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16:56 5th September 2009


The Terriers pulled off a tremendous win in a top of the table clash at Milton Keynes Dons this afternoon, twice coming from behind before snatching a winning goal ten minutes from time.

Goals from joint top scorers Jordan Rhodes and Theo Robinson twice restored parity for Lee Clark's side before Antony Kay (pictured) nodded his side ahead, but the wonderful travelling support of over 1,300 had to be grateful to Alex Smithies at the death for a stunning save that ensured the three points came back to West Yorkshire.

Town kicked off on the impressive stadium:MK pitch in their change strip of red and navy and an early cross from Pilkington forced home custodian Willy Gueret into action - he claimed the ball in front of Robinson at the back post.

A bad touch in central midfield from Kay then presented the dangerous Jason Puncheon with the ball in the 6th minute, but fortunately for Town he pulled his 25-yard drive wide of Smithies' left-hand post.

Smithies made a brilliant reaction save a minute later to deny the Dons the opening goal. Puncheon's pass inside Peltier was intended for striker Jemal Johnson and as Peter Clarke stepped across to clear the ball, he only succeeded in hitting the onrushing striker. Smithies did well to get down low to his left side to tip the ball wide of goal, with Joe Skarz clearing up the mess.

The Dons had the wind in their sales by this point and Smithies was called upon again in the 11th minute to make another save. Lee Peltier tried to see a long pass from Puncheon out for a goal kick but was muscled off the ball on the touchline by Johnson, who turned back inside before hammering the ball towards goal. Town's goalkeeper pushed the ball over his crossbar before confidently collecting the resulting corner.

At the other end Town threatened through Pilkington, but after collecting a good pull-back from fellow winger Drinkwater he stalled over his shot too long and the ball was nicked off his toe by a defender.

A penalty claim for Jordan Rhodes was turned down by referee Russell a minute later after the striker became sandwiched between centre-backs Doumbe and McCracken.

Town looked to have created a gilt-edged chance in the 22nd minute, only to be denied by a superb tackle from Dons skipper Dean Lewington. A free-kick was cleared back out to the right side, where Drinkwater's superbly flighted ball found the head of Andy Butler at the back post; he nodded the ball back towards the penalty spot for Rhodes, but as he steadied himself the left-back put in a superb sliding challenge to poke the ball to safety.

SUB - MK Dons were forced into a change in the 27th minute, with Mark Carrington replacing the injured Dan Woodards.

Drinkwater's excellent crossing from the right was causing the Dons defence a few hesitant moments and it took 'keeper Gueret three attempts to deal with his 29th minute corner from the right flank.

BOOKING - Anthony Pilkington became the first player to enter the referee's notebook on the afternoon in the 35th minute - for simulation. The ref deemed that Pilkington had gone over an outstretched Dons leg of his own accord just outside the box, but had the winger not gone down he would have been free down the left flank...

More impressive passing down the right flank between Peltier and Drinkwater two minutes later led to the latter crossing towards the back post; Robinson picked up the ball, but in trying to bend the ball around the goalkeeper he only succeeded in slicing the ball horribly into the home supporters behind the goal.

Big centre-back McCracken did well to shield the ball through to his goalkeeper in the 40th minute with Theo all over his back.

The ball then broke to Johnson on the left flank following his 41st minute corner, but defender Lewington could only steer his cross wide of goal at the near post when under heavy pressure from Peter Clarke.


GOAL - Town fell behind to the first meaningful attack of the second-half, with Jemal Johnson scoring with a fantastic strike. After Town lost the ball in midfield the American cut inside from the left flank to make room for the shot inside Lee Peltier, with his rocket of a shot from the edge of the box giving Alex Smithies no chance to his right side.

Johnson tried a repeat of his goal in the 52nd minute, but only succeeded in hitting a weak shot straight at Smithies.

The Dons were well on top by this stage and after skipping past the sliding challenge of Kay, Puncheon hit a low shot from the edge of the box that Smithies did well to gather in.

