Town continued their march up the npower League 1 table this afternoon courtesy of a superb individual performance from Jordan Rhodes.
The striker grabbed his second hat trick in a week with two first half goals and a third on the hour mark. His first came inside the first five minutes when he took advantage of a terrible error by Preston's 'keeper Iain Turner. Rhodes' second was down mainly to Jack Hunt who played a superb ball onto the head of the striker. The Scottish under-21 international's third was assisted by the excellent Scott Arfield who played the ball inside before the strike neatly stepped his marker and fired home.
Preston did grab a goal straight after Town's third through the German Jubhel Tsoumou, but never looked like getting back into the game.
Town, backed by a noisy set of home fans, started the game superbly and forced Preston stopper Iain Turner into an early save when Tommy Miller fired from the edge of the area forcing the Scottish 'keeper to save low to his right.
GOAL - The Terriers made their early pressure count in the fourth minute when Jordan Rhodes made Iain Turner pay for a poor mistake. The Scottish stopper should have done a lot better when he came out to clear a lofted ball by the Terriers, however, instead of clearing he miss hit his kick allowing Rhodes to pounce and hit home his 11th goal in five games for Club and Country.
Despite losing their last two, Preston had won their seven prior to that and showed their attacking pedigree immediately when Iain Hume and strike partner Juvhel Tsoumou linked up nicely. The Canadian Hume took control of the ball on the edge of the area and after turning sharply he took a shot, which deflected up off Peter Clarke and almost over Ian Bennett, however the 40 year-old showed excellent agility to palm the ball away.
BOOKING - The first caution of the game was awarded to Paul Coutts in the eighth minute when he prevented Damien Johnson breaking with a heavy challenge.
Preston had reacted well to going behind and if it wasn't for the determination of Peter Clarke they would have equalised through Adam Barton in the 14th minute. Town failed to deal with a deep cross to the back stick and when the ball was headed back into the six yard box it looked as if Barton would score the Lilywhites first goal. But, as he has done throughout his time with the Terriers, Clarke threw his body in the way of the shot to quell the danger.
Town then had Juvhel Tsoumou to thank for not making more of an excellent opportunity as Preston began to turn the screw. The German youth international raced onto a ball over the top in the 18th minute and after turning inside Antony Kay had time and space to either pass or shot. The big striker chose to shoot, but to the disappointment of his fellow team mates he dragged his shot horribly wide of Bennett's goal from ten yards out.
BOOKING - Preston received their second caution of the game in the 26th minute when Alan Lee
was fouled off the ball by Clarke Carlisle.
After soaking up almost twenty minutes of heavy pressure from the away side the Terriers began to get the ball down and play some attractive football. On the half hour mark Town's best move of the game almost resulted in Alan Lee
connecting with a Tommy Miller cross at the back stick. The move, which involved Woods, Johnson, Roberts and Miller, resulted in the latter getting to the by-line and clipping a ball to the back stick area, which narrowly evaded the on-rushing Lee and was cleared to safety.
BOOKING - Peter Clarke was the first Terrier to go into Mr Halsey's book following an off the ball incident with Iain Hume in the 38th minute.
GOAL - After enjoying a decent spell of pressure the Terriers doubled their advantage through the red hot Jordan Rhodes in the 42nd minute. Lee Clark's men had enjoyed a lot of productivity down the wings and it was down the right on this occasion where Town's second of the afternoon originated from. Jack Hunt received the ball back from Arfield and hit a first time cross in-behind the defence and onto the head of Jordan Rhodes who showed his precise finishing skill to head in off the far post.
HALF-TIME - TOWN 2 PRESTON 0
Both teams returned from the changing rooms without change with Town shooting towards the Fantastic Family Stand looking to replicate their first half showing.
That aim started well with Jordan Rhodes testing Turner in the 49th minute with a curling effort from the edge of the area. Scott Arfield then went close when he received a flick on from Lee and hit a shot from twenty yards, which was deflected wide by a combination of Paul Parry and Carlisle.
SUBS - Phil Brown made two changes in the 55th minute when Connor McLaughlin replaced Brian McLean and Keammar Daley entered the fray at the expense of Ian Ashbee.
GOAL - North End had not go going at the start of the second half and it was Jordan Rhodes who benefitted scoring his third of the game to make it successive hat tricks for the Scotland under-21 striker. Arfield had been leading Town's attacks all afternoon and picked up his first assist of the game when he raced down the right wing before cutting the ball back for Rhodes. Most strikers would have hit the cross first time, however, Jordan brought the ball under control, skipped around Carlisle and smashed the ball past a hapless Turner.
GOAL - North End's response was emphatic with Iain Hume collecting the ball down the right and crossing for Juvhel Tsoumou, who duly obliged in finishing from four yards. Preston regained the ball inside Town's half after the Terriers had failed to clear the ball. Barton switched the ball wide to McLaughlin who immediately found Hume in space down the right wing. Hume showed his renowned quality picking out the only Preston player in Town's area to give them a lifeline.
SUB - Lee Clark made his first change of the afternoon when Lee Novak replaced Alan Lee
just after the hour mark.
SUBS - Clark's second change followed shortly with Gary Roberts leaving the field to be replaced by Danny Ward in the 69th minute. Brown then made his final change replacing Hume, who appeared to have picked up an injury, for midfielder David Gray.
Following those three changes the game fell into a lull with neither side showing any real attacking instinct.
BOOKING - Calum Woods received the first card of the second half when he deliberately tripped David Gray after losing the ball in the 74th minute.
BOOKING - Tommy Miller quickly followed Wood's into Mr Halsey's book when he tripped Danny Mayor 25 yards out from goal.
From the resulting free-kick Daley stood over the ball and curled a decent shot over the wall forcing Ian Bennett into a full length save.
BOOKING - After Peter Clarke had his header from six yards saved well by Turner, the North End attackers looked to start a counter attack. Town were caught short at the back and as a result Jack Hunt brought down Mayor as he looked to start an attack in the 82nd minute.
Town were continuing to attack as the game ticked towards the ninety minute mark and went close to scoring when Danny Ward latched onto a Jordan Rhodes header and hit a right footed shot just wide of Turner's right hand post.
FULL TIME - HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 3 PRESTON NORTH END 1
Ian Bennett; Calum Woods, Antony Kay, Peter Clarke (c), Jack Hunt; Gary Roberts (Danny Ward, 69), Tommy Miller, Damien Johnson, Scott Arfield, Jordan Rhodes, Alan Lee
(Lee Novak, 65)
Nick Colgan, Gary Naysmith, Anton Robinson
Gate: 16,804 (Attendance: 15,269)
Town: Clarke 38, Woods 74, Miller 75, Hunt 82,
Preston: Coutts 8, Carlisle 26,
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