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21:39 10th August 2010


A dramatic late winner from Jordan Rhodes sealed Town's passage to Round Two of this season's Carling Cup at the expense of hosts Carlisle United after a well contested game at Brunton Park this evening.

It looked like the tie would be going to extra time after a evenly fought affair between two good sides but the introduction of substitute Lee Novak was pivotal, with the former Gateshead striker laying the winner on a plate for the 2009/10 top scorer in the final three minutes.

The Cumbrians created a half chance within 45 seconds when striker Madine played the ball to the Town left for full-back Simek, who sent an early cross towards the edge of the Town box; advanced midfielder Zoko got on the end of it, but sent a looping effort way over the crossbar under some pressure.

Town soon settled into their stride and after a couple of corners from Gudjonsson, a defender needed to be on hand to deflect a Scott Arfield snapshot around the near post. Winger Anthony Pilkington, bang in form after his weekend brace, then forced home 'keeper Collin into a save at his near post with a wicked cross-come-shot from wide on the right flank.

Gudjonsson drive a 35-yard free-kick firmly into the chest of a defender in the 6th minute after home skipper Thirlwell had barged into Joe Garner and Town continued to make the running two minutes later through a clever short corner routine. Roberts quickly played the ball short to Lee Peltier, who drew the defender in before sliding a low pass to the edge of the box for Arfield; unfortunately for the Terriers, he sent his 25-yard curler too close to the goalkeeper.

BOOKING - Carlisle veteran Ian Harte was shown a yellow card in the 9th minute after clattering through the back of Garner during an aerial challenge.

BOOKING - Lee Peltier followed Harte into the book three minutes later for a poor challenge on Carlisle's Francois Zoko. This gave Carlisle a free-kick in the far right corner and Alex Smithies did well to push the cross away in a crowd of players.

The persistence of Jordan Rhodes created a half-chance for Town on the quarter hour mark; a straight clearance from Smithies was expertly flicked on by the head of Garner and with the centre-back a firm favourite to get to the ball, Rhodes' perseverence saw him beat the defender to the ball. Jordan tried to lift the ball over Collin from close range and succeeded, but found the wrong side of the side netting.

The home side were playing an interesting formation, consisting of Ivorian Zoko playing just behind the lively front two of Madine and Curran. The Cumbrians spurned a good chance in the 20th minute after robbing Scott Arfield of the ball inside their own half, with holding midfielder Thirlwell advancing forty yards with the ball before shooting badly wide of Smithies' right-hand post from the edge of the box with colleagues in support.

Greg Abbott's side enjoyed a good spell as the 25 minute mark approached and another Simek cross had to be acobatically flicked to safety by Smithies with an attacker lurking at the back post.

However, the Terriers were back on the attack in the 26th minute when a slack pass from former Terrier James Berrett presented Garner with the opportunity to advance down the right channel - he tried to pick out Gary Roberts with his back-post cross, but Simek was on hand to head the ball behind.

McCombe's looping back post header from another Gudjonsson corner was easily claimed by the tall Collin in the 31st minute.

A dangerous free-kick delivered by Ian Harte in the 35th minute caused havoc in the Town six yard box, but the Terriers dealt with the threat admirably. The initial delivery fell to Berrett via a Town head but his scuffed shot was cleared by Naysmith at the near post before McCombe dealt with Madine's follow-up.

From that defensive passage of play, Town created arguably the best chance of the half to date. A lovely ball inside Simek from Garner set Roberts away down the left and he cleverly squared the ball into the area for Jordan Rhodes; however, under heavy pressure he slid the ball wide of the near post from around 12 yards out.

Gudjonsson tried his luck from range again in the 41st minute after picking up a pass inside from Pilkington and although his powerful drive drifted wide of the near post, it worried the 'keeper enough to have him scrambling across his goalmouth.

Carlisle got a little lucky in the 43rd minute when a huge clearance from Collin struck Peltier and fell to striker Madine on the edge of the box, but the loifty striker dragged his volley well wide of goal.

The final shot of the half came from Pilkington - a smartly taken free-kick from Gudjonsson found the winger in space behind the home midfield, but after spinning neatly he drove the ball wide of the 'keeper's right hand post.


Town made no changes during the interval, but Lee Clark had reshuffled his pack slightly towards the end of the first half; Gary Roberts had dropped in just behind the two strikers as Town matched up Carlisle in midfield.

Madine sent a left-footed snapshot trickling wide of Smithies' left-hand post in the 50th minute after Peter Clarke had blocked his initial effort with a full-length dive, but the second-half started as the first finished - very evenly.

Rhodes couldn't quite latch onto Garner's cross into the box two minutes later before Peltier skinned left-back McDaid and forced Collin to push his vicious near post cross away for a corner.

