Report: Town 3-3 Bournemouth (4-2 on Penalties)

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 20/05/2011
Oh what a night! Nope not back in December '63 but the thrilling 2nd leg of the play-off semi-final between Huddersfield Town and Bournemouth at the Galpharm Stadium. The match had everything, six goals (two in extra time), a penalty, a red card and the lottery of a penalty shoot-out. While great for any neutrals watching I'm sure shot the nerves of the Town and Bournemouth fans watching.Report: Town 3-3 Bournemouth (4-2 on Penalties)

Lee Peltier put the home side in front before The Cherries' Steve Lovell equalized from the penalty spot but Town were in front on the stroke of half-time through Danny Ward. The visitors didn't crumble and came back thanks to Lovell's second of the match. The visitors took the lead for the first time in extra time through Danny Ings' header but Antony Kay popped up at a Town corner to level the tie yet again. Bournemouth were down to ten men in extra time when defender Jason Pearce received a straight red card for his two-footed challenge on Kevin Kilbane. Into the penalty shoot-out the visitors missed two of the first three penalties before Kay held his nerve to seal Town's trip to Old Trafford a week on Sunday.

Town boss Lee Clark made a few changes from the first leg at Dean Court. Out went Joey Gudjonsson and Scott Arfield in came Jack Hunt and Jordan Rhodes. Hunt's inclusion in the starting XI meant Lee Peltier partnered Kevin Kilbane in centre midfield. Antony Kay kept his place alongside Peter Clarke and Benik Afobe partnered Rhodes up front.

Town were at the visitors right from the off and within 23 seconds Bournemouth keeper Shwan Jalal made a smart save to deny Gary Roberts. The Terriers kept on pressing as the Cherries struggled to get out of their own half, it took a crucial block from Pearce to deny Roberts.

Roberts, with this trickery giving the visitors a headache, curled a shot wide, at the other end Lovell dragged a shot wide after linking up well with Ings. Minutes later Bournemouth's on-loan defender Adam Smith just waltzed through the Town backline and lucky for us Smith's shot flew just wide.

Afobe won a Town corner down the right wing and Roberts' delivery was caught at the second attempt by Jalal but the Bournemouth keeper had to concede another corner to deny Rhodes. From the resulting corner, Roberts' superb delivery found Peltier at the back post who's header went in off the post.

Bournemouth weren't going without a fight when Donal McDermott, scorer of the equalizer down at Dean Court in the first leg, forced a good save out of Town stopper Ian Bennett.

The visitors were soon back on level terms when Liam Feeney was unchallenged down the left resulted in Smith against waltzing into the Town box after exchanging passes with Anton Robinsons which resulted in the on-loan Tottenham defender being brought down by Peter Clarke. Lovell made no mistake from 12 yards as he blasted his shot into the roof of the net.

Rhodes had a chance to put the home side back in front just before the break but Town's top scorer failed to direct his header on target. With seconds of the first half remaining Danny Ward turned on the edge of the Bournemouth box after receiving the ball to lash a fierce shot which found the bottom left-hand corner.

Into the second half Town upped the pressure and should have scored for a third time when Roberts set up Rhodes inside the visitors penalty area but the former Ipswich striker blasted a shot over the bar, while Ward hit a shot straight at Jalal.

It proved costly when Lovell grabbed his second of the match to peg back Town again. McDermott fed Lovell inside the Town box and the striker rounded Bennett before lashing a shot into the roof of the net.

Afobe dodged several challenges but when in a good position the on-loan striker skewed his shot high and Bournemouth's Danny Hollands headed straight at Bennett from a corner.

As the match was drawing to a close Town were going hammer and tong for the winner, Roberts curled a shot wide after cutting in from the right and Ward fired wide from edge of the area.

Into extra time and within seconds a mix-up between Jalal and Shaun Cooper nearly let Afobe capitalize but Jalal did recover to deny the striker and the Bournemouth stopper made a smart save to deny Ward.

The Town fans in the 16,000 crowd fell deadly silent when Bournemouth took the leader for the first time in the match. Former Bradford striker Michael Symes on as a sub burst down the left wing before releasing an inch-perfect cross for the totally unmarked Ings, who planted a header into the bottom corner.

But Town weren't about to give up and hit straight back to level the tie when another Roberts' delivery found Kay at the back post to smash a header into the back of the net just before the end of the first half of extra time.

Into the second half on extra time Town kept on pressing. A reckless challenge from Pearce on Kilbane resulted in a straight red card from referee Swarbrick, who must be noted gave Town little in the first 90.

With seconds remaining Jalal somehow manage to scramble the ball away from his goal after a goal mouth escapade but with the game in deadlock the game turned into a penalty shoot-out.

It was to be Town that was heading to Old Trafford as the Terriers won 4-2 on penalties. All four penalties were sweetly taken as Bournemouth scored their first penalty through Symes, Bennett then denied Feeney after Lee Novak had scored Town's first and when Ward put Town 2-1 in front, Anton Robinson hit the bar. Kevin Kilbane put Town 3-1 up on penalties before Shaun Cooper scored to keep Bournemouth in with a shout. Defender Antony Kay scored the decisive spot kick which resulted in a joyous pitch invasion.

What a game it turned out to be and I'm sure this will go down as one the play-off classics. Awaiting Town now in the final at Old Trafford a week on Sunday is Peterborough United, arguably, the best team I have seen so far at the Galpharm Stadium this season. The Posh beat MK Dons 2-0 last night (4-3 on aggregate) at London Road last night.

Sean's Star Man - Lee Peltier
While they are a few notable players who played well such as Gary Roberts, Antony Kay and Kevin Kilbane, my man-of-the-match does to Lee Peltier. The former Yeovil man revelled in his role in midfield and worked tirelessly with producing some smart challenges to deny Bournemouth's midfield in controlling the game. Football is about a game of opinions.


Town: Bennett, Hunt, P Clarke, Kay, Naysmith, Roberts, Peltier (McCombe 94), Kilbane, Ward, Rhodes (Novak 67), Afobe (Lee 109).
Subs not used: Colgan, Gudjonsson, Cadamarteri, Arfield.

Bournemouth: Jalal, Pearce, Smith, Wiggins, Cooper, Robinson, Feeney, Hollands, McDermott (Pugh 77), Lovell (Symes 95), Ings (Baudry 113).
Subs not used: Thomas, Cummings, Arter, Fletcher.

Referee: N Swarbrick
Attendance: 16,444.


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