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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:10 10th April 2010

BRENTFORD 3 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0

Town were well in this game at Griffin Park as the match entered the final fifteen minutes, but a harsh penalty decision given against skipper Peter Clarke changed the complexion of the game and the Terriers ended up on the losing end of a three goal defeat at Brentford.

Charlie MacDonald netted a brace for the hosts, adding to Lewis Grabban's goal, and Town's Gary Roberts even missed a late penalty to compound the Terriers' woes.

Town boss Lee Clark had to make a last minute change to his starting eleven when right-back Lee Peltier suffered a problem - possibly with his ankle - in the pre-match warm-up; this meant that substitute Tom Clarke came into the vacated defensive position, with first-year professional Jack Hunt stepping up to the bench.

The Terriers kicked off in their traditional blue and white striped shirts and set up in an orthodox 4-4-2 formation, with midfielder James Berrett a straight swap for the injured Anthony Pilkington on the right wing.

Brentford looked a powerful outfit, with several six footers in their side, and were led in attack by former Newcastle man Carl Cort. The Bees forced two attacking corners within the first six minutes, but Town's defence coped admirably.

The home side enjoyed the better of possession early on, but Town forced the first attempt in the 9th minute. After Gary Roberts' poor corner was cleared at the near post, Dean Heffernan returned the ball into the penalty area where Theo Robinson directed a far post header wide of the target.

Cort glanced a header well wide of Smithies' right hand post from outside the penalty area moments later before Town went up the other end and created a great chance. Collins showed great awareness to lift the ball over the right back and into the patch of Roberts, who dropped a floated cross into the near post where Rhodes had made a trademark run to get across his marker; the top scorer couldn't get a shot away, but the ball dropped to Theo Robinson who stuffed the ball into the outside of the netting from a narrow angle.

Alex Smithies uncharacteristically presented Brentford with a good opportunity in the 16th minute after scuffing a clearance from Collins' back-pass straight to right winger Grabban. The Brentford man controlled the ball before sending a powerful drive towards goal from 20 yards, but Alex had recovered and turned the ball around the post low to his left side.

Town's left side was proving fruitful and Dean Heffernan went close to opening his Huddersfield account in the 20th minute. Roberts received a cross-field pass from Rhodes and drove infield before feeding a clever outside of the boot pass into the path of the overlapping left-back, but as he advanced on the 'keeper a defender got across to clear the ball behind for a corner.

There were several intriguing battles developing around the pitch, none more so than the one between Brentford left winger Myles Weston and Tom Clarke. The former Notts County man had enjoyed a good season with the Bees, but was finding the younger of Town's two Clarke brothers hard to beat.

The home side enjoyed another spell of pressure as the game reached the half hour mark, with Andy Scott's side working the channels well. Weston fizzed a good ball across the face of Smithies' goal after good overlapping from left back Wood before Tom Clarke was on hand again to pull off a great last ditch challenge on the lively winger.

Brentford had the ball in the net in the 34th minute after striker Charlie MacDonald's shot from outside the area hit winger Lewis Grabban and deflected into the far corner, wrong-footing Smithies, but the winger had immediately been given as offside.

Town enjoyed a rare attack two minutes later when Berrett, who had switched wings with Roberts, played a neat one-two with Robinson inside the Brentford box before fizzing a low ball across the face of goal, but defender Legge did well to clear to safety.

Bees top scorer Charlie MacDonald sent a speculative curler flying into the Town supporters with two minutes of the half remaining before Cort's long range shot looped off Peter Clarke and dropped straight into the waiting hands of Smithies.

BOOKING - Danny Drinkwater was booked in the one minute of first half added time for a mistimed lunge on opposing midfielder Toumani Diagouraga on the touchline.

HALF-TIME: BRENTFORD 0 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0

Town mustered the first shot of the second half inside two minutes of the restart. After Smithies had collected Osborne's long ball into the Town area he quickly looked up and bowled the ball out to the left flank for Roberts, who dribbled down the pitch before lobbing the ball left to Robinson; he advanced into the left edge of the area, but screwed his left foot shot badly wide of the near post.

Lee Clark's side created their best chance of the game to date just a minute later, but Jordan Rhodes couldn't capitalise. Berrett, now back on the right wing, slipped a ball down the line for Michael Collins and the midfielder did brilliantly, cutting infield into the Brentford penalty area before sending a left foot shot towards goal. Mickey's effort hit a defender at the near post and looped towards the back stick for Rhodes to head at goal, but he lifted his effort over the crossbar from twelve yards out.

