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16:58 25th September 2010


A goal in the last minute of the game from defender Sean Morrison denied Town a share of the spoils at Swindon Town this afternoon and condemned the Terriers to their second defeat of the season.

Town had battled hard against a good Robins side and it looked like their effort would be rewarded with a point in what had been a cagey affair devoid of many clear cut chances at the County Ground, but the centre back popped up in the final minute of the game to head home Jon-Paul McGovern's corner.

In their home strip of blue and white stripes, the Terriers kicked off in a 4-3-1-2 formation - the same that Swindon were employing. Gudjonsson, Johnson and Arfield formed a solid midfield three with Gary Roberts just behind the two Town strikers.

Swindon's Togolese striker Thomas Dossevi had the first shot at goal when he hit a powerful 30-yard drive in just the second minute, but Alex Smithies easily held the ball at the first attempt.

Jordan Rhodes almost got in behind the Swindon backline three minutes later when Peter Clarke sent a long pass downfield, but centre back Morrison recovered sufficiently to snuff out the danger.

Graham Carey then did brilliantly down the left moments later before sending in a dangerous low cross, but 'keeper Lucas gathered the ball in well with Alan Lee lurking.

However, Lucas then gifted Town an opportunity in the 6th minute that Rhodes will have been disappointed not to capitalise upon. When trying to roll the ball out to right-back Amankwaah, the custodian gifted possession to Roberts and when Lee dummied his low pass into the area it gave Rhodes the opportunity to tap the ball home from 14 yards out - but he scuffed his left-footed effort a little, allowing the 'keeper to atone and stop the ball with an outstretched foot.

SUB - Town were forced into a substitution early in the game when Jonathan Douglas went in hard - but fairly in the view of the referee - on Gary Roberts just inside the Town half; after Assistant Physio Adam Hirst came on to view the injury, he immediately signalled for the stretcher and Roberts was taken off after lengthy treatment. He was replaced by Anthony Pilkington in the 15th minute.

Upon the restart the home side forced a succession of three corners but the Town defence coped admirably. However, Jamie McCombe almost scored an unfortunate own goal in the 23rd minute when he diverted a Paul Caddis cross towards the Town goal with his head - only for Smithies to throw himself to his left to brilliantly push the ball over the crossbar.

Former Leeds midfielder Dave Prutton tried his luck for the home outfit in the 25th minute after collecting a knock-down from big striker Pericard on the edge of the box, but under heavy pressure he screwed his shot well wide of goal.

Town fought back a minute later when Carey latched onto a cross-field pass from Arfield and easily outstripped Amankwaah for pace down the outside, but his powerful cross into the box was cleared at the near post by Cuthbert.

BOOKING - Immediately after that attack, referee Tanner booked Prutton for a late challenge on Anthony Pilkington in the build-up.

Arfield then fed Pilkington a ball down the right channel and the midfielder sent a dangerous cross towards the back post, but Jordan Rhodes' header was deflected behind by Cuthbert and the corner came to nothing.

Rhodes held the ball up brilliantly in the 35th minute before playing it wide to Carey, who put in a typically brilliant cross to the near post; Lee dived full length to meet it with his head, but centre-back Morrison did very well to get in a vital block to deflect the ball behind.

Swindon skipper Douglas drove a 25-yard shot well wide two minutes later after neat work on the edge of the box from Jon-Paul McGovern.

The home side's best chance of the half came with five minutes remaining after McCombe had fouled striker Dossevi in the right hand corner; McGovern whipped a free kick into the box for defender Morrison to head towards goal, but when the ball deflected into the path of Pericard he ballooned a shot way over the bar from 12 yards out.

Arfield's left-foot cross into the box in the closing minutes of the half could not be diverted towards the target by Lee under heavy pressure from two defenders at the back post and the half finished goalless - despite one highly ambitious 45 yard effort from Anthony Pilkington that went high and wide!

Alan Sheehan still had time to try his luck from range in the four minutes of added time, but Smithies was equal t his drive - pushing the ball over his crossbar with two strong hands.


SUB - Lee Clark made his second substitution during the interval, with Antony Kay replacing Scott Arfield. The Scotsman had been down injured whilst Gary Roberts was receiving treatment earlier in the half and could have still been feeling the ill-effects.

Within thirty seconds of the restart Dossevi managed to weave his way past Carey on the edge of the Town box and send a powerful shot towards goal, but the ball went just past Smithies' left hand post.

McGovern sent a long range shot wide soon afterwards as the home side started the second-half with real intent.

McCombe pulled off a brilliant block to deny Pericard a clear shot at goal from close range in the 51st minute after the former Juventus striker had skipped past the challenge of Peter Clarke.

The Robins were fired up after the interval and were really taking the game to Town, who were defending well when the ball came around their area but just couldn't keep hold of the ball. Clark's men did enjoy one break in the 57th minute when a neat one-two between Lee and Pilkington allowed the latter to advance with the ball, but his attempt at a through ball towards Jordan Rhodes was over-hit and the opportunity vanished.

Joey Gudjonsson did excellently to keep the scores level as the hour mark approached; after Dossevi's initial shot from inside the area was blocked by a combination of Peter Clarke and Alex Smithies, the ball ran to the right for Pericard but as the big front-man looked to side-foot the ball into the vacant net the Icelander got back to block the ball to safety.

Sheehan blasted over from the edge of the box soon afterwards as the Robins continued to press.

SUB - Town made their final substitution in the 61st minute, with Joe Garner replacing Alan Lee in attack.

Anthony Pilkington hit a powerful 30 yard goal in the 68th minute after Douglas had flattened Carey, forcing Lucas to tip the ball over the bar. That saw the Terriers force a succession of three corners from the left flank and moments later Garner was inches away from playing 'Pilks' in on goal - only for the midfielder's touch to let him down at the last second.

BOOKING - Graham Carey was shown a yellow card by the referee in the 74th minute for a late challenge on Douglas.

Pericard was proving a real handful and he dragged a shot narrowly wide after Morrison's long throw fell to him inside the area in the 78th minute.

Swindon began to press for a goal again as the final ten minutes approached and had the ball in the net after another Morrison long throw caused a few issues inside the area, but Pericard had blatantly charged straight into Alex Smithies as the ball was in the air.

At the other end McCombe flicked Peltier's long throw straight into the arms of Lucas with eight minutes left.

Swindon forced a last minute corner that Peter Clarke had to head off the line after the ball looped into the air and towards goal, but the Terriers were then denied a share of the spoils by a heartbreaking last minute goal.

GOAL - Swindon scored in the final minute of the game to seal all three points through defender Sean Morrison. Midfielder McGovern went across to the Town right to take a corner and when he delivered to the back post, the big defender was on hand to head home the ball at the far post - despite a desperate attempt to keep the ball out by Smithies.

SUB - Danny Wilson immediately made a substitution, with Alan O'Brien replacing Thomas Dossevi.

GOAL - Despite the lateness of Swindon's goal, Town almost equalised when Gudjonsson delivered a late free kick into the back post but McCombe's header was tipped over the bar by Lucas.


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

Alex Smithies; Graham Carey, Peter Clarke (c), Jamie McCombe, Lee Peltier; Gary Roberts (Anthony Pilkington 15), Joey Gudjonsson, Damien Johnson, Scott Arfield (Antony Kay 46); Jordan Rhodes, Alan Lee (Joe Garner 61)

Unused Subs: Ian Bennett, Lee Novak, Lee Croft, Liam Ridehalgh

Town Booking: Graham Carey (74)

Swindon Booking: David Prutton (27)

Attendance: 8,652

    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.