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15:57 1th November 2009


Town moved back into the Play-Off places thanks to a welcome second away win of the season at Roses rivals Oldham Athletic on a horrible Sunday afternoon.

A superb free-kick from left-back Robbie Williams (pictured) - his first goal of the season - sealed all three points for Lee Clark's side and the manager could be very happy with his side's display throughout; the Terriers controlled play for long spells.

Keeper Alex Smithies was called upon once to make a brilliant second-half stop from former Town man Pawel Abbott, but Peter Clarke and company were solid at the back and thoroughly deserved their second clean sheet in three games.

The game commenced in extremely blustery conditions at Boundary Park and both sides were making an effort to get the ball down in the early stages. The Terriers had started with Gary Roberts on the right flank and an early long throw taken by Nathan Clarke from his side caused a few problems for the home defence.

Next a 6th minute run from Pilkington down the left ended with the ball bobbling to the feet of Michael Collins inside the area, but his shot was well blocked by Latics skipper Gregan.

At the other end good pressure applied by former Town striker Keigan Parker forced Alex Smithies to scuff a clearance straight to opposition midfielder Whitaker, but his attempt at a first time shot was easily cut out by Peter Clarke.

Antony Kay then forced 'keeper Brill to scurry across his goal with his superb 10th minute volley, struck from fully 35 yards out. The midfielder hit the ball beautifully, but his effort slid around a foot wide of the right hand post.

The Terriers were enjoying the majority of play in the early stages, but Oldham almost scored through a swift 13th minute break. A Town corner was cleared down the Oldham right and Robbie Williams misjudged the flight, allowing Parker to race into the Town half unopposed. He advanced towards the Town box, but as he looked to shoot the unlikely figure of Roberts made it back to put in a superb last ditch challenge.

Former Bradford winger Joe Colbeck then sent a hopeful curler well wide of Smithies goal two minutes later under heavy pressure from Peltier before Smalley put a header from a Sheehan free-kick well wide of Smithies' goal from an 18th minute set-piece.

The Latics had come back into the game by this point and midfielder Furman was the next to try his luck in the 22nd minute, losing marker Rhodes to latch onto a clever lay-off from Abbott before volleying wide of the near post from the edge of the box.

Pilkington tried his luck with a long range free-kick three minutes later, but his shot flew over the bar and into the travelling horde of Town fans behind the goal.

Kay's acrobatic overhead kick found the chest of goalkeeper Brill in the 27th minute before a piledriver of a shot from Williams was bravely headed to safety by defender Hazell soon afterwards.

Peter Clarke's cross into the area from the halfway line narrowly evaded Lee Novak at the far post as Town almost capitalised on Oldham's deep defensive line in the 33rd minute.

The Terriers then came the closest to opening the deadlock so far with a 38th minute set-piece, awarded after Hazell hauled down Jordan Rhodes; the striker picked himself up and got his head to Pilkington's superb delivery, but the ball stuck the bar before flying to safety.

Strike partner Novak then tried to knock the ball over Oldham skipper Gregan inside the area and the ball appeared to strike the hand of the veteran defender as he performed a sliding block, but despite vociferous protests from all the players, the bench and the fans referee Kettle turned down the appeal.

Collins then fed Roberts a short pass in added time, who had found space in behind the Oldham midfield, but he struck a weak shot straight at the goalkeeper from just outside the area.

All in all, a very satisfying half for Lee Clark - his side enjoyed the majority of play throughout the first 45 minutes and weathered the only spell of Oldham pressure at the midway point. Rhodes' bullet header that struck the woodwork was the closest either side had come to a breakthrough and the Town players deserved praise for trying to play on the floor through the terrible conditions.


Town were back on the attack early in the second half and after Gregan barged into Rhodes, Williams sent a 25-yard free-kick cannoning into an Oldham defender.

Lee Clark's side were facing the strong wind in the second period and with the ball hanging in the air, the commanding Gregan was winning his fair share of headers.

BOOKING - Oldham defender Reuben Hazell was booked in the 59th minute for a poor challenge on Jordan Rhodes.

GOAL - The offence took place to the right of Oldham's goal and Robbie Williams brilliantly took advantage of a poorly set-up wall to give the Terriers the lead. The left-back stepped up and slammed a curling 25-yard free-kick around the wall and into 'keeper Brill's near post before running the entire length of the pitch to celebrate his first of the season with the jubilant Town supporters.

BOOKING - Jordan Rhodes was booked for the third time this season shortly afterwards for delaying Oldham taking their kick-off.

BOOKING - Andy Holdsworth then brought down Roberts down the Town left to earn himself a yellow card.

BOOKING - Ex-Town man Pawel Abbott was then shown a yellow for not retreating at a Town free-kick.

SUB - Oldham boss Dave Penney made his first substitution of the game in the 67th minute, with Nick Blackman replacing Joe Colbeck.

Novak, Roberts and Rhodes combined well on the edge of the Oldham area in the 69th minute to create space for the latter to shoot, but Town's top scorer sent a low drive just wide of the stationary Brill's right-hand post.

Roberts then laid the ball off to the onrushing Collins a minute later, but he volleyed well over from 25 yards.

In the 74th minute Rhodes got his head to a looping Roberts cross just eight yards from goal, but he struggled to generate any power or direction as he was back-peddling and Brill collected easily.

SUB - Theo Robinson replaced Lee Novak in Town's first change on 76 minutes, with the striker looking like he may have picked up a knock.

Alex Smithies then showed why he is so highly regarded by everyone at Town with an outstanding save in the 79th minute. Abbott took advantage of a lucky deflection off Peter Clarke to advance at goal from the Town left but the 'keeper pulled off a great reaction save to palm away his shot from 12 yards, with the ball ricocheting off midfielder Furman before bouncing to safety.

Robinson then passed the ball back to Collins after latching onto a low ball from Pilkington inside the area in the 82nd minute, but the midfielder's snapshot was easy pickings for the Oldham custodian.

Rhodes then found himself totally unmarked at the near post to head a Williams free kick towards goal, but his glancing effort from 15 yards drifted just wide of the far post.

Robinson had a go himself a minute later, but scuffed an effort into the hands of Brill.

SUB - Lee Clark made his second substitution on 85 minutes, with Lionel Ainsworth replacing Pilkington on the left of midfield.

SUB - Kieran Lee replaced Keigan Parker in the 87th minute for the home side.

Roberts curled a hopeful long ranger high into the stand in the 88th minute after good hold up play from Rhodes.

BOOKING - Alex Smithies was shown a yellow card in the final minute of the game for time wasting.

Oldham threw a few long balls at the Terriers towards during the four minutes of added time, but the defence - superbly marshalled by Captain Clarke and Smithies - held out for a welcome second away win of the season.


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

Alex Smithies; Robbie Williams, Peter Clarke (c), Nathan Clarke, Lee Peltier; Gary Roberts, Michael Collins, Antony Kay, Anthony Pilkington (Lionel Ainsworth 85); Lee Novak (Theo Robinson 76), Jordan Rhodes

Unused Subs: Matt Glennon, Tom Clarke, Andy Butler, James Berrett, Danny Drinkwater

Town Bookings: Jordan Rhodes (60), Alex Smithies (90)

Oldham Bookings: Reuben Hazell (59), Andy Holdsworth (61), Pawel Abbott (63)

Attendance: 8,569

Away: 3,909

    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.