Walsall 2-4 Huddersfield Town: Report

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 15/01/2011
Walsall 2-4 Huddersfield Town: Report Huddersfield Town crept up to 2nd place in the npower League One after a thrilling 4-2 win against struggling Walsall at the Bescott Stadium.
After going a goal behind and being pegged back early in the second half, the Terriers struck twice late in the second half to bring back all three points to West Yorkshire.

It a hard fought win against a side desperate for survival, although Town stuttered at times, the best is yet to come from the Terriers and even the manager Lee Clark has admitted that himself.

After edging past 9 men with a 3-2 victory on Tuesday night at the Galpharm Stadium, manager Clark changed to a 4-3-3 system. In came Jamie McCombe and Alan Lee, Antony Kay was pushed into midfield with top-scorer Jordan Rhodes on the bench along with Gary Roberts.

Town fell behind as early as the 14th minute. Will Grigg's lay-off saw Alex Nicholls' drive go straight through goalkeeper Alex Smithies to put the Saddlers in front.

Minutes later a Town mix-up involving McCombe and Smithies almost resulted in Grigg capitalising.

Walsall threw everything at Town but on-loan midfielder Kevin Kilbane grabbed a goal out of nothing to draw The Terriers level.
Former Town defender Andy Butler misplaced his pass which the Hull loanee capitalised on, Kilbane easily went past Manny Smith and rounded keeper David Bevan to slot the ball into the empty net.

The game turned on its head when on 25 minutes Town went ahead through Jamie McCombe. The big defender rose highest from Anthony Pilkington's corner at the far post to notch his 6th goal of the season since joining from Bristol City in the summer.

It was harsh on the Saddlers as the relegation-threatened side easily matched the promotion-chasing Town.

Lee Novak should have scored seconds later but miscued his kick with the goal gapping at his mercy.
The Town midfield began to take control but Walsall's Jon Macken wasted a decent opportunity to draw the Saddlers level and in first-half injury time Ben Marshall struck a free-kick straight at Alex Smithies.

Just two minutes into the second half Walsall drew level thanks to Matt Richards. Peter Clarke fouled Grigg on the edge of the area and Richards' free-kick from 20-yards deflected off the wall and into the net with Smithies rooted to the spot.

Walsall pressed in search of taking the lead with winger Julian Gray causing problems with his trickery and flashed an angled drive across the face of the goal before Macken headed over.

Jordan Rhodes replaced Alan Lee with just over 20 minutes to go but Walsall were on top and Smithies saved another Richards free-kick.

Bevan in the Walsall goal was rarely tested during the second 45 but out of the blue Town took the lead on 77 minutes.
Gary Roberts' corner was headed back across goal by Anthony Kay and Peter Clarke scored at the far post with an overhead kick from around 6 yards out. A rare moment in Town colours.

Rhodes sealed the win in the 90th minute, the Walsall defence was all at sea and Rhodes was allowed time and space to control Roberts' cross and nearly dispatch past Bevan to fire Town in 2nd place.


Walsall: Bevan, Westlake, Smith, Butler, Lescott, Nicholls (Patterson 82), Marshall, Richards, Gray, Grigg, Macken.
Subs not used: McDonald, McGivern, Geddes, Jones, Walker.

Town: Smithies, Peltier, P Clarke, McCombe, Kadar (Ridehalgh 41), Pilkington, Kay, Kilbane, Arfield, Lee (Rhodes 71), Novak (Roberts 46).
Subs not used: Bennett, Gudjonsson, T Clarke, Atkinson.

Referee: Phil Crossley (Kent)
Attendance: 3,827


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