The Terriers recorded an important home win over fellow promotion contenders Millwall in front of the live Sky TV cameras courtesy of a first-half header from Man of the Match Peter Clarke.
The Town skipper got his head to an Anthony Pilkington set-piece to settle the tie and Lee Clark's side dug in during the second 45 minutes to keep an impressive clean sheet.
A carnival atmosphere greeted both teams as they entered on to the Galpharm pitch. The atmosphere in the ground had reached fever pitch for what was set to be one of the biggest games of the season for both teams.
Town started the liveliest of both teams attacking well through Anthony Pilkington down the right wing and a Danny Drinkwater free-kick. However, Millwall responded immediately and were almost through on goal when Shaun Batt stole a march on Neal Trotman; luckily for Town, the striker's touch was poor, and the ball went out harmlessly for a goal kick.
SUB - Millwall made an enforced early change in the 5th minute when Shaun Batt pulled up running for a long ball; he was replaced by Jonathan Obika.
Millwall had the first effort of the match in the 8th minute. A good jinking run by the replacement Obika got the better of Trotman, however, as the tall striker arrived at the edge of the penalty area he could only manage to drag his shot wide of Alex Smithies goal.
A good touch and cross from the in-form Theo Robinson won Town the first corner of the game in the 12th minute. Pilkington stood over the ball and hit a dangerous looking cross into David Forde's six yard box. However, the Millwall custodian commanded his area well amongst a crowd of players, and collected the ball with ease.
Town went close to scoring in the 23rd minute following a quiet period of play in the game. Good defending from Peter Clarke at the back laid the foundations for a Town breakaway attack. The ball was played long for Theo Robinson who collected the ball expertly and set about terrorising the Millwall centre half Paul Robinson. Using his skill and quick feet he cut inside the Lions skipper and produced a fierce drive at goal. Unfortunately for the Terriers, Theo's strike was straight at Forde who got down well to gather the ball.
BOOKING - Millwall right-back Jack Smith received the first booking of the game in the 28th minute, the defender fouled Gary Roberts just outside the penalty area as the winger attempted to burst into the box. The resulting free-kick was well worked but the final product was executed poorly as Tom Clarke fired the ball high over the Millwall goal.
Good interplay down the right side of Town's attack involving Pilkington and Clarke forced Town their second corner of the game in the 33rd minute. Once again Pilkington stood over the ball and crossed a long, curling cross to the back stick. Big Neal Trotman rose highest and got a good header onto the ball, but was unlucky to see his effort skim narrowly past the post.
Brilliant wing player from Roberts should have given Town the lead in the 37th minute. The winger breezed past two Millwall defenders as he made his way to the by-line, once there he cut back a well aimed ball for the awaiting Jordan Rhodes. The striker looked odds-on to score and beat Forde with his shot, but to the disappointment of the Town faithful he also beat the post.
GOAL - A deserved opener for the home side came in the 39th minute courtesy of Town's captain Peter Clarke. Town had been applying good, consistent pressure during the latter stages of the half and made it pay from a Pilkington corner. Not for the first time tonight the winger delivered a wicked ball into the Millwall box which was attacked excellently by Clarke. He timed his run perfectly and saw his header fly into the back of the net past a desperate Millwall defender on the line.
HALF TIME - TOWN 1 - MILLWALL 0
Millwall started the second half brightly, and forced the first corner of the 45 just two minutes into the half. Chris Hackett stood over the dead ball and played it perfectly onto the head of the Lions skipper Robinson. The centre-half connected well with the cross but saw his effort blocked well by a resilient Town defence.
Town hit back minutes later with a corner of their own, forced through good play from Pilkington. Pilkington stood over the corner and for the first time tonight crossed a disappointing ball into the box which was defended solidly by the Millwall backline.
The best opportunity of the half came Town's way in the 54th minute. The Terriers winger, Pilkington, played a lovely long ball over the top of Millwall's two centre-halves who were caught napping by the electric Robinson. With Forde showing signs of indecision in the Millwall goal, Theo attempted to lob the 'keeper from all for 20 yards. Unfortunately for the striker his effort landed just the wrong side of Millwall's goal, but expressed the confidence the striker is currently playing with.
SUB - In the 55th minute Kenny Jackett made his second change of the night replacing winger Chris Hackett for the veteran striker Neil Harris. Jackett's substitution forced him to change formation slightly as Obika moved to the wing to accommodate the introduction of Harris.
BOOKING - Town received their first caution of the game in the 59th minute when referee Linington deemed Peter Clarke to have fouled Danny Schofield.
SUB - Minutes later Lee Clark made his first substitution of the night, bringing on Tuesday's match winner Lee Novak, for Jordan Rhodes.
The introduction of Lee Novak kicked Town into gear, as they started to play with the same tempo they showed in the first half. In the 66th minute then won a corner courtesy of a brilliant ball across the box by Novak, if it wasn't for a crucial interception by Smith at the back post Robert's would have had an easy tap-in. The resulting corner was cleared well by the Lions who had stepped up their game since the start of the second half.
Town were let off the hook big time as the game entered the 70th minute mark. Millwall were upping their ante in attack and had Town well and truly on the back foot. In the space of a minute Obika rattled Smithies cross bar with a header and from the rebound Steve Morrison should have scored but scuffed his effort across goal.
BOOKING -Gary Roberts was the recipient of Town's second caution of the game in the 81st minute. The winger was booked for petulance when he prevented Millwall taking a quick throw-in.
SUBS - Both managers made alterations in the 83rd minute of the game. Lee Peltier had run a brilliant game considering his lack of match fitness and was replaced by Robbie Williams. Also, Kenny Jackett made his final change of the night replacing hitman Steve Morrison for Gary Alexander.
As the game entered injury time, Town were defending resiliently and were not giving the Lion's strikers a minute on the ball.
SUB -James Berrett was Lee Clark's final introducing of the game. Berrett replaced Theo Robinson in the second minute of injury time to make it five in midfield for Terriers.
FULL TIME: TOWN 1 MILLWALL 0
Town's Team (4-4-2):
Alex Smithies; Lee Peltier (Robbie Williams, 83), Peter Clarke (c), Neal Trotman, Tom Clarke; Gary Roberts, Antony Kay, Danny Drinkwater, Anthony Pilkington; Theo Robinson (James Berrett, 90+2), Jordan Rhodes (Lee Novak, 63)
Unused Subs: Simon Eastwood, Nathan Clarke, James Berrett, Krystian Pearce, Nathan Eccleston
Town Booking: Peter Clarke (59), Gary Roberts (81)
Millwall Booking: Jack Smith (28)