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18:34 13th February 2010

Report: Huddersfield 2 Town 2

Danny Wilson promised it would be a 'cracking game', and Town and Huddersfield did not disappoint as they produced a riveting encounter at The Galpharm Stadium. It was The Terriers who made the stronger start, as they took control of possession from the outset and took a deserved lead in the eighth minute with a goal from Peter Clarke. The centre half turned Simon Ferry on the left wing and surged into the box unchallenged before driving in a firm cross which was deflected past Lucas in the Town goal for 1-0 to The Terriers. However, the home fans' celebrations were short lived as Town were back on level terms within a minute with Charlie Austin's 12th goal of the season. Skipper Gordon Greer sprayed the ball wide to the left wing where Danny Ward controlled it well and crossed swiftly for Austin, who met the ball purposefully and powered the header home to equalise for Town at the first opportunity. The pace of the game then decreased considerably as both the crowd and the teams took stock after what was a hectic opening 20 minutes. After a brief spell of pressure from the hosts, Town then took the lead through the impressive Danny Ward. A long ball forward was controlled well by Paynter, who rolled it wide to Ward, who still had a considerable amount do, but did it with aplomb; cutting inside the full-back neatly and rolling the ball into the near corner past Alex Smithies. The home side then fought back as had Town in the early stages of the game, and could have equalised through both Neal Trotman and Antony Kay who were denied by a mixture of Lucas and a coat of paint on the crossbar. Town then began to look more assured in possession and enjoyed a 10 minute period of dominance which created an amount of unrest among the expectant home support. However they always looked susceptible to the hosts' confident strike force, and could have gone in behind had it not been for Lucas' sharp reactions - the fit-again stopper keeping out close range headers from both Novak and Clarke late on in the half. Unsurprisingly, Huddersfield came out with all guns blazing in the second half and got exactly what they wanted when Antony Kay powered a near post corner past Lucas to equalise within five minutes of the restart. They could have gone in front through a powerful Anthony Pilkington volley, but Lucas did well to push the ball wide for yet another corner - from which the hosts were looking increasingly dangerous. The game moved from one way traffic towards more of an ebb and flow as Town introduced Vincent Pericard and began to keep the ball for longer periods than they had earlier in the half. However as the half wore on, it was still the hosts who looked the most threatening, winning corner after corner and keeping Town on the back foot as they endeavoured to keep possession and take the sting out of the game. Lee Clark's side continued to throw caution to the wind in search of a crucial victory, and went close through Theo Robinson and their first goal scorer Peter Clarke whose back post header was cleared off the line by Craig Easton. However, despite their second half pressure, The Terriers could not find a way through Town's dogged defence, and Danny Wilson will be delighted to have come away from a hard fought match with what could prove to be a vital point in the League One play-off shake up. HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 2 (Clarke '7, Kay '50) SWINDON TOWN 2 (Austin '8, Ward '27) Huddersfield Town: Alex Smithies; Lee Peltier, Neal Trotman, Peter Clarke (Capt.), Dean Heffernan; Anthony Pilkington, Antony Kay, Michael Collins, Gary Roberts; Lee Novak, Jordan Rhodes (Robinson '78) Substitutes: Simon Eastwood (GK), Krystian Pearce, Tom Clarke, Danny Drinkwater, Nathan Eccleston, Robbie Simpson, Theo Robinson Swindon Town: David Lucas; Kevin Amankwaah, Gordon Greer (Capt.), Scott Cuthbert, Lecsinel Jean-Francois; Jon-Paul McGovern, Simon Ferry (Easton '74), Jonathan Douglas, Danny Ward; Charlie Austin (Pericard '63), Billy Paynter Substitutes: Phil Smith (GK), Sean Morrison, Vincent Pericard, Matt Ritchie, Craig Easton, Michael Timlin, Mark Marshall Bookings: Amankwaah '39 Referee: S J Rushdon Attendance: 14,610 (443 away) The key moments from today's game are as follows...... 1.55pm - The teams are in. David Lucas replaces Phil Smith in goal having recovered from a groin injury, while new signing Matt Ritchie takes his place on the bench alongside Vincent Pericard. 2.05pm - Former British Lions coach Steve Black, now a member of the Huddersfield Town backroom team, casts an eagle eye over The Galpharm Stadium playing surface ahead of what Lee Clark believes could be 'a great spectacle' this afternoon. 