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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
16:53 19th September 2009

MILLWALL 3 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1

Town slumped to a disappointing defeat in the capital at the hands of home side Millwall, with a late goal from top scorer Jordan Rhodes scant consolation for Lee Clark. An early double salvo from Chris Hackett and Neil Harris meant that the Terriers trailed by two at the interval and after Steve Morison extended the home side's lead after the break, the game was beyond Town.

Millwall winger Chris Hackett had the first shot on target after just 25 seconds of the game, volleying the ball towards goal from 25 yards. However, his shot was easily claimed by Smithies to his left side. The hosts were serving a real warning to the Terriers in the early stages though and less than a minute later, Butler had to block a decent-looking volley from midfielder Abdou that looked destined to test the Town custodian.

The Lions were really impressive in the opening stages and in the 3rd minute Smithies had to be alert to divert left-back Frampton's shot from an acute angle around his near post after the effort took a deflection off Pilkington's outstretched boot en route to goal.

Hackett drove a hopeful shot wide of the far post after a swift Millwall break in the 8th minute as the game began to settle down from its frantic start.

A minute later Jordan Rhodes was convinced that his diving header from a right-sided Pilkington cross hit the hand of a Millwall centre-back, but referee Crossley immediately turned away his penalty appeals.

GOAL - The home side scored the first goal of the game in just the 12th minute through Chris Hackett. The winger-turned-forward dropped deep to collect the ball from a teammate and raced away from Andy Butler after playing a neat one-two with Neil Harris. He barely reached the edge of Smithies' penalty area before steadying himself under pressure from the recovering defender and sending a powerful low drive to Alex's right side.

GOAL - Just two minutes later the Lions extended their lead through veteran striker Neil Harris. A positive run and pass from midfield by Jimmy Abdou saw the ball worked out to left winger David Martin and his clever dink towards the near post was met by the head of the experienced forward, who had timed his run perfectly to get in front of Lee Peltier.

The quick-fire brace stunned Lee Clark's side, but the manager wasted no time in trying to change the flow of the game - he pushed wingers Pilkington and Roberts into narrower positions behind his two strikers. This would give Peltier and Skarz more responsibility in terms of getting forward, but they had their own defensive responsibilities with wingers Martin and Morison looking dangerous for the home side.

The Terriers could not create any attacking moves of note during a tough first period, despite a couple of Drinkwater free-kicks that were dangerously delivered into the area, and went in two goals down at the interval. Home goalkeeper David Forde hadn't had a shot to save during the first-half, whereas the Town defence had been severely tested time and again by the pace of the Millwall attacks.

HALF-TIME: MILLWALL 2 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0

Neither side made any changes to their personnel during the half-time break, but Town started in a more positive fashion and only a good interception from centre-back Ward stopped Simpson from latching onto a good pull-back from Drinkwater in the opening moments.

Full-back Peltier did excellently to nod a dangerous Hackett delivery away from danger with Harris lurking in the 50th minute, but from the resulting corner the home side extended their lead.

GOAL - Former Stevenage striker Steve Morison scored Millwall's third goal five minutes after the restart, making a positive run towards the near post to meet Hackett's corner from the left - with the ball squeezing through the legs of Pilkington on the post.

BOOKING - Millwall right-back Alan Dunne was immediately booked from Town's restart for catching Robbie Simpson in the face with his arm as the duo contested a header.

Home custodian Forde easily collected a looping header from Simpson soon afterwards before Abdou bravely blocked Michael Collins' attempted curler from the edge of the box in the 55th minute.

Credit to the Town fans behind Forde's goal, who were still chanting 'Lee Clark's Barmy Army' despite the disappointment of what was happening on the pitch.

SUB - Lee Clark made his first substitution in the 59th minute, with Jim Goodwin replacing Gary Roberts. This move saw Drinkwater push further forward, with the former Scunthorpe man in the deep-lying midfield role.

Simpson and Rhodes were unfortunate to see their respective shots blocked by Millwall players inside the area in the 62nd minute after Pilkington had done brilliantly to beat two players down the left flank before Rhodes had Town's best effort of the game a minute later - latching onto a Simpson flick-on before stretching the goalkeeper to his limits with a dipping long range volley. Unfortunately for Town, Forde managed to tip the ball around the post.

SUB - Lee Novak was introduced to the game by Lee Clark in the 65th minute; he replaced Robbie Simpson.

Goalscorer Morison then placed a header from another Hackett corner straight at Alex Smithies when unmarked beyond the back post.

SUB - Millwall made their first change in the 70th minute, with James Henry replacing Morison.

SUB - Lionel Ainsworth replaced Danny Drinkwater in Town's final substitution in the 73rd minute. This change saw Town switch back to an orthodox 4-4-2 shape.

Joe Skarz screwed a long range volley wide of Forde's right-hand post in the 78th minute after Town had peppered the Millwall box with a series of crosses.

SUB - Millwall swapped David Martin with Town old boy Danny Schofield in the 79th minute.

GOAL - Town scored a consolation goal in the 85th minute of the game through Jordan Rhodes - his eighth of the season. A long ball out of defence from skipper Peter Clarke found the head of substitute Novak and after collecting the flick-on, he turned on the edge of the box and sent a powerful low shot past the goalkeeper and into the bottom left corner.

BOOKING - Millwall 'keeper Forde was then booked by the referee for not allowing Town to retrieve the ball from the net.

Novak then sent a near post shot over the bar at an acute angle after the ball was played in from the left side.

SUB - Millwall made their final change in the 88th minute, with Chris Hackett replaced by Marc Laird.

FULL-TIME: MILLWALL 3 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1

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

Alex Smithies; Joe Skarz, Andy Butler, Peter Clarke (c), Lee Peltier; Gary Roberts (Jim Goodwin 59), Michael Collins, Danny Drinkwater (Lionel Ainsworth 73), Anthony Pilkington; Jordan Rhodes, Robbie Simpson (Lee Novak 65)

Unused Substitutes: Matt Glennon, Nathan Clarke, Robbie Williams, James Berrett

Millwall Bookings: Alan Dunne (51), David Forde (85)

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    Data provided by Press Association

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