Report: Oldham Athletic 1-0 Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 13/11/2010
Huddersfield Town travelled the short 20-mile journey down to Boundary Park, the home to Oldham Athletic and came back to West Yorkshire pointless after a lacklustre display against The Latics.Report: Oldham Athletic 1-0 Huddersfield Town
Town just never got going and it was down to their 39-year old goalkeeper Ian Bennett that the scoreline wasn't any worse, Oldham's on-loan striker Oumara Tounkara scored the only goal of the game.
The Latics set the stall out from the beginning, sit behind the ball and hit Town on the break which was effective again which has been seen a few times so far this season. Oldham played in the style of manager Paul Dickov when he was a player - fiery, in your face and the art of how to foul and get away with it.

After beating Rotherham United 5-2 in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in midweek the line-up was pretty much the same team except captain Peter Clarke returned to the starting line-up in place of Jamie McCombe and Anthony Pilkington was restored to the starting XI after hamstring trouble. Alan Lee was on the bench after serving his 3-match ban and so too was Gary Roberts, after playing the final 10 minutes against Rotherham, he is slowly returning to full fitness after his arm injury. Alex Smithies is now fit again but manager Lee Clark kept the faith in Bennett between the sticks.

Town started brightly in the opening 15 minutes but after that the Terriers never looked like breaking Oldham's unbeaten home record.

The Latics were first to test the goal but Bennett denied the home side with a smart double save when he kept out Dean Furman's effort and then denied Chris Taylor's follow-up.
Town got out of jail when the ball was whipped across the goal only for Tounkara to co completely make a mess of his kick from six yards.

Town's only serious chance of the match fell to Graham Carey. Anthony Pilkington, who to me did not look match fitness, chipped a teasing cross to the back post and as two Oldham defenders got in the way of each other Carey smashed the ball wide from around ten yards out.

Town had a good penalty shout when a free-kick was floated over from the right wing which saw Peter Clarke blatantly shoved over in the box by an Oldham defender but referee Simon Hooper was having none of it.

Oldham got their noses in front with 24 minutes gone. Furman put Tounkara through on goal with the Town defence nowhere to be seen after Joey Gudjonsson's quickly taken free-kick went badly wrong, Bennett blocked Tounkara's first effort racing out from his goal but the on-loan Sunderland striker got a lucky ricochet and tapped the ball into the empty net.

Furman was influential for The Latics in midfield and Tounkara's pace up front was troubling the Town's defence all afternoon. The tricky Portuguese winger Felipe Morais, a former Chelsea trainee, was causing havoc down the right flank and later left the field to a standing ovation.

Town didn't help themselves, often giving the ball away as the passing was dyer at times. Gudjonsson had is worst game in a Town shirt, his passing was out of sorts and time and time again his corners didn't beat the first man. Lee Peltier looked somewhere else. It said it all for the Town right-back when he let a pass squirm under his foot and out for a throw in on a Town attack with no Oldham player around him.

Bennett was called to the rescue again on 38 minutes when Damien Johnson this time gave the ball away needlessly. Morais fed Tounkara but Bennett produced a superb save to tip the ball out for a corner.

With Town out-of-sorts, Oldham's confidence was rising. Jean-Yves M'voto, another Sunderland loanee, unmarked headed onto the roof of the net before Cedric Evina was denied by Liam Ridehalgh's tackle.

Pilkington limped off just before the break to be replaced by Scott Arfield and so far there is no news on his injury.

Three minutes after the break the livewire Morais set up the unmarked Taylor but the Oldham winger fluffed it in front of goal stabbing wide.

Town threw on Alan Lee at the break in place of the ineffective Jordan Rhodes to try win the aerial battle against Ruben Hazell and M'voto. 99% of the time the ball came into the Oldham half it went straight back up as Benik Afobe and Rhodes never got into the game. Lee's first involvement of the match was to win a free-kick on the edge of the box but Carey failed to get his strike over the wall.

Arfield was trying his best down the wing and produced a good delivery that found Lee but the former Ipswich man could only steer it past the far post.

Roberts was thrown on to replace Carey on 65 minutes as Lee Clark tried to inject some quality into Town's play. Roberts was back to his usually self down the left with his trickery but couldn't bring Town back to life.
Johnson fired away over from a short corner and Lee turned provider but Afobe couldn't keep his header down.

Bennett had to be alert on 74 minutes when Tounkara put Evina away but Bennett managed to beat away Evina's fierce shot.
From the resulting corner M'voto was again unmarked but Johnson headed off the line.

Town never got going at all, one would say a bad day at the office. The passing was woeful and never really tested Dean Brill in the Oldham goal. Oldham weren't really great themselves but overall they did deserve the win as Town just had gaps all over the pitch.
Next up for Town is the FA Cup first round replay at the Galpharm Stadium against Cambridge United, games are now coming thick and fast for the Terriers.

Sean's Star Man - Ian Bennett
There is no doubt that the 39-year old kept Town in the game. It wasn't for his the former Peterborough United goalkeeper the scoreline would have been worse. Two top-class saves and on this performance Smithies will have to work hard to get back into the starting XI.


Oldham: Brill, Lee, Hazell, M'voto, Black, Morais (Jones 80), Furman, Stephens, Evina (Kelly 85), Tounkara, Taylor.
Subs not used: Gerrard, Jacobsen, Jarrett, Brooke, Winchester.

Town: Bennett, Peltier, Kay, P Clarke, Ridehalgh, Pilkington (Arfield 38), Johnson, Gudjonsson, Carey (Roberts 65), Afobe, Rhodes (Lee 45).
Subs not used: Smithies, Garner, McCombe, Atkinson.

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)
Attendance: 7,723

Any feedback about this report, the match or anything else please send to as my terrier-bytes e-mail account is down. Thank you


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