2.20pm - The teamsheets arrive with Huddersfield naming Lee Novak and former Ipswich striker Jordan Rhodes in the frontline. Theo Robinson is named amongst the substitutes, alongside Liverpool loanee Nathan Eccleston. 2.40pm - Home fans begin to filter into The Galpharm Stadium as we move closer to kick-off in what will be a pulsating promotion six-pointer. Numerous 'STFC' adorned St George's Crosses are unfurled across the empty seats in the away end. 2.50pm - The Terriers' cheerleaders begin a curious and unnecessarily dangerous pre-match dance routine, the centrepiece of which is the throwing of a terrified looking 10-year old girl into the air to the dulcet tones of 'God is a DJ' by Faithless. 3pm - The match kicks off with Town shooting towards the home fans in The Fantastic Media stand. 3.03pm - The first chance of the game falls to The Terriers, as Anthony Pilkington spins past Lecsinel Jean-Francois and crosses well for Lee Novak, whose near post flick flies wide of David Lucas' goal. 3.07pm - GOAL! The home side take the lead with a goal from Terriers skipper Peter Clarke. The centre half did well to beat Simon Ferry on the left and surged into the box where his cross was deflected past David Lucas and into the net to give the hosts a deserved early lead. 3.09pm - GOAL! Town hit straight back with a goal from Charlie Austin. Gordon Greer swept a free kick out to Danny Ward on the left, who swung in a tempting cross for Austin, and the striker bulleted home the header from close range for his 12th of the season. 3.13pm - A lovely move from Town ends with JP McGovern curling in a left footed cross for Billy Paynter, who connects with the header well but can't beat Terriers 'keeper Alex Smithies who collects the ball comfortably. Danny Wilson's side beginning to settle in the game now after a shaky start. 3.19pm - The game moves into something of a lull after a frantic opening 20 minutes. 3.27pm - GOAL! Town in front through Danny Ward. Billy Paynter controlled the ball well and slid it wide to Ward, who cut inside, feigned to shoot in the far corner, but rolled the ball calmly into the near side of the net. A great finish from the youngster and a deserved lead for Town. 3.28pm - Huddersfield could have equalised as quickly as Town as a header from Preston loanee Neal Trotman is saved well by Lucas, and then a powerful volley from Antony Kay brushes the bar and goes over. The game comes to life again. 3.31pm - Another Terriers corner is swung into the box, and Kevin Amankwaah's mistimed header drops to Jordan Rhodes, who turns well but skews his volley into the side netting. 3.39pm - Lucas pulls off a stunning near post save to deny a glancing header from Clarke. However the stopper's impressive reactions are rendered unnecessary as the lineman's flag in raised. An excellent stop nonetheless. 3.42pm - The ball bounces through to Gary Roberts, who pokes in Lee Novak, but the striker hooks the ball wide when one on one with Lucas. 3.45pm - Another fine reaction save from Lucas, as Novak's glancing header is turned over the bar by Town's number one. 3.45pm - A neat turn and snap shot from Billy Paynter is saved smartly by Smithies. HALF TIME Huddersfield Town 1 Town 2 4.05pm - The second half kicks off. 4.10pm - GOAL! The hosts are back on terms with a goal from Antony Kay, who attacked a near post corner from Gary Roberts, and powered the ball past Lucas. Exactly the start to the second half Town did not want. 4.12pm - Anthony Pilkington hits a stinging volley from 20 yards out, and Lucas does well to palm it wide. The hosts are well and truly on top here. 4.13pm - Another corner comes into the Town box, and Peter Clarke's volley from 10 yards out is hacked off the line by Simon Ferry. 4.22pm - SUBSTITUTION: Vincent Pericard replaces Charlie Austin in what is the first real chance for the new signing to shine. 4.29pm - A mistimed header from Greer drops to Lee Novak, who lets fly with a 20 yard volley, which Lucas does well to help over the bar. 4.35pm - SUBSTITUTION: Craig Easton is on to replace Simon Ferry for Town. 4.37pm - Kay takes a pot shot from 25 yards, which is deflected and loops narrowly over. The referee gives a goal kick, much to the polite displeasure of the home fans and management. 4.39pm - SUBSTITUTION: Jordan Rhodes leaves the field to be replaced by Theo Robinson. 4.44pm - Head tennis breaks out in the Town area after the hosts' umpteenth corner, but Lucas eventually grasps the loose ball. 4.49pm - Jean-Francois misjudges the ball and it drops to Theo Robinson, who cuts inside and hits the ball over when he should have done better. It really is all hands to the pump here for Town in the face of heavy Terriers pressure. 4.50pm - Another Huddersfield corner is headed goalwards by Clarke, but Easton is on hand to nod away off the line. 4.51pm - There will be three minutes of added time here. Can someone find a winner? FULL TIME Huddersfield Town 2 Town 2
    Data provided by Press Association