HTFC - Town Go Marching On
1 October 2011
As an exiled Yorkshireman living in Hounslow, I don`t get to too many Huddersfield Town matches. One thing I make sure I do get to do though, is get down to Griffin Park for the game against Brentford. Luckily, we have been in the same division a lot over the last few years, and so I have been able to get along to a few matches there. The most recent, however, was easily the most memorable. Brentford, currently managed by ex-Manchester City striker Uwe Rosler, harbour hopes of a playoff place this season, and as we all know, Lee Clark`s Terriers are looking to go one better and secure a top two finish and with it automatic promotion to the Championship. The first twenty or so minutes passed by without much happening, and the home side were probably just about the better side, having a couple of efforts blocked, but there were no clear chances for either side.
Mid-way through the first half, though, and Town had their first chance, when captain Peter Clarke met a free kick from Gary Roberts, but his far post header went narrowly wide. This sparked a manic seven minutes or so, during which time Town had a number of chances to open the scoring. First, Jordan Rhodes found himself in space, but his header was tipped over by home keeper Richard Lee. From the resulting corner, Clarke had another header that hit the post, and there were a couple of other efforts that somehow stayed out. Brentford midfielder Niall Mcginn was allowed to cut in from the right and run along the edge of the Town penalty area and hit his shot unchallenged, but luckily the effort curled just over the bar, with keeper Ian Bennett grasping thin air. Less than a minute later, though, and Lee Clark`s side had the breakthrough. Tommy Miller crossed the ball in from the left, and Rhodes powered home a fine header to give Town a 37th minute lead. Five minutes later and Rhodes nearly had a second, his twenty five yarder bringing an excellent save out of Lee. Half time, and it was 1-0 to the Terriers.
The second half started out pretty much like the first, with not much to report for the first twenty or so minutes. However, Town stepped up through the gears in search of a killer goal, and Rhodes very nearly got it. An excellent break saw Gary Roberts feed the Scotland under-21 striker, but his first time left footer hit the bar on it`s way over from just outside the box. After that, Lee Clark made a couple of changes, and one of the subs had an almost instantaneous impact. Lee Novak, who celebrated his twenty third birthday earlier in the week, was fed by Tommy Miller, and he coolly lobbed Lee for a superb second. That was on seventy minutes, and just eight minutes later, Town had added two more to their tally, but not before a scare in their own area. Ian Bennett didn`t have an awful lot to do during the game, but in the 72nd minute he made a crucial double save to deny Rosler`s men a way back into the match. Substitute Diagogouraga hit a shot straight at him, which he could only parry straight into the path of McGinn, but redeemed himself by getting across to keep the ball out for a second time. That was to be the last chance for the Bees, though, as Novak crossed for Rhodes to head home Town`s third, and just two minutes later Rhodes crashed a left footer off the post, only for Gary Roberts to crack in the rebound off the same post. The travelling supporters were in heaven, and the home fans were streaming out of the ground.
The last twelve minutes or so were played out with no attempt to attack by either side, but the job was expertly and clinically done in very hot conditions. One major criticism of Town in recent months has been the inability to kill off a game, and we have let too many leads slip, causing us to lose points. The stats bear this out; in this 36 game unbeaten run, there has been 20 wins and 16 draws. It was good to see us finally put a team to the sword and post a big score to reflect our dominance of the match.
A fantastic day to be a Town fan then. This now not only extends the phenomenal unbeaten run to 36 regular league games, it also lifts Town three places to fifth in the table, six points behind leaders Charlton. I went into the game with a nagging fear that we would lose, but I couldn`t have been more wrong! If we play like this on a regular basis, promotion is sure to be ours after two playoff heartaches in a row.
"Brentford are a good side and they started well, but we began to cause them problems from set-plays, with Gary Roberts making some great deliveries."
Jordan got us ahead with a terrific goal, and we played the second half the way I wanted us to,"
"We moved the ball well, we were clinical when the chances came and we kept a clean sheet, which was important and very pleasing."