Huddersfield Town 0-0 Oldham Athletic: Report

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 12/02/2011
The Pennine derby between Huddersfield Town and Oldham Athletic was a rather feisty affair between the Yorkshire side and the Lancastrians but it was the referee Andy Woolmer who was the biggest talking point of the match.Huddersfield Town 0-0 Oldham Athletic: Report

The experienced Northampton official frustrated both sets of players and fans with some bizarre decisions right throughout the 90 minutes which left Town boss Lee Clark speechless after the match. Oldham, under the stewardship of former Manchester City striker Paul Dickov, has made a side moulded into his own image. As a player Dickov used the oldest tricks in the book to get away with what he could on the pitch and his Oldham team were exactly the same. Physical, hard to beat and an in-your-face team that at times were just outrageous in their challenges and poor Town striker Alan Lee will be nursing a few bruises as he got a right battering from the Oldham defenders.

At the end of the match there were seven cautions but only five were for fouls but some disgraceful challenges, mainly from Oldham, didn't even merit a talking to from Mr Woolmer. To be fair a draw was fair. Neither side created any clear-cut chances.

After just missing out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final in a 3-0 midweek win over Carlisle United (lost 4-3 on aggregate), Town boss put out a full strength squad available to him. Ian Bennett returned in goal to made a landmark 500 appearances, Jack Hunt was at right-back after being cup-tied for the Carlisle match and Gary Naysmith, who also missed that match, slotted in at left-back. Lee Peltier moved into a holding midfield role and Kevin Kilbane returned in midfield alongside Scott Arfied, who was in for Joey Gudjonsson who was missing will illness. Anthony Pilkington and Gary Roberts took the usual flank positions with Alan Lee playing the lone front man.

Oldham were first out the blocks as Ruben Hazell headed wide from a Aiden White cross and the on-loan Sunderland striker Oumare Tounkara, who scored the only goal when the sides met at Boundary Park earlier in the season, fired a low angled shot which was easily held by Bennett in the Town goal.

Town had their first chance with 14 minutes played when Arfield's driving run forward set up Roberts who made a hash of his shot.
Peter Clarke was holding his own at the back against the physical Tounkara who proved to be a handful last time the two sides met.

Pilkington was a thorn in Oldham's side as he was a handful down the right flank linking well with Peltier and getting some decent crosses into the box. Jamie McCombe headed over from a Pilkington free-kick with nearly 30 minutes played.

It was Pilkington who really tested Ben Amos in the Oldham goal who saved well from a fierce Pilkington free-kick on 34 minutes after Tounkara has fouled Peltier 20 yards from goal.

Alan Lee was getting a hammering from former Town loanee Neale Trotman and Hazell as the Town striker was on the receiving end of some cynical fouling and at one point looked as though his head would come off his shoulders when he was sandwiched between the two as they challenged for a header. The former Ipswich man did well to connect to Roberts' corner but failed to hit the target before leaving the field to have staples inserted into a head wound. To be fair to Lee he never gave up despite being pushed from pillar to post.

Hazell's miscued header back to Amos just after the break almost let Lee in but both Amos and Hazell managed to deny the Town striker.

Bennett at the age of 39 still proved he has good reflexes by blocking White's low shot at close range and then Reid made a has of the follow up which was easily cleared off the line by Peter Clarke.

The trickster Filipe Morais was denied smartly by Bennett after a good run down the right and Arfield blasted over after a knock on by McCombe from Peter Clarke's long ball.

With an hour of the game gone Lee Clark decided to pull of Alan Lee in favour for the pacey Danny Cadamarteri and it was Pilkington who came close to break the deadlock.
In the 63rd minute Roberts' corner was cleared but Pilkington swung in a cross which hit the base of the post and bounced away.

Peter Clarke was throwing himself in front of everything to deny Oldham and made a crucial intervention to stop Morias in the 80th minute and in the dying minutes Cadamarteri's cross managed to find its way to Pilkington, who tried an spectacular overhead kick only to see the ball drift wide.

A tough match for the Terriers and a draw was probably a fair result. Never seen a side like Oldham in many of years watching Town, not particular creative nor a team known for their smart passing but a very over-the-top physical team. Next up for Town is a tough trip to Bournemouth who are also riding high in League One.

Sean's Star Man - Anthony Pilkington
Was really Town's main threat to beating Oldham. A lively display from the winger and Oldham found it hard to cope against a player who is having a fantastic season.


Town: Bennett, Hunt, P Clarke, McCombe, Naysmith, Peltier, Arfield, Kilbane, Pilkington, Roberts (Afobe 87), Lee (Cadamarteri 56)
Subs not used: Colgan, Atkinson, Novak, Kay, Chippendale.

Oldham: Amos, Lee, Evina, Hazell, Trotman, White, Furman, Taylor (Jones 76), Reid (Feeney 82), Tounkara, Morias.
Subs not used: Brill, Todd, Abalimba, Black, Winchester.

Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire)
Attendance: 16,176.


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