Report - Huddersfield Town 2-2 Barnsley

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 04/05/2013
Huddersfield Town will play in the Championship next season after securing a draw with Yorkshire neighbours Barnsley in what has been described as a "crazy game" at the John Smith's Stadium.Report - Huddersfield Town 2-2 Barnsley

A draw before the game was all Town needed but the point was enough to ensure Barnsley's safety as Peterborough United suffered a defeat at Crystal Palace which meant they fell through the Championship trap door along with Wolves who suffered defeat at Brighton and already relegated Bristol City.

Once the game at Selhurst Park had filtered through the Barnsley manager David Flitcroft told his goalkeeper Luke Steele to keep the ball as the seconds ticked away to the referee blowing the full time whistle. The scenes at the end I'll never see again as both Town and Barnsley fans united in celebration as the chants of "Yorkshire" ran out across all four stands.

Barnsley were up for the game right from the off and Town had to battle back and twice came from behind to secure Championship safety thanks to goals from Jermaine Beckford and player of the year James Vaughan.

Terriers boss Mark Robins, who once spent two years as Barnsley manager, made one change from the side that beat Bristol City a week earlier. Beckford was back from injury and replaced Lee Novak who had a place on the bench.

Barnsley came at Town right from the off and within the first minute Anthony Gerrard had to put the ball behind from a corner as Chris Dagnall was given too much space. Whilst at the other end Adam Clayton's cross was sure to find Beckford only to see Scott Wiseman get in the way to clear the danger.

The visitors took the lead on 14 minutes with a slice of luck as Peter Clarke lost his footing allowing David Perkins to feed in Chris O'Grady who coolly finished from an acute angle.

Town were slow to react in a poor first half display. Jacob Mellis was given space but lucky for Town his cross into the box evaded everyone.

With five minutes to go before the break Town's only noteworthy chance of the first 45 fell to James Vaughan. A long ball up field from Alex Smithies was flicked on by Beckford allowing Vaughan some space but the striker could only fire across goal.

Town needed something in the second half to save their Championship skin and to be fair to Robins his two changes at half time paid dividends. Oscar Gobern and Oliver Norwood came off from for Danny Ward and Keith Southern respectively.

Ward was the catalyst when Town made it all square on 54 minutes. Ward fought for the ball in the middle of the park and played Beckford through on goal, there was only one outcome as Beckford chipped the ball over Luke Steele with ease to put Town level.

Within seconds Alex Smithies had to deny Dagnall with a smart save. The Barnsley striker fired a long range effort that looked to be heading into the bottom corner but Smithies tipped the ball wide at full stretch.

Stephen Dawson was given too much space in the final third but luckily his long range effort was straight down the throat of Smithies.

Barnsley were pressing again and Town looked shaky and two changes by Flitcroft paid off almost immediately. Huddersfield-born Reuben Noble-Lazarus and Jason Scotland came on for Dagnall and Mellis respectively.

Perkins' deflected drive almost found the net but Smithies adjusted superbly to keep the ball from going into the net but the Tykes regained the lead on 74 minutes. O'Grady held the ball up well just outside the left hand side of the Town box and fed through Perkins to the by-line, the midfielder crossed for Scotland to head in from close range.

Robins threw on another striker Lee Novak with ten minutes to go and the striker's persistence lead to a goal within a minute of coming on to the pitch. Novak squared the ball to Vaughan on the edge of the box and with the aid of a deflection Vaughan's shot found the back of the net.

Barnsley weren't going down without a fight and came close on a couple of occasions but news filtered through that Palace had scored in the last minute to go 3-2 up which meant both teams were guaranteed survival.

Sean's Star Man - James Vaughan
Deserved Town's Player of The Year award and working hard throughout the 90 minutes against Barnsley. Committed every game and was that star in Town's fight for survival. Signing him must be a top priority this summer.


Town: Smithies, Woods, Gerrard, P Clarke, Hunt, Scannell (Novak 81), Gobern (Southern 46), Norwood (Ward 46), Clayton, Vaughan, Beckford.
Subs not used: Bennett, Dixon, Wallace, Lee.

Barnsley: Steele, Kennedy, Craine, Wiseman, O'Brien, Mellis (Noble-Lazarus 66), Dawson (Cywka 84), Perkins, Etuhu, O'Grady, Dagnall (Scotland 66).
Subs not used: Alnwick, McNulty, Harewood, Rose.

Referee: Andre Marriner
Attendance: 21,614.


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