Report - Sheffield United 0-3 Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 13/09/2011
Huddersfield Town secured an emphatic win over League One pacesetters Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in which the Blades manager Danny Wilson called the defeat "a reality check" for his side.Report - Sheffield United 0-3 Huddersfield Town

It was an impressive performance by The Terriers in every department and all three goals came in the first half thanks to a Lee Novak brace and Oscar Gobern scored his first goal since signing from Southampton.

The boycott of the match saw only a thousand-plus Town fans make the short trip to South Yorkshire but the performance and victory was well worth the £28.50 entrance fee which I'm sure some that didn't go will be kicking themselves.

Terriers manager Lee Clark made four changes from the side that beat Tranmere Rovers 2-0 at the weekend. Lee Novak was given the nod ahead of Jordan Rhodes to partner Alan Lee in attack, Damien Johnson made his first start since returning from knee surgery to partner Oscar Gobern who returned to the starting line up. Scott Arfield was favoured to play on the right flank ahead of Donal McDermott whilst Danny Ward kept his place on the left.

Town started brightly as Calum Woods' pace to Ward resulted in a cross into the Sheffield box that found Novak but the striker failed to get any real power behind the header and it floated into the hands of keeper Steve Simonsen.

Richard Cresswell tested former Blade Ian Bennett in the Town goal with a low shot after receiving a pass from Neill Collins. Minutes later the former Stoke City striker had another chance after disposing Jack Hunt the striker cut inside from the right but he screwed his shot which flew harmlessly wide.

Gobern very nearly put The Terriers in front on 9 minutes when a long kick from Bennett was flicked on by Lee, Novak helped the bar into the midfielder's path but the former Southampton man drove a low shot wide.

Lee Williamson tried to be clever and chip Ian Bennett from the edge of the Town box but the ball landed on the roof of the net and at the other end Novak hit a shot over the bar.

But it was the former Gateshead striker that put Town in the lead bang on the 20 minute mark. Arfield's pass to Ward saw the winger strike a 25-yard effort which Simonson in the Blades goal couldn't handle and Novak was there for the follow up to notch his 6th goal of the season.

The formation and player selection was looking a shrewd move by Terriers as Gobern and Johnson were working well in the midfield, the latter looked like he'd never been away. Antony Kay and John McCombe were throwing themselves in front of everything that came into the Town half.

Alan Lee headed straight at Simonsen after good work down the left by Woods and at the other end McCombe pulled off a superb tackle to deny The Blades a chance at goal and minutes later Kay was positioned well to deny Cresswell a chance after good work by Chris Porter.

Porter himself had a great chance to put United back on level terms with 36 minutes place. Nathan Lowton made a good run down Town's left side and his cut back into the area was hit wide at the near post by Porter from ten yards out.

Seconds later Porter's miss was punished when Lee Novak scored his second of the match to take his tally to seven for the season. Gobern was fouled just inside the Sheffield half and Hunt's long delivery into the area found Lee and when Arfield pumped the ball back across goal there was Novak waiting to slot the ball into the net from close range.

And just minutes later Town netted a third through Oscar Gobern which near enough killed the game off within the first 45 minutes. Arfield won a corner down the right and Ward's delivery found Gobern at the far post to power in a header for his first goal in Town colours.

A minute before the break The Terriers were unlucky not to extend their lead to 4-0 when Marcus Williams, making his debut for The Blades on loan from Reading, was on hand to clear McCombe's header off the line from a Ward corner.

Danny Wilson made two changes during the break, striker Ched Evans and midfielder Kevin McDonald came on for Porter and Williamson.

Evans was in the thick of the action right away winning a free kick on the edge of the Town box. The striker took the free-kick himself but Bennett was equal to the shot, diving to his left to parry away the ball and McCombe did enough to put Cresswell off as he fired wide from the follow up.

The Blades played some neat football at times but Town were determined to keep the clean sheet as The Terriers blunted the Blades battling for every ball.

United, probably with words Danny Wilson said at the break ringing in their ears, came out of the blocks in the second half and it seemed as though the referee was determined to help the home side back in the game. Time and time again he gave soft decisions to the home side and gave very little to Town.

Danny Ward had a long range effort that flew over the bar after he cut inside from the right and Alan Lee went on an amazing run skipping past two United defenders before hitting a 25 yard shot that flew inches over the bar.

The Blades were pressing on the Town goal and the right-back Lawton was unlucky when he cut in from the right and hit a low curled effort not too far wide of Bennett's far post.

Woods did well down the left flank and his cross saw Lee hit a low volley just wide and Bennett did superbly minutes later to deny Evans. The Welsh striker broke away from the Town defence but the on the rushing Bennett got down well to deny the striker.

As the game ticked away Johnson chip a shot straight into the hands of Simonsen and Ward send another snapshot wide of goal.

McDonald had a good strike pushed away by Bennett and in the last few minutes the veteran goalkeeper denied Cresswell once again after some good work from Mendez-Laing.

It was an impressive performance by Town and will be a night to saviour for the fans who made the trip. Some particularly performances to note, Bennett was outstanding in the Town goal, Kay and McCombe looked solid as a rock at the back, Johnson looked like he'd never been away in midfield and Gobern was as equally impressive. Novak and Lee worked hard all match in attack.

Sean's Star Man - Ian Bennett
So many players had a good game in a solid team performance, it was hard to choose but my pick goes to Ian Bennett. The veteran goalkeeper made some superb saves and dealt with every United threw at him with such ease.


Sheffield United: Simonsen, Lawton, Collins, Maguire, Williams, Flynn (Mendez-Laing 72), Williamson (McDonald 46), Doyle, Quinn, Cresswell, Porter (Evans 46).
Subs not used: Parrino, Long.

Town: Bennett, Woods, Kay, McCombe, Hunt, Ward, Gobern, Johnson, Arfield (Robinson 68), Novak (Rhodes 71), Lee.
Subs not used: Colgan, Roberts, Cooper.

Attendance: 17,373 (1,549 Town fans)
Referee: G Salisbury.


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