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17:00 2th January 2010


Town's FA Cup run came to an end at the Galpharm Stadium this afternoon as Championship high-flyers West Bromwich Albion advanced to the next stage courtesy of goals from Graham Dorrans and Chris Wood.

Plenty of noise could be heard from both sets of supporters during the opening exchanges of the game, however, on the field neither side had taken any really control of affairs.

The first sniff of a chance fell to Town's inform striker Lee Novak, however he was ruled off side following a long ball from the left, much to the disappointment of the home fans.

Town looked the more comfortable side on the ball following Novak's chance, especially wide man Anthony Pilkington, who at every opportunity was looking to attack West Brom's left back.

Following a good spell of pressure Jordan Rhodes was offered his first chance of the game - a throw-in flicked on by Antony Kay arrived at Rhodes at the back post, however Town's top scorer could only manage to slice his shot wide.

West Brom's first chance of the game was a golden one; it fell to Scotsman Graham Dorrans. Amazingly the right winger managed to head the ball over from 6 yards when it was arguably easier to score.

The first corner of the game was awarded to West Brom in the 18th minute. A good in swinger from the left by Dorrans almost created a chance for the Baggies - however referee Wright stopped the game before a shot could be fired in, as a result of an infringement.

The Terriers were proving to be more than a match for their Championship opposition, and were beginning to take a slight hold on the game entering the half way point of the first half.

A foul on Dorrans by Town's number seven Gary Roberts offered West Brom an opportunity to test Town goalkeeper, Alex Smithies. Following much deliberation over the taker of the free-kick, the ball sailed harmlessly into the hands of grateful Smithies.

The best chance of the first 45 minutes came as the half closed to an end. A rasping drive from Chris Brunt looked destined for the bottom corner of Town's net; however a brilliant diving save from Smithies diverted the ball wide for a corner.

West Brom were beginning to show their quality and were ending the half the better side. Filipe Teixiera wasted another good chance for the Championship high-flyers as he blasted high and wide from the edge of the penalty box.

Referee Wright was at the heart of things during the latter stages of the half, firstly turning down a penalty shout for Town, then awarding Town a free kick 30 yards out after Brunt bought down Roberts, resulting in a yellow card for the midfielder. Roberts stood over the free-kick which was cleared brilliant by a West Brom defender for a corner. The resulting corner was then cleared easily.

The referee's half time whistle bought an end to an eventful, but tight affair, where neither side managed take full control of the game.


Town started the second half much brighter than their Championship counterparts and were awarded a free kick in the opening minutes. A great ball by Roberts was met by the head of Kay who narrowly missed the far post.

After a slow start West Brom played their way into the second half and were rewarded when left back Marek Cech hit a brilliant shot from the edge of the area, clipping the post as it flew past Smithies.

Town replied instantly, and looked as if they would open the scoring. A short pass from Rhodes from the penalty spot found Roberts all alone in the box. However, Scott Carson proved his worth in the West Brom goal and blocked the wingers shot with his legs

Substitute Tom Clarke made an early impression on the game winning a corner on the right for Roberts to take. The corner was defended well once again by the West Brom defence who had played well as a unit all game.

The game was becoming end to end as the Baggies - now playing towards their travelling fans - won a corner following a quick breakaway through Simon Cox. However, just like their opposites, the Town defence stood firm, clearing the ball to safety

Arguably Town's best chance of the game came in the 64th minute and fell to Town's number 4 Michael Collins. A great knock down by Roberts was met brilliant by the surging Collins whose shot narrowly went wide from the edge of the area, leaving Carson rooted to the spot

Collins's was beginning to take control of the game in the centre of the park, his ball fed Pilkington whose cross deserved a goal, however, Cech defended well at the back post and cleared the ball away from the on rushing Roberts.

Town were beginning to push forward in numbers and were creating numerous good chances. Roberts produced a good low save from Carson, which was followed up by a great ball into the box from the right. The ball found Pilkington who went down under a heavy challenge, despite appeals from every Town fan in the stadium the referee allowed play to go on.

GOAL - West Brom opened the scoring well against the run of play; Nathan Clarke's misplaced pass was pounced upon by Chris Brunt who played through Graham Dorrans. The impressive midfielder had a clear run through on goal and made no mistake slotting the ball past a diving Smithies.

GOAL - A deflated Town were hit again by the Baggies in the 82 minute. Substitute Chris Wood found room in behind the Town defence and only just beat goalkeeper Smithies with his shot who managed to get a hand to the ball.

Town to their credit never stopped trying and continued to show their fighting spirit, a snap shot from Pilkington in the 86th minute tested Carson again, however, the former England international gathered the ball comfortably.

Impressive play from skipper Peter Clarke allowed Antony Kay to get away a great shot. Clarke picked out Kay in the middle of the park, who from 30 yards hit a powerful shot which almost had the beating of Carson in the West Brom goal.


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

Alex Smithies; Joe Skarz, Peter Clarke (c), Nathan Clarke, Lee Peltier (Danny Drinkwater 78); Gary Roberts (Theo Robinson 85), Antony Kay, Michael Collins, Anthony Pilkington; Lee Novak (Tom Clarke 58), Jordan Rhodes

Unused Subs: Matt Glennon, Robbie Simpson, Andy Butler, Lionel Ainsworth

West Brom Booking: Chris Brunt (45)

    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.