GOAL - Against the run of play, Jordan Rhodes levelled the scores in the 55th minute. Theo Robinson forced a Dons defender to concede a right wing corner and after Drinkwater's delivery was half-cleared, Joe Skarz intelligently played the ball high towards the area; Andy Butler won the header and diverted the ball towards the penalty spot and after an almighty scramble, Rhodes gleefully placed the ball into the top corner.

SUB - Lee Clark had no hesitation in making his first substitution soon after - Gary Roberts replaced Michael Collins. This saw Robbo take up the left wing position with Pilkington on the right, leaving Drinkwater to partner Kay in central midfield.

GOAL - Town's delight was short-lived as the Dons soon restored their lead in the 58th minute through Jermaine Easter. A Dons corner was punched out of the danger zone by Smithies but after Puncheon's long-range shot hit a defender, the ball broke fortuitously to the Dons striker who prodded the ball past the helpless Smithies at close range.

GOAL - It was all happening at stadium:MK as Town equalised once again on the hour mark through Theo Robinson. Joe Skarz released substitute Gary Roberts into the left channel and his excellent first-time cross found Pilkington at the back post; his cross-come-shot fell to the striker ten yards from goal and he hammered the ball into the vacant net before wheeling away to celebrate with a delighted Lee Clark on the touchline.

BOOKING - Jordan Rhodes was booked in the 63rd minute for an accumulation of fouls he had committed throughout the game.

In the 65th minute it looked like Town had taken the lead for the first time in the game, but Rhodes' excellent dipping volley from 25 yards out hit the top of the crossbar before bouncing to safety.

BOOKING - MK Dons right-back Luke Howell was booked by the referee in the 67th minute for a challenge from behind on Gary Roberts on the left flank.

Smithies easily dealt with a long range shot from Easter soon afterwards as the game continued to to-and-fro.

GOAL - Town took the lead for the first time in the 78th minute through midfielder Antony Kay. After a swift counter-attack involving Roberts, Rhodes and Pilkington, the latter won a corner off the full-back and from Drinkwater's right-sided delivery, Kay rose unmarked at the near post to nod the ball across the goalkeeper and into the far corner.

SUB - The Dons made their final two changes of the game in the 80th minute, with Lewis Gobern and Jabo Ibehre replacing Luke Chadwick and Mark Carrington.

The magnificent travelling Town fans were on their feet for the final ten minutes urging their side to hang on.

SUB - Town made their second substitution with four minutes remaining, with Robbie Simpson replacing Jordan Rhodes.

BOOKING - Dons goalscorer Jermaine Easter was harshly booked by the referee a minute later after colliding with Alex Smithies accidentally.

BOOKING - Peter Clarke was booked in the 88th minute after hauling down Easter, who had squirmed past him just over the halfway line.

BOOKING - Dons substitute Gobern was booked in the final minute for a stupid tackle on the left flank.

BOOKING - Joe Skarz became the fourth Town player to enter the book in added time after he kicked the ball away to waste time.

Smithies tipped a fierce drive from Lewington over the crossbar in added time before making a brilliant reaction save to deny Gobern in the final seconds. The substitute hammered a drive into the floor after a late corner was cleared to the edge of the box and the 'keeper back-peddled frantically before tipping the ball over the bar.


Town's Team (4-4-2):

Alex Smithies; Joe Skarz, Andy Butler, Peter Clarke (c), Lee Peltier; Anthony Pilkington, Michael Collins (Gary Roberts 56), Antony Kay, Danny Drinkwater; Theo Robinson, Jordan Rhodes (Robbie Simpson 86)

Unused Substitutes: Matt Glennon, Nathan Clarke, Lee Novak, James Berrett, Lionel Ainsworth

Town Bookings: Anthony Pilkington (35), Jordan Rhodes (63), Peter Clarke (88), Joe Skarz (90)

MK Dons Bookings: Luke Howell (67), Jermaine Easter (87), Lewis Gobern (90)

Attendance: 9,972

Visitors: 1,336

    Data provided by Press Association


    Town was the first club to win three successive league titles in 1926. Only Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have matched this feat.