peltier swung in a cross after good work down the right but Clarke's header was straight at Andersen and Arfield's effort dipped over the bar.

The best chance came when Peltier produced another centre and found Lee, his powerful header was brilliantly tipped away to safety by Andersen.

With a minute to go, McCombe, who had been booked in the first half for a challenge on Akinde, was shown a second yellow after pulling back Hoskins as he raced away.

Things go worse for Town, with a draw looking likely in the dying seconds of the match, Hoskins latched on to a long ball, cut in from the left and with his right foot produced a sweetly struck curling effort from the angle of the box that gave Smithies no chance.

The final whistle went and Town were booed off by the 12,000 in the crowd.

Town have not dropped to 11th in npower League One but are still only 7 points off top spot. The goal difference has took a dent in the past week or so now with only +1 goal difference to show for it and with the firepower Town have at their disposer, the lack of goals is worrying. The next two league games are not going to be easy, Colchester United away next Saturday and Southampton at home the week after, Colchester hasn't been a happy hunting ground for Town and if Town slip to another defeat, Southampton at home could make or break Town's fight to stay with the chasing pack. Town have high expectations after making the play-offs last season and with the finances made available by Dean Hoyle and maybe the pressure is getting both manager and players.

Sean's Star Man - Lee Peltier
Did well second half after a bit of a dodgy first half with some neat touches and some good crosses into the box. Linked up well again with Pilkington. To be honest no one really stood out so it was difficult who to give the man of the match to.


Town: Smithies, Peltier, McCombe, P Clarke, Ridehalgh, Pilkington, Arfield (Gudjonsson 76), Johnson, Carey, Rhodes (Lee 52), Garner (Novak 52).
Subs not used: Bennett, Kay, Croft, Atkinson.

Bristol Rovers: Andersen, Regan (Tunnicliffe 83), Anthony, Coles, Sawyer, Hoskins, Lines, Campbell, Hughes, Akinde (Brown 74), Kuffour.
Subs not used: Green, Blizzard, Reece, Richards, Swallow.

Referee: Karl Evans (Manchester)
Attendance: 12,344


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