Garner then brilliantly won the header from Smithies' strong clearance in the 54th minute, nodding the ball back to Roberts - however, his powerful volley was always arrowing over the crossbar from the moment it left his boot.

The ball was at the other end moments later and Smithies did extremely well to punch the ball to safety after a cross hit a defender and looped up into the sky, with big striker Madine almost latching onto the loose ball.

Zoko headed McDaid's driven cross well over the bar barely a minute later and in truth the attacker would have done well to score with several defenders in close attendance.

SUB - Town made their first change in the 57th minute, replacing Scott Arfield with Damien Johnson in central midfield.

The determination of home midfielder Berrett crafted a good chance for the home side in the 61st minute - he grafted to win a loose ball on the edge of the Town area before cleverly squaring to fellow midfielder Tom Taiwo, but in typical fashion skipper Peter Clarke was on hand to pull off a brave block as the youngster pulled the trigger.

The home side were on top at this stage and a rasping 30-yard shot from the powerful Madine was excellently tipped around the post by Smithies in the 65th minute.

Carlisle continued to press and after a Berrett corner was cleared to the back post, a player returned the ball into the box and on-loan Manchester United centre-back James Chester headed powerfully wide from fifteen yards out.

A slip from home goalkeeper Collin almost gifted Town the opening goal in the 67th minute. The big custodian slipped as he went to kick the ball clear, gifting possession to Gary Roberts - he expertly crossed to the far post where Rhodes was unmarked, but the striker planted a looping header against the crossbar. Joe Garner followed up, but just as his ball was about to cross the line a defender got back to clear the ball over his own crossbar.

Rhodes went even closer in spectacular fashion in the 70th minute - he took in a long pass forward from McCombe, shrugging off the challenge of Chester in the process, before turning and sending a rocket of a shot ricocheting off the crossbar from 25 yards out with 'keeper Collin well beaten.

Carlisle were right back on the attack moments later, with Madine latching onto a long ball that McCombe misjudged; his low ball into the area found the feet of fellow forward Curran, but as he looked to spin and place the ball into the net Gary Naymith got across to make a vital block.

BOOKING - Carlisle midfielder Tom Taiwo was booked in the 72nd minute for a late challenge on Garner.

Striker Madine then went close from another well-delivered Berrett corner two minutes later, heading over after the ball evaded Gary Roberts at the near post.

The game was going from end to end at a fast pace by this stage and moments later the Terriers were back on the attack. Gudjonsson received the ball wide on the right and delivered a good cross into the area, but Rhodes could only direct his bicycle kick well wide of goal at the back post.

Smithies showed good hands less than a minute later to gather in Harte's powerful free-kick as several strikers looked to pounce.

SUB - Town made their second change in the 78th minute, with Celtic loanee Graham Carey making his competitive debut as a replacement for Roberts.

Smithies watched uninterested as another Harte free-kick drifted comfortably wide of his post with ten minutes remaining before the ball returned to the other penalty area again seconds later. Pilkington helped the ball forward and Rhodes battled well with Chester before Garner steamed in to head the ball on; Jordan latched onto the pass, but scuffed his low shot well wide of the far post from inside the area.

SUB - Carlisle made their first change with eight minutes left - the popular Matty Robson replacing Zoko.

BOOKING - Joe Garner was the fourth man booked on the evening after he led with his arm during an aerial challenge with Ian Harte.

SUB - Garner was immediately replaced, with Lee Novak coming on in attack. Once a Carlisle favourite, he was roundly booed as he left the field.

GOAL - Town then dramatically scored the opening goal of the game in the final minute of the game, with Jordan Rhodes clinically putting Carlisle to the sword after brilliant work from substitute Novak. A long clearance out of defence looked to be dropping to Chester on the edge of his own area but as the ball dropped he slipped, allowing Novak to advance into the area. He cleverly spotted his strike partner in space and squared the ball, leaving Jordan with the relatively easy task of sliding the ball past the goalkeeper from around the penalty spot.

SUB - Carlisle made another sub in the aftermath, with Thirlwell replaced by former Bradford man Marc Bridge-Wilkinson in the four minutes of added time.

One late corner saw Carlisle 'keeper Collin enter Town's penalty area, but Town's players kept calm and saw out the final stages to secure their place in round two.


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

Alex Smithies; Gary Naysmith, Jamie McCombe, Peter Clarke (c), Lee Peltier; Gary Roberts (Graham Carey 78), Scott Arfield (Damien Johnson 57), Joey Gudjonsson, Anthony Pilkington; Joe Garner (Lee Novak 87), Jordan Rhodes

Unused Subs: Ian Bennett, Antony Kay, Theo Robinson, Lee Croft

Town Bookings: Lee Peltier (12), Joe Garner (87)

Carlisle Bookings: Ian Harte (9), Tom Taiwo (72)

Attendance: 3,475

    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.