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17:26 1th May 2010


Lee Novak was Town's hero again scoring a 94th minute winner to defeat a spirited Colchester performance.

Theo Robinson opened the scoring in the 17th minute from the penalty spot after Paul Reid had handballed, however, after that, Town didn't have it all their way and Colchester deservedly equalised thanks to Simon Hackney in the 77th minute. The game looked to be heading towards a stalemate but super-sub Lee Novak appeared at the back post to smash home a Gary Roberts free kick and hand Town all three points.

A sea of blue and white greeted the Terriers as they emerged on to the Galpharm pitch. Town were looking to enter the playoffs on a high, starting today, with victory over the U's.

Colchester had the better of the opening passages. In the second minute, midfielder David Fox warmed the hands of Town's custodian Alex Smithies with a curling effort from 20 yards.

It was the U's again in the 7th minute testing Town's defence. Good play by the former Charlton striker Kevin Lisbie forced an opening for Ian Henderson. The right-sided midfielder unleashed a half-volley from 18 yards forcing Smithies to tip the ball over the bar. The resulting corner was well defended by Neal Trotman who headed the danger clear.

Town had their first opportunity on goal in the 16th minute; a clever through ball by Danny Drinkwater unlocked the U's defence and opened up a shooting opportunity for Jordan Rhodes. Rhodes immediately looked to pull the trigger and was unlucky not to work Ben Williams in the Colchester goal when John White got in the way of his attempted effort. The blocked effort meant Town were awarded their first corner of the game, which was to be taken by Anthony Pilkington.

PENALTY - From the resulting corner a handball by the U's centre back Paul Reid at the back post meant Town were awarded a deserving penalty.

BOOKING - As a consequence of his offence, Colchester's Reid was awarded the first yellow card of the game.

GOAL - Theo Robinson did exactly the same as he did against Millwall by slotting the ball home and giving Town the lead on the 17th minute - sending the strong home support into raptures.

BOOKING - Peter Clarke was cautioned in the 20th minute for hauling down the U's tricky winger Simon Hackney, as he tried to turn away from Town's captain.

Town looked to press home their advantage as the game grew towards the mid-point of the first half. In the 29th minute a miss-hit shot by Town's Lee Peltier very nearly found the feet of Theo Robinson, if the in-form striker had managed to control the shot it would have surely meant Town doubling their advantage.

Despite their good pressure, Town were lucky to escape in the 32nd minute. After clearing a corner, the Terriers stood off the U's winger Anthony Wordsworth allowing him to chip a ball to the back post. The cross was played perfectly for the on-rushing Lisbie who should have hit the target with his header, but could only manage to fire over the bar.

In the 43rd minute a typically brilliant Town breakaway attack very nearly gifted Robinson his second goal of the game. A quick throw-out by Smithies sent Roberts away down the Colchester right. Roberts ran his marker to the edge of the box then expertly slid the ball past him into the penalty area. Once past Tierney he played the ball back to an unmarked Theo Robinson, the strikers first time effort looked destined for the bottom right corner of Williams goal, however, to the amazement of the striker the ball narrowly missed, skimming the post as it went out.


Colchester started the second half brightly; good interplay between Izzet and Lisbie forced Peter Clarke to concede the first corner of the half in 48th minute. The corner was a disappointing one from a Colchester perspective, sailing high over the players and out for a goal kick.

Colchester continued to ask questions of the Town defence, and in the 55th minute Wordsworth went close with a curling effort. Slack defending at the back by Town allowed Wordsworth time to turn in the box and curl an effort towards the top right of Smithies goal. Luckily for Town his effort was too high to test Smithies and let them off for some poor defending.

SUB - Lee Clark made his first change of the game in the 59th minute replacing Town's goal scorer Theo Robinson, for Lee Novak.

Town finally came to life in the second half thanks to an unexpected source, Neal Trotman. The big centre-halve had two efforts on goal inside two minutes, but on both occasions he came up against a stern Colchester defence. Firstly, in the 66th minute, his snap shot from a Roberts cross was defended well by his opposite Reid, and then from the resulting corner he rose highest forcing a good save from Williams with his head.

SUB - Aidy Boothroyd made an attacking change in the 69th minute replacing midfielder Ian Henderson for the former Barnsley front man Kayode Odejayi.

GOAL - The U's deservingly equalised thanks to winger Simon Hackney, who netted a good cross by substitute Kayode Odejayi. In the 77th minute, the big striker managed to bustle his way past Peter Clarke and get to the by-line. Once there the striker picked out Hackney with a low cross to the back stick leaving the winger with an easy chance to beat the dive of Smithies and make it 1-1.

SUBS - Both managers made alterations to their respected sides in the 81st minute. Firstly, Lee Clark replaced winger Anthony Pilkington with Nathan Eccleston. Meanwhile, the U's replaced their goal scorer Simon Hackney with their number nine Clive Platt.

Lee Clark's introduction of Nathan Eccleston very nearly put Town back in the lead. In the 82nd minute the winger linked up nicely with Jordan Rhodes whose slide rule pass left Eccleston with time and space in the box. Under very little pressure Eccleston dragged his shot wide of Ben Williams's goal; the shot also evaded the dive of Lee Novak who tried to direct the ball towards goal.

GOAL - Lee Novak popped up again just like he did against Walsall to snatch victory from what looked like a certain draw in the 94th minute. A wicked curling free-kick by Gary Roberts found Novak unmarked at the back post. As we have come to expect, Novak stayed calm and slotted home the bouncing ball to send the home fans crazy and give Town an unlikely three points.


Town starting XI

Alex Smithies, Lee Peltier, Peter Clarke, Neal Trotman, Tom Clarke, Gary Roberts, Danny Drinkwater, Antony Kay, Anthony Pilkington, Theo Robinson, Jordan Rhodes.


Simon Eastwood, Nathan Clarke, Krystian Pearce, Robbie Williams, Lee Novak, Robbie Simpson, Nathan Eccleston

Huddersfield Booking - Peter Clarke (20)

Colchester Booking - Paul Reid (17)

Gate - 17950

Away - 221

    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.