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16:54 30th January 2010


A goal on his first League appearance from Liverpool loanee Nathan Eccleston secured Town's third away win of the season at Yeovil Town this afternoon.

The pacey striker netted midway through the first-half on a chilly afternoon at Huish Park as he made his Town debut alongside fellow January captures Neal Trotman and Dean Heffernan in a professional performance by Lee Clark's men.

Both sides had chances to score more goals, with Rhodes and Roberts going close for Town and Dean Bowditch missing a penalty for the home side, but the one goal win will do nicely for the Terriers as the Club continues its push for promotion to the Championship.

Town started the game with the sun on their backs in their change strip of red and navy and had a decent shout for a penalty within the first seventy seconds. Jordan Rhodes sprang the Yeovil offside trap down the channel to latch onto Gary Roberts' pass and claimed that his attempted curler struck the hand of a defender inside the area; however, referee Ward immediately turned down the appeals.

The home side had their first attack of note in the fourth minute, but big debutant Neal Trotman easily blocked striker Sam Williams' snapshot from eighteen yards out.

Top scorer Rhodes uncharacteristically spurned a great chance on the stroke of the fifth minute - left back Jones' tackle on the pacey Nathan Eccleston fell straight to the striker in acres of space just inside the area, but he failed to make proper contact with the ball.

New Yeovil signing Owain Tudor Jones then sent a speculative 30-yard drive way over Smithies' crossbar in the 10th minute after a brief spell of pressure in the Town half.

A good aerial battle immediately formed between new boy Trotman and the tall Sam Williams, with the big defender getting the better of the contest thanks to his excellent leap. At the other end, glimpses of Eccleston's pace were already on view.

Antony Kay set left winger Roberts away with a beautifully volleyed pass down the left channel in the 20th minute and the reigning Player of the Year showed quick thinking to slide a quick low ball across the face of goal. Eccleston reached the cross at the far post, but the ball had travelled slightly too far for him and he only succeeded in touching it out for a goal kick.

GOAL - Town took the lead in the 23rd minute, with Nathan Eccleston scoring on his first ever competitive appearance. The move originated down the right side, with Rhodes chesting a long pass into the path of Drinkwater; his deep cross was headed away by the defender with goalkeeper McCarthy looking to claim and after the custodian made a great save to deny Rhodes' volley, the striker picked up the rebound and smashed it home past the defender on the line with his left foot before wheeling away to celebrate with the travelling fans.

Town continued to press following the opener, with the home side's most likely route forward being long free-kicks knocked into Smithies' box. However, the Terriers created the next chance when Aussie Heffernan overlapped Roberts to collect the ball, with his devilish near post cross being cleared over his own bar by defender Stam with Eccleston in close attendance.

Some patient build-up down the right channel involving Eccleston, Roberts and Peltier then gave Kay the chance to shoot from range in the 33rd minute and although he dragged his shot wide, Jordan Rhodes was inches away from diverting it in at full stretch.

Tudor Jones had another crack from distance with similar results to his earlier effort in the 42nd minute of the half after good build-up down the Yeovil left from Williams and the impressive Shaun MacDonald.

Yeovil had a superb chance to equalise with a minute of the half remaining when referee Ward gave them a penalty kick. Right-back Alcock shrugged off a challenge from Roberts before crossing into the Town box and midfielder Mason cleverly flicked the ball over Trotman before being tripped by the big centre-half. Former Ipswich man Bowditch stepped up to take the kick, but blazed the ball miles over Alex Smithies' crossbar to the delight of the supporters at the other end of the ground.

The Glovers applied good pressure in the closing moments, but the Terriers held them off and led by a single goal at the interval.


Gary Roberts had the first shot of the second half after just 14 seconds, collecting Eccleston's knock-down before attempting to lob the goalkeeper from 25 yards. Unfortunately for Lee Clark and his side, the ball dropped over the crossbar.

BOOKING - Referee Ward booked Neal Trotman in the 47th minute, with the official making it clear that it was for an accumulation of offences after the big man had barged into the back of striker Williams.

Eccleston tricked a harmless left footed effort straight at 'keeper McCarthy from range in the 49th minute after picking up a good pass infield from Heffernan.

Nobody could latch onto Peter Clarke's header back across goal in the 58th minute from Roberts' deep corner, whereas at the other end midfielder Mason headed well wide from Alcock's cross under heavy pressure from Kay.

Eccleston played the ball out to Roberts on the left a minute later, but Rhodes couldn't latch onto his low cross into the penalty area.

Williams then brought a ball down beautifully inside the Town area in the 63rd minute before turning sharply past Peter Clarke, but Smithies was equal to his shot and turned the ball around the post. Defender Alcock got on the end of the resulting corner, but Alex was on hand again to smother the ball at his feet.

Ryan Mason's snapshot from the edge of the box fell straight into the arms of the Town goalkeeper soon afterwards.

SUB - After a collision with a defender on the hour mark, goalscorer Eccleston received a cut and had missed that passage of play as he was down the tunnel with Town's medical team receiving treatment. After five minutes elapsed, he was replaced by Lee Novak.

Tom Clarke broke down the right with the ball immediately and after his cross was blocked behind for a corner, Roberts delivered another great ball into the near post that Peter Clarke headed over.

SUB - Lee Clark made his second change soon afterwards, with James Berrett replacing Drinkwater in the 69th minute. James moved straight into Drinkwater's vacant left midfield spot.

Novak's 25 yard volley almost deceived the Yeovil keeper moments later, but the big goalie recovered well to gather the ball in at his own feet.

BOOKING - Striker Sam Williams picked up his own yellow card in the 71st minute as his ongoing battle with Trotman saw him floor the Town defender with an unfair challenge.

BOOKING - Gary Roberts picked up a booking in the 78th minute for a challenge from behind on JP Kalala.

Glovers substitute Tomlin smashed the ball wide of Smithies' far post from an acute angle in the 82nd minute after more composed play by midfielder MacDonald, but in truth the Town goal was never troubled by the effort.

BOOKING - Town made their final change in the 84th minute, with Gary Roberts replaced by Robbie Simpson on the left side of midfield - Berrett switching to the right.

Yeovil substitute Welsh prodded a decent chance wide of goal moments later with Peltier close by before Rhodes volleyed wide at the other end following a raking free-kick taken by Peter Clarke.

BOOKING - Former Oldham midfielder Kalala was booked for an accumulation of fouls in the 88th minute after bringing down Antony Kay.

The fourth official added five minutes added time to the end of the game, but the Terriers kept the ball brilliantly confined to the far right corner to secure all three points.


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

Alex Smithies; Dean Heffernan, Peter Clarke (c), Neal Trotman, Lee Peltier; Gary Roberts (Robbie Simpson 84), Antony Kay, Tom Clarke, Danny Drinkwater (James Berrett 69); Jordan Rhodes, Nathan Eccleston (Lee Novak 66)

Unused Subs: Simon Eastwood, Nathan Clarke, Robbie Williams, Krystian Pearce

Town Bookings: Neal Trotman (47), Gary Roberts (78)

Yeovil Bookings: Sam Williams (71), Jean Paul Kalala (88)

Attendance: 4,110

    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.