Report: Tranmere Rovers 1-1 Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 29/01/2012
Huddersfield Town were lucky to come away with a point from Prenton Park as the home side Tranmere Rovers should have really took all three points as The Terriers laboured throughout the 90 minutes.Report: Tranmere Rovers 1-1 Huddersfield Town

From the first whistle to the last Town just simply never got going. The first half simply consisted of Town booting the ball high up field and in the second half the passing was woeful and Town didn't really press the home side.

Tranmere have three clear cut chances in the first half but missed all three but it was Town that took the lead early in the second half through Jordan Rhodes but were pegged back immediately through Tranmere's Adam McGurk.

There were four changes from the Town team that beat Brentford 3-2 in front of the Sky cameras. Lee Novak was back from injury to partner Rhodes in attack, Damien Johnson went straight into the starting XI in favour of Tommy Miller, Danny Cadamarteri also started because of injury to Gary Roberts and the surprise change was Peter Clarke being dropped altogether which meant Sean Morrison made his first start for Town after joining on loan from Reading in midweek. Another positive note was the return of goalkeeper Alex Smithies to the Town bench.

A scrappy first half which saw both sides just booting the ball up in the air but early on a Town free-kick from the right taken by Danny Ward caused a bit of a scramble in the Tranmere penalty area but Ian Goodison managed to header the ball back to former Town goalkeeper Paul Rachubka, who is on-loan at Tranmere from Leeds United.

Tranmere's John Welsh took a quick free-kick caught Town by surprise but Adam McGurk's shot flew harmlessly over the bar with six minutes played. Another quickly taken free-kick minutes later resulted in the same scenario but the referee seemed intent on giving the home side free-kicks for nothing fouls which resulted in the ball bobbling around the Town penalty area but Damien Johnson was there with some important blocks to deny the home side.

Tranmere were turning the screw and should have taken the lead with just 14 minutes played. Welsh's cross from the right evaded Jamie McCombe and striker Mustafa Tiryaki missed the target from close range with the goal begging at his mercy.

A minute later a Town attack saw Rhodes' volley fly over the bar from Jack Hunt's cross after good work between the right-back, Cadamarteri and Oscar Gobern. Rhodes had little service all afternoon and it looked as though the home side were the most likely to score.

Another glorious chance went begging for Tranmere with 20 minutes played. Morrison showed good anticipation to steal the ball away from Tiryaki but a heavy touch allowed the striker to nick the ball from the defender and his low cross from the Town left found Martin Devaney but his first time shot hit the side netting rather than back of the net.

James Wallace, the midfielder on-loan from Everton, hit a long range effort straight at Ian Bennett and Tiryaki had two shots that were wayward, one flew over the bar and his ambitious 30 yard free-kick did the same.

Town's attack was limited during the first half and it summed it up when Danny Ward surging run cutting in from the left miss-controlled the ball on the edge of the Tranmere box as the winger was about to shoot.

With just over five minutes to go the break the home side squandered a third good chance to take the lead. Novak was dispossessed in the centre circle, David Buchanan sent Devaney away down the left and his low cross was misjudged by Morrison but luckily for him former Town trainee Lucas Akins could only fire wide.

With a minute to go before the break Town's captain for the day Gary Naysmith was on hand to head away McGurk's free-kick at the far post when it looked as though Akins was about to have a chance on goal.

It looked as though Lee Clark's words at half time sparked Town into life as Morrison headed wide from Johnson's corner kick but The Terriers took the lead on 49 minutes when Jordan Rhodes struck his 29th goal of the season.
Hunt's deep cross from the right found Cadamarteri at the far post and his lay-off to Rhodes was perfect as the striker made no mistake from around 7 yards out.

Town immediately made a substitution when Danny Ward came off for Tom Clarke and within seconds Tranmere were back on level terms.
Devaney found space down the Town left and his cross towards the back post found McGurk who lost his marker Tom Clarke to plant a header past Bennett to level things up.

Alan Lee replaced Lee Novak on 62 minutes but he would no sooner pick up a knock and had to be substituted 18 minutes later but have to give credit to the striker he tried his best to run off the injury.

Hunt's tame volley from Cadamarteri's cross flew straight into the arms of Rachubka and another Town attack saw Morrison break forward but his low cross from just inside the right side of the penalty area was gathered well by the Tranmere goalkeeper.

The referee turned a blind eye to Ian Goodison's fouling. The Tranmere defender gave Alan Lee a knee in his back as they both went for an aerial challenge and Jack Hunt got a boot in the stomach as Goodison cleared his lines.

A rare mistake by Ian Bennett nearly lead to a Tranmere goal on 78 minutes when Devaney's low drive was spilled by the veteran goalkeeper but luckily for Town and Bennett the ball trickled wide of the post.

With the match heading towards 90 minutes Tranmere nearly snatched the win through sub Latif Elford-Alliyu. A deflected pass fell into the path of Elford-Alliyu and the Tranmere man rounded Bennett and when it looked as though the winger would stroke the ball into an empty net Tom Clarke got in a vital block to deny Tranmere a certain goal.

Town's draw with Tranmere meant Charlton move 9 points clear at the top of League One but it was a disappointing display by The Terriers and we were really fortunate to come away with a point as Tranmere should have really took all three. We created little throughout the 90 minutes and up next is a home fixture with another side chasing promotion – MK Dons.

Sean's Star Man – Jamie McCombe
I thought McCombe has a decent game and never really put a foot wrong. Dealt with what Tranmere threw at him. Also should be noted that Sean Morrison's looks a good signing.


Tranmere: Rachubka, Holmes, Goodison, McChrystal, Buchanan, Akins, Welsh, Wallace, Devaney (Brunt 85), Tiryaki, McGurk (Elford-Alliyu 73).
Subs not used: Weir, Taylor, Coughlin.

Town: Bennett, Naysmith, Morrison, McCombe, Hunt, Ward (T Clarke 50), Gobern, Johnson, Cadamarteri, Novak (Lee 62) (Robinson 80), Rhodes.
Subs not used: Smithies, Miller.

Referee: Trevor Kettle.
Attendance; 5,851


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