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17:03 26th December 2011


Town got back to winning ways this afternoon against a battling Chesterfield outfit courtesy of Jordan Rhodes' 20th strike of the season.

Both teams had chances during the first half an hour, but it was the League's top scorer who finally broke the deadlock in the 35th minute after some superb work from Lee Novak.

The visitors had a limited amount of chances throughout the game with the best one falling to Jordan Bowery who flashed an effort wide in the second-half.

Lee Clark made two changes for the Boxing Day clash against Chesterfield.

Winger Danny Ward picked up a knock in training and was replaced by Donal McDermott, who impressed at Sheffield Wednesday last weekend. In defence, Antony Kay replaced the suspended Peter Clarke while Calum Woods missed out because of an ankle injury. His place on the bench was taken by Tom Clarke.

Chesterfield 320

Town started the game well, but it was the visitors who had the first shot on goal. Left-winger Dean Morgan played a neat ball into the feet of on loan striker Tope Odedayi, who smartly turned Alex Bruce before flashing an effort wide of Ian Bennett's goal.

The Terriers responded well and had their first shot on target when Lee Novak received the ball from the left flank and drilled a shot low into the arms of the diving Tommy Lee.

Chesterfield had started the game confidently and created a fantastic opening in the eighth minute when left-back Nathan Smith collected the ball and slid a superb pass in behind Antony Kay. Jordan Bowery was the recipient, but failed to hit the ball cleanly to the relief of Benno, who picked up the pieces.

The Spirietes were doing well going forward, but at the back they looked open and Town picked them off twice within two minutes. Firstly, Jordan Rhodes played Gary Roberts in-behind Drew Talbot, who hit his shot straight at Lee. Then, following good play from Oscar Gobern, Alex Bruce hit a long ball between Neal Trotman and Gregor Robertson for Rhodes to chase. The Scottish international collected the ball, but was pressurised well by the covering Drew Talbot and failed to beat Lee.

The away side's front three of Jordan Bowery, Tope Odedayi and Dean Morgan were causing Town a number of problems during the opening half an hour and tested Benno again in the 25th minute. It was the latter of the three that had the shot on this occasion, receiving the ball from a blocked Jack Hunt tackle before curling an effort straight at Town's 'keeper.

A pattern had developed during the first 30 minutes of play. Every time the Spirietes went close the Terriers would follow that up with a chance of their own. In the 27th and 28th minute Rhodes went close twice with his head. His first effort came courtesy of Gobern, McDermott and Hunt with the latter crossing to the near post for Rhodes to flash a header across goal. His second chance came from a Gary Roberts corner when he planted a header just wide of Lee's goal.

In the 31st minute Rhodes finally beat Tommy Lee, but saw his goal bound effort cleared on the line by midfielder Danny Whitaker. Roberts was played through excellently by McDermott before he poked the ball on towards the on rushing Rhodes. Despite being on his weaker left foot, Rhodes managed to sneak the ball past Lee but not Whitaker who covered well to clear the danger.

Lee Novak 320

GOAL - Town's excellent ten minutes of consistent pressure finally told in the 35th minute when Jordan Rhodes flicked in his twentieth goal of the season. Gary Roberts set the architect of the goal Lee Novak on his way down the left; the former Gateshead man drove confidently towards the Spirietes goal before firing a ball towards Rhodes who expertly flicked the ball in to the far corner of Lee's goal.

Jordan Rhodes goal 320

Town almost doubled their advantage a minute later when Gary Roberts turned Drew Talbot inside out before smashing a ball across goal, which somehow evaded everybody and went out for a Chesterfield throw-in!


An electric quick counter attack started by Donal McDermott almost created Town's second goal within side the opening five minutes of the second-half. The Irishman received the ball from a miss-placed Chesterfield pass before playing a one-two with Rhodes. Upon collection of the ball McDermott skipped past Whitaker and released Roberts down the left. With Novak and Rhodes waiting at the back stick, Lee did superbly well to dive away from his goal and collect the low cross.

Chesterfield were struggling to cope with the Terriers during the first 15 of the second-half and almost fell two behind when Lee Novak moved quickly to meet a Jack Hunt cross, but placed his header wide of Lee's goal.

SUB - Lee Clark made his first chance of the afternoon in the 61st minute when Scott Arfield replaced the impressive Donal McDermott.

Gary Roberts 320

Jordan Rhodes had made a quiet start to the second-half but came to life when the ball dropped at his feet 25 yards out and proceeded in firing an effort just wide of the diving Lee's goal.

Town had looked solid at the back for the majority of the game, but a poor piece of misjudgement by Antony Kay in the 70th minute offered Jordan Bowery a free run at goal. The youngster showed excellent pace to drive away from Kay, and his shot across Benno was within a ball widths away from landing in the bottom corner.

SUBS - John Sheridan made his first change of the game in the 75th minute when Craig Westcarr replaced Tope Obedayi. At the same time Alan Lee entered the field following his suspension, at the expense of the excellent Lee Novak.

SUB - Clark's final change of the afternoon saw Tom Clarke make his first appearance of the season with Gary Naysmith heading off after picking up a slight injury.

Scott Arfield had battled away hard since coming on in the 61st minute and showed good pace in the 88th minute to skip inside Nathan Smith and hit a left-footed shot wide of Chesterfield's goal.

Jordan Bowery had looked the visitors biggest threat all game and played a brilliant one two with Whitaker to skip away from Kay in the 90th minute. The striker again showed good pace to drive into Town's penalty area, but was stopped by a brilliant slide tackle from Tom Clarke.

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

Ian Bennett; Gary Naysmith (Tom Clarke 83), Antony Kay (c), Alex Bruce, Jack Hunt; Gary Roberts, Oscar Gobern , Tommy Miller, Donal McDermott (Scott Arfield 61); Jordan Rhodes, Lee Novak (Alan Lee 75)

Unused substitutes:

Nick Colgan, Tom Clarke, Jon Parkin

Bookings Town:

Bookings Chesterfield:

Gate: 15,380

Away: 1,085

    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.