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16:59 24th April 2010


The Terriers booked their place in the Play-Offs with a resounding win at already relegated Stockport County. Lee Clark's men scored six goals with Anthony Pilkington, Theo Robinson (pictured), Jordan Rhodes, Danny Drinkwater, Gary Roberts and substitute Lee Novak all getting on the scoresheet to cap a fabulous afternoon in front of 3,500 Town fans.

GOAL - Town took the lead inside the first two minutes of the game and it was former Hatter Anthony Pilkington who netted the goal. The move originated down the left flank, with Roberts' superb through ball giving Jordan Rhodes the chance to show his pace and strength to bustle past centre-back Barnes; the striker tried to play the ball across goal for Robinson and although his pass was a bit hard, Theo controlled the ball before passing it back to 'Pilks'. The winger's shot from inside the area took a big deflection off a defender, totally wrong-footing the goalkeeper and sending the ball inside the near post to send the sizeable travelling support into raptures.

The Terriers were back on the attack just four minutes later when Rhodes played an infield pass from the left to Drinkwater - he found his central midfield colleague Kay with another pass, but Anthony's 25-yard drive went well wide of Fon Williams' right-hand post.

Pilkington had a very good chance to score his second of the game in the 12th minute, but was denied by a save from Fon Williams. The winger found acres of space inside the Stockport area and was cleverly picked out by Robinson's low pass, but after turning to face goal he placed his left-footed effort within the 'keeper's reach and the ball was pushed to safety.

Stockport created their first chance of note a minute later when big striker Jabo Ibehre momentarily wrestled his way clear of centre-backs Clarke and Trotman, but he powered his 23-yard shot over the crossbar of Alex Smithies.

On-loan MK Dons winger Jemal Johnson hit a tame long range shot into the hands of Smithies in the 22nd minute as the home side finally started to enjoy some possession.

However, normal service was resumed three minutes later when clever play from the left-sided duo of Peltier and Pilkington gave Rhodes the opportunity to shoot from the edge of the box. Rhodes' effort forced the custodian into a save to his right.

Town striker Rhodes looked to have the beating of young defender Barnes every time he got into a one-on-one situation and when Kay's ball around the corner in the 36th minute presented the top scorer with such an opportunity, he made the most of it. Jordan's pace and touch took him flying past the sprawling defender and into the angle of the area, but Fon Williams was on hand again to push away his curling effort before Perkins blocked Pilkington's follow-up.

GOAL - The Terriers did double their advantage in the 37th minute through Theo Robinson.Gary Roberts won a throw-in for his side down the left flank and when Jordan Rhodes collected the ball and forced it past the defender, the speedy striker timed his move behind perfectly to collect the ball and turn it past Fon Williams from eight yards. Stockport felt that Robinson was offside, but referee Woolmer had no doubts that the goal should stand.


Neither side made any substitutions during the half-time interval and the Terriers were soon back on the attack, with Drinkwater's knock over the top in the 48th minute releasing the pacy Robinson into space. Theo ran at defender Swailes and went around his outside, but the ball crossed the dead-ball line before he could pull it back.

BOOKING - Robinson was running at the County defence again two minutes later, forcing right-back Andy Halls to trip him and take a yellow card.

Roberts' wicked delivery from the left flank a minute later picked out Antony Kay at the back post, but the midfielder's nod across goal was agonisingly inches away from Rhodes or Robinson and the 'keeper was able to gather the ball in.

Roberts then collected a clever pass infield from Rhodes as he entered the penalty area moments later, but could only direct his shot straight at the goalkeeper.

Stockport had a rare attempt at goal in the 55th minute when winger Partridge hit a cross into the area, but striker Donnelly's spectacular overhead kick almost hit the roof of the stand.

SUB - Nathan Clarke was introduced to the game in the 58th minute by Lee Clark, replacing Neal Trotman. The big defender immediately disappeared down the tunnel with Assistant Physiotherapist Adam Hirst to receive treatment.

Robinson sent a looping header from Pilkington's cross straight into the hands of Fon Williams as the hour mark approached.

A quickly taken throw from Pilkington found Robinson in acres of space down the left touchline in the 65th minute and the striker did well to cross into the penalty area with his weaker foot, but Roberts could only acrobatically volley the ball wide of goal.

Robinson was permanently in the action at this stage and after collecting a clever pass to feet from Tom Clarke two minutes later, he turned inside Stockport skipper Swailes and sent a deflected shot inches over the crossbar.

GOAL - Town made it three in the 67th minute when striker Jordan Rhodes netted his 23rd goal of a superb season. Anthony Pilkington crafted the goal; operating on the left flank, he collected a pass to feet before turning and skinning Richie Partridge. His low cross towards the near post was diverted onto the post by Theo Robinson, but the rebound fell kindly to the striker who gleefully slammed home before celebrating with the Town supporters.

SUB - Jemal Johnson and Partridge was replaced by Danny Pilkington and David Poole immediately after the third goal.

The Terriers continued to press following the third and a superb break from a Stockport corner almost led to a fourth. Robinson picked up the ball on the halfway line and released it left to send Roberts into space; he beat Danny Pilkington on his outside before standing up a delightful cross to the far post, but Robinson's header hit a defender before bouncing to safety.

SUB - Town made their second substitution in the 76th minute, with Lee Novak replacing goalscorer Rhodes.

Danny Drinkwater worked brilliantly hard throughout the game and it was his harassing of opposition midfield Perkins that led to another chance for his side in the 80th minute. After robbing his opposite number of the ball down the Town right, his low ball across the face of goal dropped to Roberts at the far post but the winger scuffed his effort slightly on the bobbly pitch, allowing a defender to get back and clear the ball off the line.

GOAL - The Terriers did make it four in the 85th minute of the game when Danny Drinkwater netted his second goal for the Club with a delicious free-kick. The set piece was given right on the edge of the area after Peter Clarke was fouled from a Town corner and the midfielder stepped up to curl a brilliant effort past the goalkeeper's left side.

SUB - Lee Clark made his final substitution with four minutes left, with Robbie Simpson making a long-awaited return to action at the expense of the superb Robinson.

Donnelly's snapshot with two minutes remaining was straight at Smithies and Town kept a great clean sheet to compliment their great attacking performance.

GOAL - Town made it a magnificent five in added time when they made their hosts pay for more hesitant play. Stockport centre-back Barnes played a ball into the feet of midfielder Perkins on halfway and when the ball bobbled up, Simpson and Drinkwater combined to rob him of possession; Drinkwater surged forward with the ball before passing to his right for Gary Roberts, who exquisitelylifted the ball over the goalkeeperFon Williams from outside the area.

GOAL - Unbelievably the Terriers made it six moments later through Lee Novak's penalty. The impressive Drinkwater won it, turning one defender inside the area before using his quick feet to draw a foul from a defender. The substitute stepped up and sent the ball low into the bottom corner to complete an amazing scoreline.


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

Alex Smithies; Lee Peltier, Peter Clarke (c), Neal Trotman (Nathan Clarke 58), Tom Clarke; Gary Roberts, Antony Kay, Danny Drinkwater, Anthony Pilkington; Theo Robinson (Robbie Simpson 86), Jordan Rhodes (Lee Novak 76)

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

Attendance: 6,887

Away: 3,424

Stockport Booking: Andy Halls (50)

    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.