The Terriers recorded their first victory of the npower League 1 season this afternoon after coming from behind to see off Colchester United 3-2.
Town started the game fantastically well opening the scoring in the third minute through Jordan Rhodes after good work from Jack Hunt. Colchester's reply was emphatic; a minute later they were level through Kayode Odejayi and then went in front through Michael Antonio's back-stick header.
Lee Clark's half-time talk did the trick; his side looked fired up and attacked from the off. They deservedly equalised on the hour mark when Jordan Rhodes doubled his tally and then Lee Novak finished the scoring with a superb lobbed effort.
Lee Clark made three changes to the side that drew at Hartlepool on Tuesday night. Jordan Rhodes, Donal McDermott and Anton Robinson were recalled into the eleven at the expense of Danny Ward, Scott Arfield and Oscar Gobern.
Town kicked off proceedings shooting towards the South Stand, which was today occupied by a good number of Terriers.
GOAL - Town started the game very well; not allowing The U's a moment's piece on the ball. The Terriers then deservedly opened the scoring in the third minute courtesy of a brilliant piece of individual magic from right-back Jack Hunt. The defender showed excellent reactions to steal the ball from Michael Antonio and then went a mazy run, which saw him beat two Colchester defenders. His run ended just inside The U's penalty area where he squared the ball for Jordan Rhodes who swept the ball past a helpless Mark Cousins.
GOAL - Colchester then hit back with their first attack of the game when Ian Henderson played the ball over the head of Peter Clarke and into the path of Kayode Odejayi. Clarke covered the ground well and was unlucky not to block Odejayi's right footed shot from the edge of the area, which beat Ian Bennett and landed just inside his left-hand post.
The Terriers were then somehow denied a second when Mark Cousins saved at point blank range from Rhodes' header. Donal McDermott was at the heart of the move, cutting inside left-back Michael Rose and clipping a ball to the back stick where Rhodes was waiting unmarked. The striker made a good connection with his header but saw it saved from six yards by a brilliant reaction save from Cousins.
From the resulting corner Colchester failed to clear their lines, which allowed Tommy Miller to clip the ball back across goal. Clarke was on the end of the cross and saw his low effort blocked on the line by The U's goalscorer Kayode Odejayi.
Brilliant play by Lee Novak in the air released Roberts in the 19th minute. Novak showed excellent timing and a brilliant leap to beat Magnus Okuonghae in the air and then laid the ball off to Roberts whose back post cross was inches too high for Rhodes.
BOOKING - Matt Heath was cautioned in the 22nd minute for deliberate tug on Rhodes' shirt as he looked to break following Novak's clearance.
GOAL - Colchester took the lead in the 27th minute when Michael Antonio rose highest at the back stick to power a header low post Ian Bennett. The midfielder was supplied the ball by Ian Henderson who did well to get to the by-line and clip a ball to the back post where Hunt was unable to prevent Antonio heading home.
The U's fans then thought they had made it three through Odejayi, however, he was deemed to have been offside by the linesman before heading the ball home at the back-stick.
Town were failing to break down a resolute Colchester defence and were been forced to shot from range. On the stroke of half-time Anton Robinson attempted a spectacular volley from 20 yards, which despite a clean connection, landed well wide of Cousins' goal.
Colchester were then handed a brilliant chance to extend their lead in first-half injury time. Left-back Rose received the ball from Antonio and lifted a well directed cross to the back-post; the flight deceived Clarke and landed at the feet of Odejayi who should have done better from three yards but was put under pressure well by Gary Naysmith.
HALF TIME - TOWN 1 COLCHESTER 2
SUBS - Lee Clark made one change during the half time interval replacing Gary Roberts for Danny Ward. John Ward also introduced Ben Coker for goalscorer Michael Antonio.
Danny's first act of the game was to get on the end of a long looping cross from the left; the winger beat his man with ease but failed to hit the target with his header from eight yards.
A brilliant piece of defending from Rose on his own goal line prevented Town and Jordan Rhodes scoring their second of the game. Lee Novak created the chance skipping past Matt Heath and powering his way to the by-line before clipping the ball back across goal for the waiting Rhodes. The striker would have equalised if it had not been for a great interception from the left-back who cleared the danger.
An inspired run from Captain Clarke almost created Town's opener in the 55th minute. The centre-back intercepted the ball just inside The U's half and proceeded on a brilliant run which took him past his opposite number in the Colchester defence and to the by-line. His pull back was inches away from reaching Novak but was intercepted well by the hand of Cousins with Heath making the final clearance.
GOAL - The Terriers made their dominance pay on the hour mark when Jordan Rhodes doubled his tally with a superb 20 yard strike. Rhodes made space by linking up well with strike partner Novak, he turned on the ball 25 yards away from Cousins' goal and after realising he was short of support powered an effort with his right boot, which flew over Cousins' into the back of his net.
GOAL - After Bennett had made a superb save at one end; Town went on the attack, with Lee Novak finishing off the move with a terrific lobbed effort. Donal McDermott was the architect of the move playing a precise ball over the top for Novak to race on to. Despite suspicions of offside, Novak gathered the ball in-between his marker and the 'keeper and proceeded in lobbing the ball into the back of an empty net.
BOOKING - Anton Robinson was the first Town player to go into the referee's book in the 67th minute following his foul on Anthony Wordsworth.
SUB - John Ward made his second change of the game in the 70th minute when he replaced his Captain Kemal Izzet with Andrew Bond.
BOOKING - Donal McDermott was shown a yellow card in the 75th minute when he made a clumsy challenge down the right-wing.
SUB - The U's made their final change of the afternoon in the 77th minute when centre-back Magnus Okuonghae left the field and was replaced by John White.
A well worked set piece shortly after The U's final substitution saw Rhodes go close to grabbing his hat-trick. Town were awarded the set-piece when John-Joe O'Toole recklessly took down Danny Ward on the edge of The U's area. Ward, Miller and Rhodes all stood over the ball and after a neat touch by Ward to Miller Rhodes curled an effort which went inches over Cousins bar.
SUB - Lee Clark made his second change of the game in the 80th minute when Scott Arfield entered the field in place of Donal McDermott.
Town were coming under pressure from Colchester as the game drew towards the end of normal time. Following a good tackle on Bond by Hunt in Town's penalty area; Ian Henderson picked up the pieces and attempted to curl one into the top left of Benno's goal. The striker connected well with his effort but failed to hit the target.
SUB - Lee Clark made his final change of the game in the 89th minute when Town's two-goal-hero Jordan Rhodes left the field allowing Antony Kay to take his place. Clark's substitution meant that Lee Novak would lead the line on his own with Kay dropping into a defensive midfield position.
BOOKING - Antony Kay wasted no time in putting himself about and found himself in the referee's book after a foul on John White.
FULL TIME - TOWN 3 COLCHESTER 2
Town's team (4-4-2):
Ian Bennett; Gary Naysmith, Peter Clarke, Jamie McCombe, Jack Hunt; Gary Roberts (Danny Ward 45), Anton Robinson, Tommy Miller, Donal McDermott (Scott Arfield); Jordan Rhodes (Antony Kay 89), Lee Novak
Nick Colgan, Alan Lee
Town: Anton Robinson 67, Donal McDermott 75, Antony Kay 90+1
Colchester: Matt Heath 22,
Gate: 11,043 (Attendance: 9,302)