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16:54 2th April 2011


The Terriers secured back to back wins this afternoon and continued their unbeaten run courtesy of goals from Benik Afobe and Lee Novak.

Despite Tranmere dominating possession for large parts of the game Town never looked in trouble and goals in either half from Afobe and substitute Novak sealed another win for Lee Clark's Terriers.

Town wore their change strip of red and black this afternoon and started the game kicking from right to left.

Town dominated the early proceedings of the game; however Jamie McCombe had to show quick reactions to clear the danger when Enoch Shownumi looked to get in behind the Town back four.

The Terriers were finding it hard to get the ball down and string any number of passes together on what was a very muddy looking Prenton Park pitch.

Tranmere had the best chance of the opening ten minutes courtesy of an excellent free-kick from left-back Aaron Cresswell. Gary Roberts gave away the free-kick down Town's right which Cresswell swung in dangerously to the back post, and was unlucky not to find his fellow defender Ash Taylor who had made a fantastic run to lose his marker.

Town's first effort of the half came in the tenth minute when winger Danny Ward fired a shot just inside the area which was well blocked by Mark McChrystal. The resulting corner was not dealt with by Rovers, whose half clearance found Joey Gudjonsson on the edge of the area - his volley on the full skimmed Tony Warner's crossbar as the 'keeper stood rooted to the spot.

SUB - Liam Ridehalgh was replaced in the eleventh minute by Jack Hunt - the left-back looked to have suffered an injury during the opening moments of the game. Clark's enforced switch meant that Lee Petlier went to left-back and Hunt slotted in alongside McCombe.

After a sustained spell of pressure from the home team, Town broke in trademark fashion. Roberts broke in the centre of midfield following a good piece of defensive play from Kilbane, the winger quickly swung the ball out to Ward who expertly beat Cresswell and began to move in on Warner's goal. Ward steadied himself and on his weaker right foot failed to test Warner at his near post.

Tranmere's Dale Jennings - who had recently wont the Young Player of the Year accolade for League One - broke with speed in the 23rd minute and had McCombe back tracking quickly towards Ian Bennett in Town's goal. Jennings neatly found the run of Zoumana Bakayogo who had stole a march on Hunt - the midfielder controlled the ball superbly and forced Bennett into his first save of the afternoon.

Minutes later Rovers had another effort on Town's goal. Right-winger Robbie Weir collected the ball 18 yards and instantly fired a shot which went well wide of Bennett's goal.

GOAL - Town had three fantastic chances in a row as the game approached the 40 minute mark with Benik Afobe stepping up to finish third time lucky for the Terriers. Firstly, a fantastic save from Warner kept out Arfield's deflected effort and from the resulting corner Kilbane went close rattling Warner's left upright. The ball rebounded from the post to the feet of Roberts who skilfully chipped the ball to the back post and amongst a crowd of players Afobe bundled the ball home from two yards to score his second league goal in Town colours.

BOOKING - Referee Deadman cautioned Joss Labadie in the 40th minute for a late slide tackle of Joey Gudjonsson in the middle of the park.

BOOKING - Minutes later the referee was in action again - this time Dale Jennings went in late on Jack Hunt as he looked to clear his lines.

Town ended the half on the front foot with Afobe causing all sorts of problems for the Tranmere back line - it had been a very impressive first half from the young striker.


Town kick off the second half towards their large following of Town supporters who were making plenty of noise in the April sunshine.

The Terriers began the half like they finished the first with McCombe going close from a 47th minute Roberts corner.

A foul on Roberts by Ash Taylor in the 53rd minute offered Town a shooting opportunity down Town's left.Both the winger and Gudjonsson stood over the ball and it was the latter who fired an effort at Warner's goal - the Icelander's strike was powerful but straight at the Tranmere 'keeper who collected it with ease.

Although the home side were not creating any clear cut chances they were dominating possession as the game approached the hour mark.

A corner in the 63rd minute allowed Rover's to pack Town's penalty area with the likes of Showunmi and McChrystal from the back. However, another poor cross from the right hand side was well defended by the Terriers goalscorer Afobe.

SUB - Lee Clark made his second change of the game in the 67th minute replacing Danny Ward with Jordan Rhodes. Clark's switch saw his side revert back to 4-4-2 with Roberts and Arfield going out onto the wings and Rhodes partnering Afobe in attack.

SUB - Les Parry made his first change of the game in 69th minute - Zoumana Bakayogo was replaced by Adam Mcgurk.

Town were let off the hook in the 72nd minute when Robbie Weir missed a glorious chance to equalise. Showunmi showed an excellent turn of pace to break away from McCombe and get in down Town's right; the tall striker crossed to the back post and picked out Weir who somehow failed to finish from three yards. From the resulting corner Town defended well and cleared their lines.

As the game entered the final 15 minutes it was finely poised. A goal for Town would effectively seal the win; however, it was looking more likely that Tranmere would score with Jennings going close again in the 76th minute.

A snap shot from Rhodes in the 79th minute forced Warner into a fairly comfortable save.

Town had another effort minutes later, this time the chance fell to Roberts who left McChrystal on the floor before firing over from 18 yards.

SUB - Town's final change of the game in the 81st minute saw Lee Novak introduced to the fray in place of Town's goalscorer Benik Afobe.

GOAL - Town sealed the victory thanks to an extremely cool finish from substitute Lee Novak in the 87th minute. Following a brilliant spell of back to the walls defending by the Terriers they broke through Peltier who released Novak with a superb through ball. Despite Roberts being in an offside position he was deemed not to be interfering with play as Novak rounded the 'keeper and finished with his weaker foot to send Town's following into raptures.

SUB - Les Parry made his second change of the game replacing the injured Dale Jennings with former Terrier Lucas Akins.

Town saw out the three minutes of injury time to make it 19 unbeaten since the turn of the year.


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

Ian Bennett, Liam Ridehalgh (Jack Hunt 11), Peter Clarke (c), Jamie McCombe, Lee Peltier; Gary Roberts, Scott Arfield, Kevin Kilbane, Joey Gudjonsson, Danny Ward (Jordan Rhodes 67); Benik Afobe (Lee Novak 81)

Substitutes: Nick Colgan, Sean Morrison, Antony Kay, Alan Lee.



Tranmere: Labadie 40, Jennings 44,

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    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.