Robinson used his electric pace to beat Brentford 'keeper Szczesny to Peter Clarke's long pass in the 51st minute, but after rounding the custodian his pull-back fell to a defender.

The on-loan Arsenal keeper was fortunate barely seconds later when his weak punch from Drinkwater's ball into the area fell straight back to him after deflecting off Collins on the edge of the area.

Drinkwater then played an exceptional cross-field pass that covered fifty yards and picked out Roberts' feet and although the wide man did brilliantly to take the ball in his stride and breeze past full-back Foster, his drilled cross was gathered in well by the goalkeeper.

The Terriers were in the ascendancy at this time and a quickly taken throw-in by Heffernan gave Collins the space to turn and shoot straight at Szczesny on the edge of the area in the 56th minute.

Away skipper Peter Clarke then powered a header well over the Brentford crossbar from Berrett's far post cross after the Terriers had forced a free-kick high up the pitch.

Weston sent a looping volley comfortably over Smithies' crossbar from the edge of the box in the 65th minute after good work from Cort.

Robinson collected Rhodes pull-back in the 67th minute after the striker did brilliantly to take in Peter Clarke's long ball down the right touchline, but the striker saw his shot deflected behind for a corner. From Roberts' deep delivery, Tom Clarke headed inches wide at the far post.

Heffernan and Grabban collided inside the Town area two minutes later after the Brentford winger did brilliantly to get goal side of the Aussie, but referee Hall instantly turned away the penalty claims from the home players.

However, it soon didn't matter as the official gave a penalty from the resulting corner. The Brentford delivery bounced at the near post before hitting Peter Clarke's arm and the referee didn't hesitate, but it looked harsh on the skipper.

GOAL - Brentford top scorer Charlie MacDonald stepped up and dispatched the spot kick past Smithies' right side to put the home team ahead in the 71st minute.

Town tried to respond two minutes after going behind, but Robinson struck his 25 yard shot wide of goal after collecting a good pass from Heffernan.

SUB - Lee Clark made his first substitution in the 75th minute, switching Berrett for Nathan Eccleston on the flank. At this stage, Roberts was on the right and Eccleston on the left.

Roberts immediately combined with the overlapping Tom Clarke, but Rhodes could only prod his eventual cross high over the crossbar.

Eccleston was soon in the action, sending a great ball into the box that Trotman could only direct straight at the goalkeeper. Brentford immediately launched a counter-attack, but Grabban enjoyed similar luck with his header from Weston's deep delivery.

'Drinky' picked out Roberts on the right side with another great switch of play in the 81st minute and the flying winger beat full-back Wood on the outside, but he placed his shot too close to the goalkeeper as he entered the area and Szczesny gathered the ball in.

GOAL - Brentford sealed the points with a second goal in the 82nd minute, courtesy of Lewis Grabban's cool finish. The Bees forced a throw-in down Town's left side and Cort did brilliantly to hold off Collins before turning and threading a through-ball into the path of the winger, who drew 'keeper Smithies before placing the ball into the corner of the goal.

SUB - Lee Clark made his second change in the aftermath of the goal, with Robbie Williams replacing Heffernan at left-back.

GOAL - Brentford made it three through Charlie MacDonald in the 85th minute. Neal Trotman didn't clear the ball at the near post when he had the chance, which allowed MacDonald to nip in and smash the ball across the face of goal and into the far post.

Weston stung the palms of Smithies with a long range drive soon afterwards.

SUB - Brentford replaced goalscorer Grabban with Sam Saunders with three minutes of normal time remaining.

Town came close to a consolation in the final minute of the game, but Trotman's back post header from a Williams corner hit the crossbar and dropped to safety.

In added time Town were awarded their own penalty when Collins jinked inside the area and slipped the ball left to Robinson; although the 'keeper saved his effort, the ball fell to Roberts and the 'keeper tripped 'Robbo' as he looked to round him. However, Roberts - who is normally dependable from the spot - slammed his effort way over the crossbar.

FULL-TIME: BRENTFORD 3 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0

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

Alex Smithies; Dean Heffernan (Robbie Williams 83), Peter Clarke (c), Neal Trotman, Tom Clarke; Gary Roberts, Michael Collins, Danny Drinkwater, James Berrett (Nathan Eccleston 75); Jordan Rhodes, Theo Robinson

Unused Subs: Simon Eastwood, Nathan Clarke, Krystian Pearce, Jack Hunt, Aiden Chippendale

Town Booking: Danny Drinkwater (45)

Brentford Booking: Wojciech Szczesny (90)

Attendance: 5,209

Visitors: 901

    Data provided by Press Association

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