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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
21:44 16th February 2010

CARLISLE UNITED 1 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 2

The Terriers made it seven points out of a possible nine on the road with a great victory at in-form Carlisle United, with the goals coming from the ever-reliable strike pairing of Lee Novak and Jordan Rhodes.

A great start to the game from Town was capped with Novak's early goal that gave Lee Clark's side a half-time lead and Rhodes' 18th of the season ten minutes into the second-half sealed an impressive win, despite a late added-time consolation from home substitute Joe Anyinsah.

The Terriers started the game brightly in their change strip of red and navy, forcing the home side onto the back foot and forcing a third minute corner when Lee Novak's long-range shot was deflected wide of goal. Striker Jordan Rhodes rose highest at the near post from Pilkington's pacey delivery, but could only glance a header wide of goal.

A Gary Roberts corner from the opposite flank just a minute later almost dropped to Drinkwater in the six yard box before Carlisle hurriedly cleared to safety; the early signs were promising for Lee Clark's side.

GOAL - The early pressure soon told when Lee Novak scoredhisninth goal of the season in the 6th minute. Town had once again pressed the home side back into their own half and when the ball was cleared to the halfway line, Lee Peltier was on hand to turn it back into the Carlisle box; a defender misjudged the flight, which allowed the striker to latch onto the ball before poking it around the goalkeeper and sliding calmly into the empty net.

Carlisle tried to fight back immediately, but midfielder Adam Clayton's useful-looking twenty yard volley flashed narrowly over Alex Smithies' bar after Peter Clarke had bravely blocked Scott Dobie's initial header from a left wing cross.

The travelling Town fans were in good voice following the opener, but the game evened out following the opener. The Terriers looked to have created another chance in the 13th minute when Roberts found Peltier on the edge of the box with a clever free-kick routine, but a Town player was penalised by referee Evans for blocking the Carlisle player that was attempting to close the right-back down.

The visiting side were well on top again soon afterwards and a quick pass from Heffernan found Pilkington in space down the left flank. He turned before advancing and curling a decent effort towards goal, but unfortunately for everyone connected with Huddersfield the ball drifted just wide of the far post.

Carlisle mounted a rare attack in the 16th minute when a long cross-field ball, aiming for striker Duffy, was half-cleared to the edge of the penalty area; however, winger Matty Robson volleyed the rebound well over the crossbar.

The Terriers were flying down the wings, with Pilkington and Roberts - who had already swapped to the left and right sides respectively - repeatedly beating their full-backs, but Carlisle were managing to clear the balls into their penalty area.

A great one-two between Novak and Peltier saw the latter released into the area in the 21st minute, but his final ball into the box was cleared behind for a corner. From that delivery Peter Clarke did very well to poke the ball into the feet of Pilkington in the far corner, but Rhodes could only tap his low near post cross into the hands of 'keeper Collin with several defenders close by.

Town's work rate was exceptional on a cold February evening, with the front two of Rhodes and Novak leading by example in not giving the Carlisle defenders a moment's rest.

Home striker Duffy should have done better with Dobie's knock-down into his path on the stroke of the 25th minute, but he could only trickle a volley straight at Alex Smithies. Four minutes later the Cumbrians forced their first corner of the game, but Dobie could only head Hurst's delivery over and wide of goal.

A speedy breakaway from Heffernan down the left after a Carlisle free-kick was cleared almost setup a chance for Jordan Rhodes just after the half hour mark and although the striker did well to sidestep one defender, he was stopped in his tracks by the second.

Moments later Peltier was tripped by full-back Murphy, giving Pilkington the chance to swing the ball into the box; however, Antony Kay could only direct the ball over the crossbar with his near post header.

Town were defending well when they had to, with Aussie Heffernan showing on a few occasions that he was more than a match for tricky former Chesterfield wide man Hurst - pulling off one tackle inside his own area that drew a chant of 'Deano' from the travelling faithful.

Novak had a half-chance in the 39th minute, running onto a deep Roberts corner at the back post. His headed effort hit the top of the netting with the 'keeper stretching and the former Gateshead man felt he should have been awarded a corner, but the official gave a goal kick.

Carlisle then created their best chance of the game in the 42nd minute, with Clayton putting Scott Dobie through on goal with a superb defence-splitting pass. The former West Brom striker tried to slide the ball past Alex Smithies, but the young custodian made a superb save low to his left side. The rebound fell to strike partner Duffy and he rattled the bar with a firm volley from fifteen yards before the Town defence cleared to safety.

That clearance fell to Novak, who cleverly held the ball up before setting Drinkwater away. The midfielder raced past one defender before trying to knock the ball around the last defender, but he cleverly got his body between the man and the ball before clearing into touch.

With the half drawing to a close the impressive Heffernan robbed Hurst of the ball well inside the Carlisle half and advanced before shooting from range. He scuffed his shot wide of the near post, but it was positive play from the Aussie.

BOOKING - Danny Drinkwater picked up his first yellow card in Huddersfield Town colours in first half added time for a late challenge on left-back Murphy on the touchline.

