Match Report: Huddersfield Town 2-0 Exeter City

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 25/02/2012
Simon Grayson got off to the best possible start as Huddersfield Town manager as The Terriers secured a comfortable win over Exeter City at the Galpharm Stadium.Match Report: Huddersfield Town 2-0 Exeter City

Defender Jamie McCombe opened the scoring just before the break and Jordan Rhodes precise shot, his 30th goal of the season, wrapped up all three points for Town.

The visitors were a well organised side who at times passed the ball well but rarely had enough in the final third to trouble Alex Smithies in the Town goal.

Grayson, who was appointed as the new Town boss on Monday, made no changes to the side that lost to Sheffield United eleven days earlier. There was though a surprise inclusion on the bench as midfielder Joey Gudjonsson made the starting 16 for the first time this season. Also was on the bench was Antony Kay at the expense of Calum Woods and Kallum Higginbotham.

The visitors were the first to have a chance with barely a minute played. David Noble hit a powerful 30 yard free-kick that flashed wide of Smithies' post after Oscar Gobern had fouled Liam Sercombe.

Alan Lee should have really put on Town in front on 3 minutes when Danny Ward put in on a plate for the striker with a superb cross from the right flank but the big striker glanced his header wide of Arthur Krysiak's goal.

Smithies, making his 100th League start of the club, was alert to deny Exeter the lead twice in as many minutes as Jake Taylor and Sercombe both tested the Town goalkeeper with efforts from outside the area.

The Exeter defence denied Ward of two chances on goal as Billy Jones and James Dunne threw themselves in front of efforts by the winger.

Daniel Nardiello had a tame shot that was easily gathered by Smithies but the Town stopper had his hands stung by a rasping shot by Noble before being cleared by Morrison.

At the other end Krysiak denied Rhodes' header after a smart cross by Jack Hunt with the rebound evading Alan Lee which allowed the Exeter defence to clear.

With 5 minutes to go before the break Town took the lead through defender Jamie McCombe. James Dunne fouled Ward on the left flank and the winger took the free-kick himself putting in a excellent cross that found the head of McCombe who glanced the ball into the far corner of the net.

Midfielder Anton Robinson drilled a shot harmlessly over the bar from 30 yards after collecting the ball from Gobern on 53 minutes and Ward cut inside Sercombe before flashing a shot wide of Krysiak's goal.
Ward was showing the kind of form that he was showing during his loan spell last season. His pace and trickery was giving the Exeter full-back all sorts of problems.

With just under half an hour to go Lee Novak was brought on for Alan Lee and Joey Gudjonsson was given his first appearance of the season replacing Robinson. The Icelandic international looked as though he would never play for Huddersfield Town under Lee Clark's management and he was cheered by the Town fans as he entered the field of play.

Novak was close to making an immediate impact when he turned Scot Bennett and hit a powerful shot from 20 yards that flew just over the bar.

With 20 minutes left Rhodes had thought he had sealed the win only to be ruled out for offside by the linesman. Ward went close again drilling a shot across goal which Krysiak diverted away as Rhodes was ready to pounce and seconds later Novak's cross from the right flank saw Rhodes fail to connect properly with the ball.

Gobern was linking up play nicely in the second half after a bit of a woeful first half and Sean Morrison looked solid as a rock in the Town defence with excellent positioning and anticipation.

With just over 5 minutes remaining Rhodes wrapped up all three points for Town with his 30th goal in all competitions. Gobern broke down an Exeter attack and fed the ball to Novak, the substitute laid the ball into the path of Rhodes just inside the Exeter penalty and Town's top scorer found the net with a crisp shot that hit the woodwork on its way into the net.

It wasn't exactly a vintage performance by The Terriers but as manager Simon Grayson said in his post-match comments at this stage of the season all that matters is getting all three points.

Up next for Town is an away trip to mid-table Bury.

Sean's Star Man - Danny Ward
As stated earlier he is showing the form that he was showing during his loan spell last season. Put in some superb crosses into the box and his pace and trickery tore the Exeter full-back inside out.


Town: Smithies, Naysmith, Morrison, McCombe, Hunt, Roberts (Cadmarteri 83), Gobern, Robinson (Gudjonsson 65), Ward, Rhodes, Lee (Novak 65).
Subs not used: Bennett, Kay.

Exeter: Krysiak, Dawson(Logan 61), Coles, Archibald-Henville, Jones, Sercombe (Bauza 71), Dunne, Bennett, Noble, Taylor, Nardiello.
Subs not used: Pidgeley, O'Brien, McNish.

Attendance: 14,105 (238 Exeter fans)
Referee: Mark Heywood.


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