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21:43 19th January 2010


Lee Clark's Huddersfield Town side endured a frustrating evening at the Galpharm Stadium thanks to a determined and well organised Bristol Rovers outfit.

Neither side could break the deadlock throughout 90 gritty and combative minutes, but on the positive side the Terriers kept another clean sheet and maintained their unbeaten home League record.

The Terriers created the first half-chance of the game inside the opening thirty seconds when some great footwork from Anthony Pilkington freed up the space to cross deep, but Antony Kay could only divert the ball wide with his header at full stretch.

Bristol replied immediately, with midfielder Chris Lines volleying the ball well wide from 25 yards after Novak half-cleared out of his own area.

Lee Clark's side pressed the visitors back into their own half in the early stages, but could not craft any clear-cut opportunities - the best effort came in the 9th minute when Gary Roberts skinned full-back Regan down the left, but his cross was headed away well by centre back Danny Coles.

On the stroke of the 12th minute Danny Drinkwater, restored to the starting line-up for the first time since October 3rd at the expense of Tom Clarke, sent a speculative cross into Rovers' area but unfortunately for the home fans skipper Peter Clarke could only turn the ball well wide from 18 yards out.

Jo Kuffour blasted high and wide from an impossible angle at the other end five minutes later, but the Terriers were soon back at it and only goalkeeper Mikkel Andersen stopped the home side from taking a 21st minute lead. Pilkington combined with Novak down the right channel before squaring the ball back across goal, where Drinkwater side-footed a shot towards goal; the midfielder's effort was pushed back into the danger area by the shot-stopper, where Jordan Rhodes sent a looping header towards the far post. However, Andersen showed good reactions to recover and push the ball to safety with two strong hands.

Robbie Williams sent a speculative curler wide of Andersen's right-hand post with his weaker right foot barely a minute later as Town continued to press, but Rovers showed they still carried a threat when striker Andy Williams bustled past Nathan Clarke before lifting the ball tamely wide.

Rovers' skipper Stuart Campbell sent a very hopeful volley wide of goal from 28 yards soon afterwards before Rovers enjoyed their best spell of the game to date. One free-kick from Campbell, taken from the right corner in the 33rd minute, almost fell to striker Williams at the near post but his marker Kay was on hand to pull off a great block.

Town were back on the attack in the next minute after full-back Aaron Lescott tripped Drinkwater down the right flank. Roberts stepped up to swing a typically dangerous free-kick into the box, but Anderson was on hand again to block Nathan Clarke's drive at the far post.

'Robbo' had the Bristol custodian at full stretch with a powerful 30 yard drive in the 38th minute, but the ball flew inches wide of the left-hand post.

BOOKING - Antony Kay picked up his sixth booking of the season in the 42nd minute for a late challenge on Stuart Campbell.

Bristol Rovers then created the best chance of the game to date with a minute of the half remaining, but Alex Smithies denied them what looked like a certain goal. Striker Jo Kuffour dropped deep to pick up a loose ball and played a pass that was intended for the offside Williams, but as the Town defence appealed winger Mark Wright took the opportunity to burst from midfield and latch onto the ball. He tried to slide the ball past the advancing Smithies, but Alex made a great save before Kay got back and cleared to safety.


Lee Clark's side started on the front foot again following the interval, but the game still lacked the rhythm normally apparent at the Galpharm.

Drinkwater did his best to change that in the 51st minute, playing a superb ball out to the left flank for the overlapping Williams. He carried the ball to the edge of the penalty area, but uncharacteristically screwed his attempted volley well wide of the near post.

SUB - Town boss Clark made his first substitution in the 56th minute, with Theo Robinson replacing Lee Novak in attack.

SUB - Robbie Simpson soon followed Theo onto the pitch, replacing Jordan Rhodes in the 59th minute.

One pacey burst down the right from Pilkington in the 62nd minute got the Town fans off their seats, but his cross into the area was slightly behind Robinson; he deflected the ball back to Kay, but he smashed the ball into the Fantastic Family stand.

Referee Mr. Booth started to audibly frustrate the home fans with some decisions given against the home players, but that served to increase the atmosphere around the ground. One Pilkington corner, taken from the Town left, fell to Kay at the near post but somehow a Bristol defender managed to get back on the line and clear his shot.

Substitute Simpson then looked to have got goal side of defender Coles to latch onto a raking 'Pilks' pass in the 69th minute, but the centre half did well to nod the ball back to 'keeper Andersen under tremendous pressure.

Town started throwing balls into the box soon afterwards, with first Pilkington and then Williams supplying quality balls into the Rovers six yard box. However, no Town players could convert the chance.

After grabbing possession from a Rovers midfielder, Pilkington then played a smart one-two with Robinson before

SUB - Lee Clark made his last throw of the dice in the 78th minute, replacing Roberts with Michael Collins. To accommodate this change, Drinkwater moved out to the right wing and Pilkington switched to the left.

Andersen came to Rovers' rescue once again with an outstanding one-handed save to his left side moments after the restart. Drinkwater played a free-kick into the area for Peter Clarke to volley towards goal, but the shot-stopper managed to turn the ball around the post.

SUB - Bristol made their first change in the 80th minute, with Darryl Duffy replacing striker Williams.

Bristol hit the post in the 84th minute when midfielder Lines broke down the Town right and squeezed a cross towards the near post - his ball almost beat Smithies at his near post, but the goalie did well to push the ball onto the woodwork before gathering it in at the second attempt.

Rovers kept men behind the ball in the closing stages and the Terriers could not create the chance that would seal all three points.


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

Alex Smithies; Robbie Williams, Peter Clarke (c), Nathan Clarke, Lee Peltier; Gary Roberts (Michael Collins 78), Danny Drinkwater, Antony Kay, Anthony Pilkington; Lee Novak (Theo Robinson 56), Jordan Rhodes (Robbie Simpson 59)

Unused Subs: Simon Eastwood, Joe Skarz, Tom Clarke, Krystian Pearce

Town Booking: Antony Kay (42)

Gate: 12,624

Visitors: 126

    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.