HALF-TIME: CARLISLE UNITED 0 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1

The second-half recommenced in a scrappy fashion, with an extremely hopeful 35 yard shot from Darryl Duffy in the 48th minute drawing a few groans from the home fans around Brunton Park.

Former Town loanee Richard Keogh, playing at right-back for the Cumbrians, was the next player to try and beat Heffernan down the Town left in the 52nd minute but the former Central Coast Mariners man showed great body strength to shrug him off before coolly playing the ball infield.

Town went very close to a second goal with their first meaningful attack of the second-half on the stroke of the 55th minute. Novak collected a ball up field before turning and running at the Carlisle defence; he turned the ball infield to Rhodes, who sidestepped Ian Harte before curling an effort towards goal. Keeper Collins did just enough, pushing the ball onto the top of the crossbar with his hand.

GOAL - Town's top scorer was not to be denied though and from Gary Roberts' right wing corner, Jordan Rhodes was the man who found space on the near post to head the ball across the goalkeeper and past the bodies on the line to extend Town's lead. The entire team wheeled away to the ecstatic travelling supporters to celebrate Rhodes' 18th of the season in just the 56th minute.

SUB - Carlisle boss Greg Abbott decided he had seen enough in the aftermath of the second goal and made his first change of the game, bringing on Joe Anyinsah for Dobie.

Goalscorer Rhodes needed treatment from physio Dave Buckby soon afterwards for a midair collision with big defender Danny Livesey, but the striker was ok to continue.

SUB - Carlisle made their final two substitutions in the 62nd minute, with Ben Marshall - scorer of the Carlisle equaliser at the Galpharm just ten days previously - and Tom Taiwo replacing Paul Thirlwell and Hurst.

BOOKING - Dean Heffernan picked up his first yellow card in English football in the 64th minute for a challenge from behind on Clayton on the left touchline.

Smithies was soon in the wars, catching an arm in the face from a Carlisle player as he claimed a raking cross from Keogh. Like his colleague Rhodes earlier, he was ok to continue after treatment from the physio.

Carlisle custodian Collin got away with a terrible clearance in the 71st minute thanks to his colleague Ian Harte's quick reactions - he pounced just in front of Novak to clear the ball on the edge of his own box.

Trotman showed good alertness at the other end in the 72nd minute to clear a dangerous cross from Clayton before the referee impeded Drinkwater badly in the centre circle, allowing a midfielder to slip the ball into the feet of Duffy inside the area. Just like late in the first-half, Smithies came to Town's rescue - pushing the strong shot away from point blank range before strike partner Anyinsah conceded a foul on the edge of the Town box.

Heffernan then showed good positional awareness moments later, sweeping up behind Clarke and Trotman to clear the ball to safety just as striker Duffy looked to pounce. Town immediately sprang a counter attack and should have made it three - Novak slipped the ball left to Rhodes as Town had a three on one situation on the break, but Jordan placed his shot too close to the goalkeeper and Collin pushed the ball around the post.

A quick 25 yard free-kick from set piece specialist Harte drifted wide of Smithies' right-hand post in the 78th minute before the ball returned to the other end, with Collin doing well to gather in a powerful low cross from Pilkington on the right flank.

BOOKING - Referee Evans booked both Anthony Pilkington and Peter Murphy in the 82nd minute after the pair had a coming together as Peter Clarke looked to deliver a free-kick.

Alex Smithies had to stay alert and sprang from his line well to head the ball out as the pacey Anyinsah tried to latch on to a defensive clearance.

SUB - Lee Clark brought on striker Nathan Eccleston for the final three minutes of the game; he replaced Gary Roberts. This change saw the Liverpool loanee occupy the vacant left wing spot.

All eleven Town players continued to work very hard to see out the final moments of the game, with Rhodes and Novak offering outlets down the channels and Drinkwater in particular getting back to help out his defenders on various occasions. Trotman was aerially dominant at the back, giving Darryl Duffy absolutely no chance with a series of massive headed clearances.

GOAL - Three minutes into the five minutes of added time substitute Joe Anyinsah gave the home side hope with a late goal. Lee Peltier gave away a free-kick down the Town right that midfielder Clayton played into the box; Keogh rose above Heffernan to nod the ball into the area and when the ball dropped over the heads of the two Town centre backs, Anyinsah pounced to smash the ball through Smithies on the volley.

Novak volleyed over a decent chance from eighteen yards as the game drew to a close before Rhodes drew an important foul from a defender right in the left corner, which allowed the Terriers to see out the game for an important three points on the road.

FULL-TIME: CARLISLE UNITED 1 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 2

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

Alex Smithies; Dean Heffernan, Peter Clarke (c), Neal Trotman, Lee Peltier; Gary Roberts (Nathan Eccleston 87), Danny Drinkwater, Anthony Kay, Anthony Pilkington; Lee Novak, Jordan Rhodes

Unused Subs: Simon Eastwood, Michael Collins, Nathan Clarke, Theo Robinson, Tom Clarke, Krystian Pearce

Town Bookings: Danny Drinkwater (45), Dean Heffernan (64), Anthony Pilkington (82)

Carlisle Booking: Peter Murphy (82)

Attendance: 5,236

    Data provided by Press Association

    QUICK FACTS

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