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22:16 9th February 2010


Town earned another point on the road at a chilly Withdean Stadium against Brighton and Hove Albion and although the game was goalless, both sides had chances to win it.

Anthony Pilkington went closest for the away side, striking the bar with a ferocious free-kick during the second-half, but neither side could make a breakthrough on the evening.

The Terriers, in their change strip of red and navy, were deployed in a new 4-3-3 formation as the game got underway

An early Pilkington cross fell straight to long serving Brighton 'keeper Kuipers early on, but the opening moments of the game consisted of a midfield battle between the two sides. However, Town were causing the home side some problems with very industrious closing down when the Seagulls were in possession.

Gus Poyet's side created their first chance of the game through a 11th minute set-piece, given when former Town loanee Liam Dickinson was adjudged to have been tripped by Peter Clarke. Elliott Bennett pulled the ball back to a teammate on the edge of the box, but he scuffed his shot badly and Drinkwater cleared to safety.

At the other end a Pilkington free-kick in the right corner fell to Michael Collins at the back post and although his shot was clearly deflected behind by a defender, referee Bratt gave a dead ball.

Good pressure from striker Robbie Simpson then forced a 14th minute corner and from 'Pilks' deep delivery, Antony Kay headed towards goal; however, his effort was cleared off the line by a defender. However, it was a promising sign for Lee Clark's side.

Skipper Clarke survived a handball shout in his own area moments later after Williams' sliced clearance struck him during a Brighton corner routine - it would have been a very harsh decision had it gone against the defender.

Alex Smithies showed great alertness in the 26th minute to spring from his line to grab the ball right on the edge of his area, just as Dickinson was looking to latch onto a hopeful ball over the Town defence.

Home striker Holroyd blasted well wide of goal from range moments later as the home side enjoyed a spell of possession.

A short corner at the other end, worked between Drinkwater and Pilkington, allowed the latter to cross into the box in the 30th minute but Peter Clarke could only loop a header into the hands of Kuipers.

The game had suddenly sprung into life and the ball was soon at the Town end again, with Clarke making a great last ditch clearance to deny Dickinson a certain goal as he tried to latch onto Holroyd's low, driven cross.

Robbie Simpson showed great determination inside the Brighton box in the 35th minute, outmuscling big defender Adam Virgo to get in behind to connect with a deep Drinkwater free-kick from the right. However, the defender applied a lot of pressure to the striker and he could only volley the ball high over the crossbar at close range.

The scrappy first half soon drew to a close with the scoreline as it was at kick-off.


The second half started at a frantic pace and the Terriers created two early openings, only for Peltier's cross from the right and Kay's long range shot to be deflected behind for corners. However, the game soon resumed in the same battling pattern that was stamped all over the first half.

A brief clash between Kay and Dickinson was a rare flashpoint in the first quarter of an hour, but Brighton had the chance of the game to date just before the hour mark. Peter Clarke got slightly underneath a long ball into the Town area and striker Holroyd showed good awareness to knock the ball back first time to partner Dickinson. The big striker tried to bend the ball into the corner from the edge of the box, but Smithies was equal to it and tipped the ball over the bar.

The resulting corner led to another half chance, but Williams easily cleared Virgo's scuff towards goal.

SUB - Lee Clark made his first substitution in the 62nd minute, with top scorer Rhodes and Novak replacing Simpson and Eccleston as the Terriers switched to 4-4-2 - with Drinkwater moving to the right wing.

Brighton winger Carole blasted wide of goal from range soon afterwards.

SUB - Brighton brought on Glenn Murray for Dickinson in the 65th minute.

Town's new front two immediately got involved, with Drinkwater sending a low pass into the channel for Novak to chase; the forward did well to get a low cross into the box, but defender Elphick did equally well to stretch out a foot and divert the ball behind for a corner with Rhodes looking to turn the ball home.

Carole then wasted a good chance in the 70th minute, smashing the ball over on the volley at the far post after a cross from the right flank.

SUB - Brighton replaced Carole with Gary Dicker a minute later, with Town bringing on Tom Clarke for Collins.

Neal Trotman produced a great headed clearance to get rid of a good Navarro free-kick following the restart before Virgo turned a good chance from a corner around the post.

The Seagulls were on top at this stage of the contest and defender Virgo volleyed another corner delivered towards the near post narrowly over Smithies' crossbar.

Kay hit a long shot straight at the goalkeeper from range in the 79th minute, just two minutes before Anthony Pilkington rattled the crossbar with a now trademark free-kick. After Novak was upended by Elphick thirty yards out, the winger sent a piledriver towards goal that beat the goalkeeper but also hit the wrong side of the crossbar before dropping behind for a goal kick.

Smithies was in action again just two minutes later - Dicker's in-swinging cross from the left skimmed the head of Trotman, forcing the young custodian to back-peddle and tip the ball athletically over the crossbar.

Brighton forced a run of corners late in the game, but Town went close again when Drinkwater's great low cross was cleared very well by a defender with Rhodes lurking. At the death, Rhodes lifted Trotman's flick well over the bar.


Town's Team (4-3-3):

Alex Smithies; Robbie Williams, Peter Clarke (c), Neal Trotman, Lee Peltier; Danny Drinkwater, Antony Kay, Michael Collins (Tom Clarke 71); Anthony Pilkington, Robbie Simpson (Jordan Rhodes 62), Nathan Eccleston (Lee Novak 62)

Unused Substitutes: Simon Eastwood, Nathan Clarke, Gary Roberts, Krystian Pearce

Attendance: 4,711

Visitors: 163

    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.