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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
14:30 27th February 2010

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 2 LEEDS UNITED 2

Town maintained their unbeaten home record in a pulsating encounter against local rivals Leeds United to extend their run to eleven games without defeat.

The Terriers took an early lead through Anthony Pilkington, but were pegged back in the second period when Jonathan Howson and Luciano Becchio netted quick-fire goals. However, Lee Clark's men were not to be denied and Gary Roberts scored a great second goal to ensure the game ended in stalemate.

The game started at a predictably frenetic pace, with both sides tackling hard and challenging for every loose ball in the opening stages. Town tried to break the Leeds offside trap on a couple of occasions early on, but Novak was beaten to a through ball by 'keeper Ankergren before Drinkwater was well tackled by Kisnorbo on the touchline.

Jordan Rhodes was almost put through on goal by Kay's looping through ball in the 7th minute but lost his footing inside the Leeds area at the vital moment, whereas Leeds had an early chance three minutes later when Becchio headed a right wing cross well over the bar from twenty yards.

GOAL - Town took the lead through a 13th minute Anthony Pilkington goal, but the ball beat Ankergren thanks to a massive deflection. The Terriers did well to win a battle for the ball down the left channel, with Drinkwater and then Novak winning 50-50 challenges; the striker came away with the ball before looking up and squaring across the box to his teammate, whose shot looked on target - but took a huge deflection off an away defender before dropping past the helpless custodian to his right side.

The packed Galpharm Stadium went bezerk after the opener and the game didn't let up either - the same rapid tempo was still present upon the restart.

The visitors found their rhythm as the 20th minute approached and had their first attempt on target, but the dangerous Snodgrass' powerful left foot shot from just outside the area was turned around the near post well by Alex Smithies.

The resulting corner caused more problems for the Terriers defence, but the ball deflected off a crowd of players and dropped wide of the far post.

Excellent play from the midfield duo of Drinkwater and Kay in the 24th minute gave Pilkington the chance to run at full-back Lowry down the right flank and although he beat the defender down the outside, his low near post cross was cleared by Kisnorbo, who had taken up a good position.

Big centre-half Kisnorbo headed McSheffrey's 27th minute corner well over the crossbar under heavy pressure soon afterwards before the Terriers went inches away from a spectacular second. Pilkington drove infield after collecting a pass from Kay on the right wing and sent a brilliant in-swinging drive from full 25 yards out inches wide of Ankergren's far post with the 'keeper beaten.

BOOKING - Pilkington looked dangerous every time he got on the ball and it was a mistimed tackle on the Town winger from full-back Shane Lowry that had referee Mr. Friend producing his first yellow card of the game in the 33rd minute.

'Pilks' drove a free-kick straight into the wall moments later after a foul on Rhodes on the edge of the box.

Town had a gilt-edged opportunity to score a valuable second goal in the 41st minute, but unbelievably top scorer Jordan Rhodes spurned a golden opportunity. Gary Roberts sent the overlapping Peltier into the clear down the right flank and the right back drove into the area before driving a low pass across goal; the ball fell to the unmarked striker at the far post, but he sent his shot from fifteen yards miles over the crossbar with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Pilkington was inches away from latching onto Novak's clever flick around the corner as the first-half drew to a close before the Geordie striker blasted well wide from range.

HALF-TIME: HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1 LEEDS UNITED 0

A great fifty yard run from the ever-dangerous Pilkington just second after the restart blew the cobwebs away following the interval, but unfortunately the winger's final touch gave Ankergren the chance he needed to gather the ball in.

Leeds created a good chance to equalise in the 51st minute after a sustained period of pressure; the ball was worked out to the left flank to McSheffrey, whose cross into the box dropped over the head of Peter Clarke; however, Beckford planted a firm header well over the bar of Smithies when in real space.

BOOKING - Leeds skipper Richard Naylor was shown a yellow card in the 54th minute for a late challenge on Antony Kay right in front of the dugouts.

The Terriers looked a little on edge as the game approached the hour mark and it took a superb last ditch challenge from skipper Clarke to deny Beckford a clear scoring opportunity at the near post from Lowry's cross.

GOAL - Leeds were enjoying a sustained period of pressure at this stage and got the equaliser in the 61st minute through midfielder Jonathan Howson. A clever break down the right hand side from Snodgrass allowed him to set full-back Andy Hughes away into space; the defender turned inside Gary Roberts before sending a left footed cross into the box that Howson ran onto and guided past the helpless Smithies with his head from close range.

Town tried to fight back, with Pilkington swinging another free-kick wide of target from the left channel.

GOAL - However, it was the visiting side that took the lead for the first time in the game in the 67th minute through striker Luciano Becchio. Leeds won a corner down the Town left after Neal Trotman was forced to head the ball behind and from Snodgrass' delivery, Naylor flicked the ball on at the near post for the Argentinean striker to nod home in the six yard box.

Town fought back well after conceding and hit the base of the post with a 74th minute corner. Peltier won the set-piece down the right and it was skipper Peter Clarke who rose highest in the penalty area to head towards goal, but his effort hit the post before dribbling wide.

Novak then had an effort at goal from Heffernan's near post cross but Ankergren saved well. The ball went straight up the other end, with a header from Smithies and Peter Clarke's presence on the line denying Beckford his first goal.

Kay blasted wide soon afterwards as the home side continued to press for an equaliser.

SUB - Leeds made their first substitution in the 77th minute, with Bradley Johnson replacing McSheffrey down the left flank.

BOOKING - Leeds striker Becchio was booked in the 84th minute for persistent fouling.

GOAL - Town grabbed the equaliser in the next minute through a very well controlled Gary Robertsgoal. The defenders had stayed up from the free-kick that Becchio had conceded, so when Pilkington picked up a loose ball and crossed into the box the area was packed with players; amazingly, the ball evaded everyone before falling to Robbo at the back post, who passed the ball home with a controlled volley from fifteen yards.

Town went close to a third moments later when Rhodes was put through on goal, but he was on his weaker left foot as he entered the area and could only plant a shot straight at Ankergren.

SUB - Leeds brought big Tresor Kandol on for Becchio in the final minute.

SUB - Lee Clark made his first change moments later, with Michael Collins replacing Kay.

SUB - Town were forced into another change inside the five minutes of added time; with Lee Peltier injured and unable to continue, Tom Clarke came onto the field.

FULL-TIME: HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 2 LEEDS UNITED 2

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

Alex Smithies; Dean Heffernan, Peter Clarke (c), Neal Trotman, Lee Peltier (Tom Clarke 90); Gary Roberts, Danny Drinkwater, Antony Kay (Michael Collins 90), Anthony Pilkington; Lee Novak, Jordan Rhodes

Unused Subs: Simon Eastwood, Nathan Clarke, Theo Robinson, Krystian Pearce, Nathan Eccleston

Leeds Bookings: Shane Lowry (33), Richard Naylor (54), Luciano Becchio (84)

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    Data provided by Press Association

    QUICK FACTS

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