Goals either side of half-time from two substitutes helped the Terriers record a comfortable victory over Tranmere Rovers this afternoon.
Gary Roberts was introduced for Danny Ward in the early stages of the game after he picked up an injury and the winger's introduction was emphatic, when he volleyed home from 12 yards in the 24th minute to hand the Terriers the lead. Scott Arfield then sealed the victory in the 83rd minute when he finished neatly following Lee Novak's cut-back.
Lee Clark made four changes from the team that battled for a point at Oldham last Saturday with one enforced upon him because of the injury Gary Naysmith picked up allowing Calum Woods to deputise.
Elsewhere, Donal McDermott started in place of Gary Roberts; Jordan Rhodes returned to the starting eleven at the expense of Lee Novak and Alan Lee made his first start in the League in place of Oscar Gobern.
Town kicked off proceedings shooting towards the South Stand, which was today occupied by a good following of Tranmere fans. However, it was the home fans that were in full voice during the first few minutes of the game.
Former Terrier Lucas Akins was the first player to take aim; the right-winger cut onto his left and attempted to test Ian Bennett with a 25-yard shot, which instead went well wide. That effort was quickly followed by a volley from Tommy Miller following a good cross by Anton Robinson, which went narrowly over Rovers' goal.
The blustery conditions in West Yorkshire were definitely having an effect upon the game; at times both sets of defenders were finding it difficult to clear their lines, which was making for a scrappy affair.
SUB - Danny Ward left the field in the 11th minute after picking up a knock - Gary Roberts came on as his replacement.
As the first-half headed towards the half way point the Terriers were beginning to get the ball down and play some neat football. McDermott especially was seeing a lot of the ball and causing problems in partnership with Jack Hunt for Tranmere's left-back David Buchanan.
BOOKING - Gary Roberts received the first caution of the game in the 21st minute for dissent when Tranmere were attempting to play a quick free-kick,
Alan Lee was justifying being handed a first League start of the season by Lee Clark. The big striker was challenging gamely for the Terriers upfront against Tranmere's strong centre backs Ian Goodison and Ash Taylor.
GOAL - Substitute Gary Roberts opened proceedings with a superb volleyed effort in the 24th minute. Lee won the free-kick for Town off Taylor, which allowed Jack Hunt the opportunity to swing in a cross. Hunt's back-stick delivery was cleared by Ian Goodison, but not far enough, with the ball falling nicely for Roberts to swing his left boot and send a rasping volley back across Fon Williams and into his bottom right corner.
Tranmere's reply was instant. As they had done all game, they worked a set-piece well, which allowed Ash Taylor to gain a yard on his marker Kay and head an effort narrowly over Ian Bennett's cross bar.
Despite Tranmere's response, Town began to dominate proceedings going close twice from two Gary Roberts' corners. Firstly, Jamie McCombe saw an effort cleared off the line after picking up a loose ball at the back-stick. Minutes later Anton Robinson pulled off his marker but failed to hit the target with his header from eight yards.
BOOKING - Enoch Showunmi was the first Tranmere player to go into the book. The powerful striker went down under a challenge from Jamie McCombe in the 41st minute, but was deemed to have dived by referee Sarginson.
Alan Lee was almost rewarded for his efforts with a goal in the 44th minute. Gary Roberts collected the ball down the left-wing from Tommy Miller and took a touch before swinging a deep cross to the back-post. Lee rose highest amongst a crowd of bodies, but saw his header tipped over by a brilliant reflex save Fon Williams. From the resulting corner, McCombe won a header at the back stick, which fell wide of Rovers' goal.
HALF-TIME - TOWN 1 ROVERS 0
The teams reappeared from their half-time talks unchanged, with Town shooting towards the Fantastic Family Stand.
The second-half started slowly, however, was brought into life when Scotland under-21 international, Jordan Rhodes turned sharply on the edge of Tranmere's box and struck a low effort, which was superbly tipped around the post by Fon Williams. Robbo swung in the resulting corner but saw it well defended by the Rovers back-line.
Jordan's effort was quickly followed by a 25-yard strike from right-back Jack Hunt. The defender received the ball from a Tranmere clearance and hit it first time narrowly over Rovers' goal and into the Family Stand.
An error in judgement by Antony Kay allowed Enoch Snowunmi a free run on goal moments after Hunt's effort. The striker laid the ball off to Max Power and went for the return; however, he saw his path blocked by the recovering Kay who made an excellent sliding challenge.
SUB - Former Turkish semi-professional footballer Mustafa Tiryaki entered the fray at the expense of Enoch Showunmi in the 62nd minute.
Alan Lee Tranmere 320" hspace="0" alt="Alan Lee Tranmere 320" src="/javaImages/a8/3b/0,,10312~9976744,00.jpg" width="320" height="320" />
Rovers were turned down a penalty appeal in the 63rd minute to the disappointment of the following Tranmere fans. Mr Sarginson deemed Calum Woods not guilty of bringing down Lucas Akins off the ball when the two tumbled in the box.
SUB - Lee Clark made his second change of the game in the 64th minute. Top scorer Lee Novak entered the field with Jordan Rhodes heading the other way.
Tranmere were enjoying a decent spell of pressure as the game ticked past the hour mark and forced Ian Bennett into a blinding save to keep the scores level. The move started at the back for Tranmere before captain John Welsh picked up the knock down and strided towards goa ahead of firing a low effort from 25-yards, which forced Benno into a full length dive to tip the ball around the post.
SUB - Les Parry made his second change of the game in the 71st minute when Zoumana Bakayogo replaced Adam McGurk.
The Terriers response was immediate, with them going close twice in a matter of minutes. Substitute Lee Novak went close after spinning in the box and turning an effort just wide of Fon Williams goal; then moments later, Roberts' precise delivery to the back-post was perfect for Alan Lee, but he couldn't keep his header down.
SUBS - Town brought on Scott Arfield for Donal McDermott and Les Parry introduced Joss Labadie for midfielder Max Power in the 77th minute.
Alan Lee was continuing to be a nuisance for the Tranmere back-line; however, in the 79th minute he proved a nuisance for Lee Novak when he accidentally blocked his goal line shot following a goal-mouth scramble.
GOAL - Scott Arfield made the points safe in the 83rd minute when he fired home first time following good work from Gary Roberts and Lee Novak. Novak made the run in behind the Tranmere defence and was found perfectly by Roberts. The striker steadied himself on the edge of Rovers' penalty area before pulling the ball back for the Scotsman who fired home fantastically from 18 yards.
Excellent play from former Terrier Lucas Akins opened up Town's back four and released substitute Bakayogo. The winger had stole a march on Hunt and maybe should have done better with his first time effort from the edge of the area, which failed to trouble Bennett.
BOOKING - Left-back Calum Woods received Town's second caution after time wasting in the final five minutes of the game.
FULL TIME - TOWN 2 ROVERS 0
Town's team (4-4-2):
Ian Bennett; Calum Woods, Antony Kay (c), Jamie McCombe, Jack Hunt; Danny Ward (Gary Roberts 11), Tommy Miller, Anton Robinson, Donal McDermott (Scott Arfield 77); Jordan Rhodes (Lee Novak 64), Alan Lee
Nick Colgan, Liam Cooper
Gate: 12,013 (Attendance: 10,199)
Town - Gary Roberts 21, Calum Woods 89
Tranmere - Enoch Showunmi 41