Report: Huddersfield Town 1-0 Crystal Palace

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 30/01/2013
Huddersfield Town got a vital win against high-flying Crystal Palace at the John Smith's Stadium to end a 12 match winless streak and to ease worries of falling nearer the Championship trapdoor.Report: Huddersfield Town 1-0 Crystal Palace

James Vaughan's goal was enough to seal all three points as caretaker manager Mark Lillis got his game plan spot on.

It was the first league game since the sacking of Simon Grayson and the same team that hadn't won in 12 matches looked totally different under Lillis. The team played with passion and commitment for the whole 90 minutes and played some neat football. Players like Ollie Norwood, shackled by Grayson's system, looked a totally different player to the one he had been over the last couple of months.

Lillis made one change from the side that drew with Leicester City on Saturday in the FA Cup. Neil Danns started replacing Jordan Sinnott who was on the bench after making a positive impression on his Town debut against the Foxes.

Town started off brightly with Adam Clayton's free-kick from midway in the Palace half nearly creeping into the net only for Julian Speroni to fingertip the ball away for a corner.

Danns fired a shot into the ground that was easily gathered by Speroni after good work from Calum Woods down the left and Norwood nearly scored directly from a corner.

Palace could only a fashion a long range effort that went harmlessly over the bar from a Glenn Murray effort. The Palace striker spent more time moaning than he did playing.

A worthy note about Palace was how many times their players dropped to the floor and midfielder Andre Moritz was limping around for most of the first half only to be subbed just before half time. How only 4 minutes was added on at the end of the first half I will never know.

The second half was a bit more even but Town stifled wingers Yannick Bolasie and £15million rated Wilfred Zaha. Jack Hunt's value will have increased after this performance as Zaha was kept quiet by the Town academy graduate.

Palace were reduced to long range effort but Jacob Butterfield unleashed a rasping shot from 25 yards out that hit the side netting and minutes later Alex Smithies denied Butterfield from Jonathan Parr's cross from the left.

Town took the lead on 65 minutes with Vaughan's first goal in 10 matches. The on-loan Norwich striker calmed dispatched into the net under pressure from the defender after a great through ball from Adam Clayton.

Palace were much of the same as the first half and committing fouls that the referee tend to ignore or did not think merited a yellow card even though the same player had committed more than one foul.

Sean Scannell came on for Norwood with 13 minutes left and the former Palace man seems to relish against playing his former club but unfortunately his effort failed to really test Speroni after Town broke from a Palace corner.

Jermaine Beckford came on with just 4 minutes remaining to replace Vaughan but soon went off again injured to be replaced by Alan Lee. The injury is said to be quite bad and the on-loan striker could be out for a while.

In the dying seconds a Palace cross from the left found Bolasie sticking out a leg around 6 yards from goal but Smithies was brave to deny the winger taking a knock for his troubles but what a crucial save.

Things flared up at the end with Alan Lee centre of it all. A former Palace player himself has been accused of elbowing Eagles midfielder Mile Jedinak with just seconds remaining. This sent Palace boss Ian Holloway into a frenzy and it has been said he had to be led away by stadium security staff as he tried to get into the Town dressing room and then went AWOL from the Palace team bus.

Sean's Star Man – Peter Clarke
The captain led by example, excellent positioning throughout and dealt with everything Palace threw at him.

Teams:

Town: Smithies, Woods, P. Clarke, Gerrard, Hunt, Norwood (Scannell 77), Clayton, Arfield, Danns, Novak, Vaughan (Beckford 86) (Lee 90).
Subs not used: Bennett, Woods, Wallace, Sinnott

Palace: Speroni, Richards (Wilbraham 75), Delaney, Ramage, Parr (Easter 74), Jedinak, Mortiz (Williams 45), Butterfield, Bolasie, Zaha, Murray.
Subs not used: Price, Marrow, Moxey, O'Keefe.

Attendance: 13,471
Referee: Boyeson

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