Report: Huddersfield Town 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 08/04/2012
Huddersfield Town are now picking up the pieces as the race for automatic promotion for The Terriers is as good as over after a suffering defeat at the Galpharm Stadium to Yorkshire rivals and promotion-chasing Sheffield Wednesday.Report: Huddersfield Town 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday

Its pretty much certain that Town will have to face the lottery of the play-offs for the third successive season after Wednesday ran out 2-0 winners. Automatic promotion is still mathematical but only a mighty collapse by both Sheffield clubs would give Town the chance.

It was tight affair between the two promotion chasers but Wednesday looked the more likely of the two sides to score and after a tight first half the visitors broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute from a sweetly struck free-kick from defender Migual Llera. Nile Ranger wrapped up all three points for The Owls with just under 20 minutes left as the striker coolly slotted past Alex Smithies.

Town huffed and puffed but as against Sheffield United earlier in the season, failed to give the visitors a real test.

Terriers manager Simon Grayson was forced to make a change from the side that beat Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road on Tuesday night with Jack Hunt suspended after picking up a tenth booking of the season against Orient, Calum Woods started at right back. Alan Lee partnered Jordan Rhodes in attack and Lee Novak played on the right wing with Gary Roberts on the bench.

Looking at our bench minus Ian Bennett, out of Jamie McCombe, Scott Arfield, Roberts and Danny Cadamarteri realistically, in my opinion, only Roberts has the ability to come on and change the game.

The visitors were first to get a punch in as early as the 2nd minute when Smithies tipped Gary Madine's header on to the bar from Michail Antonio's long throw.

Wednesday were dominating the opening proceedings. Jermaine Johnson's surging runs were giving Town a slight worry but Tom Clarke was up to the challenge. The Owls are a team of giants and any crosses into the box were easily dealt with by the Wednesday defenders.

Speaking of Wednesday defenders Llera looks a handy player even though he looks like a rugby player with his skull cap on. Peter Clarke was judged to have fouled Madine 25 yards from goal and the Spaniard took the resulting free-kick which just flew wide of the post.

Danny Ward had Town's first real threat on goal with 32 minutes played. Rhodes neatly laid the ball on for the on-rushing Ward, the winger skipped past Lewis Buxton and Mark Beevers before firing a shot that beat Stephen Bywater but flew across the face of the goal.

With just a minute left of normal first half time on the edge of the visitors penalty area Wednesday's on loan defender Danny Batth received a yellow card for pushing Alan Lee in the chest. Ward took the resulting free kick with a curling effort that flew just over the bar.

Town had the first effort of the first half when Antony Kay headed harmlessly wide from Sean Morrison's long throw but it was the visitors who drew first blood.
Morrison fouled Bathh on the edge of the Town box and with Smithies standing too far over to his right-hand post, Llera bent a free-kick over the well and into the left hand bottom corner of the net for his first Sheffield Wednesday goal since signing on a free from Blackpool in January after a loan spell.

Town heads dropped and Wednesday looked to go in for the kill only to be twice denied by Smithies. Antonio forced Smithies into a low save and the Town keeper reacted smartly to Ranger's rebound effort.

Lee Novak hit a well struck volley straight down the throat of Bywater who had to gather it at the second attempted after Novak had latched on to Rhodes' flick on.

With 65 minutes played Wednesday should have doubled their lead only for Antonio to totally miscue his volley straight into the stand. Chris Lines' through ball evaded the entire Town defender and set Ranger away one-on-one with Smithies but the on-loan Newcastle United striker hit the bar. The rebound fell kindly to Antonio 12 yards from goal but the on-loan Reading winger somehow manage to screw his volley into the Wednesday fans behind the goal.

Sure enough on 71 minutes Wednesday did double their lead. Tom Clarke gave the ball away cheaply on the half way line which allowed Wednesday to break. Antonio sent Ranger away on goal, the striker evaded Tom Clarke's challenge before coolly slotting the ball past Smithies and into the bottom corner.

Rhodes had virtual no service throughout the 90 minutes and the closest Town's top scorer came was in the 82nd minute with a header straight at Bywater from Ward's cross.

Danny Cadamarteri nearly made an instant impact coming off the bench for Lee but the experienced striker could only fire straight at Bywater with a volley on the turn from Kay's flick on.

Town went out on a whimper and the lottery of the play-offs for a third year running beckons for The Terriers as the race for the second automatic promotion slot is now between the two Sheffield clubs.

Sean's Star Man - Sean Morrison
Not a lot to choose from to be honest and picking at the scraps but if I had to choose it would probably be Morrison for his effort despite giving away the free kick that lead to the first goal.


Town: Smithies, Woods, P Clarke, Morrison, T Clarke, Ward, Kay, Arismendi (Arfield 67), Novak (Roberts 67), Rhodes, Lee (Cadamarteri 86).
Subs not used: Bennett, McCombe

Sheffield Wednesday: Bywater, Buxton, Batth, Llera, R Johnson (Beevers 17), J Johnson (Treacy 85), Lines, Semedo, Antonio (Sedgewick 90+5), Ranger, Madine.
Subs not used: Weaver, Lowe.

Attendance: 18,646 (3,975 away fans)
Referee: A Taylor


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