Huddersfield Town started 2012 as they did 2011 - with a 2-2 away draw, this time at Notts County.
However, the Terriers surrendered a two goal lead after Gary Roberts and the now customary goal from top scorer Jordan Rhodes had given Lee Clark's men a second half advantage. Alan Lee - back in the side from the start - had a golden opportunity to make it three before the hosts fought back courtesy of goals from the two Hughes' - Jeff and Lee.
Town, in their change strip of red shirts with white shorts and socks, were on the back foot early on as the home side attacked and Ian Bennett had to spring from his line within the first 70 seconds to collect a deflected Karl Hawley shot under some pressure.
The Terriers soon fought back, with Danny Cadamarteri winning a corner off Alan Sheehan on the right flank; however, the experienced head of striker Lee Hughes cleared the delivery.
Hughes soon broke down the right channel at the other end of the pitch, charging towards the by-line before cutting a low pass inside to skipper Neal Bishop. Up stepped Anton Robinson, who had tracked his runner brilliantly and pulled off a superb sliding tackle to prevent a very presentable chance.
The tackles were flying in during the early stages at Meadow Lane, but referee Nigel Miller happy to late play continue whenever possible.
Gary Roberts then presented top scorer Jordan Rhodes with a decent opportunity in the 12th minute, pinging a superb cross-field pass over the top of rookie centre half Haydn Hollis. Jordan managed to hold the defender off but his volley - although on target - lacked the power to trouble goalkeeper Stuart Nelson.
BOOKING - Town right back Jack Hunt was shown the first yellow card of the game in the 14th minute for a tug on Jeff Hughes' shirt on the halfway line.
However, Lee Clark's men were soon back on the attack. A long knock forward was brought down well by Roberts and he found Rhodes once again with an infield pass, but when the striker turned inside to shoot he could only prod the ball straight at the 'keeper at full stretch.
County launched their own attack in the 16th minute, with right back Julian Kelly's cross falling to winger Jeff Hughes at the back post. The former Bristol Rovers man skipped past the challenge of Jack Hunt, but his powerful shot was brilliantly deflected over the crossbar by Tom Clarke - restored to centre back for his first Town start since 22 February.
Town were then awarded an 18th minute free-kick when Hollis fouled Lee, and Gary Roberts' resulting delivery was top class. Skipper Peter Clarke got his head to the ball at the back post, but at extremely close range Nelson did brilliantly to react and push the ball away. The follow-up fell just out of the reach of namesake Tom Clarke before the Magpies cleared to safety.
The hosts forced four successive corners at the mid-point of the first half, but Town defended them with real guts. On the fourth Alan Lee managed to get his header away before being clattered by a mix of Lee Hughes and Sam Sodje, which resulted in treatment from physio Adam Hirst.
A defensive mix-up between two Town defenders almost cost the Terriers upon the restart, but once again Bennett sprang from his line to fist the ball away when it looked like Lee Hughes would get to it first. Play continued, with right back Kelly firing another cross into the box - but striker Hughes could only turn an ambitious volley wide of goal.
Peter Clarke came off second best from another robust County challenge as the half hour mark approached, but the Town physio worked his magic once again and the defender was ok to continue. Jeff Hughes almost immediately needed treatment of his own after catching a volley flush in the face inside the Town area!
The succession of stoppages sucked some of the pace out of the game and both sides starting exchanging speculative passes down the channels. One such pass caused issues for Sam Sodje as Alan Lee chased him down and it was soon obvious that the enigmatic centre back couldn't continue after he fell awkwardly under Alan's challenge.
SUB - Sodje was stretchered off and replaced by former Town defender Krystian Pearce in the 40th minute.
A speedy Town breakaway almost brought the opening goal of the game in the 42nd minute. A ball over the top almost landed to Jordan Rhodes, but 'keeper Nelson raced off his line to clear the ball; his scuffed kick fell to Danny Cadamarteri, who hit the ball goalwards from 45 yards. Home skipper Neal Bishop got back to head the ball clear, but when Gary Roberts lifted the ball back into the area the goalkeeper had to be alert to collect Rhodes' acrobatic overhead kick on his line.
Roberts was then tripped by left back Sheehan as Town continued to attack and he tried to cut infield, but the winger uncharacteristically sent the following free-kick high over the crossbar and into the jeering home supporters behind the goal.
There was more panic in the County six yard box in the five minutes of first half added time when no home player attacked a harmless looking Roberts cross from the left; Anton Robinson reacted quickest at the near post, but could only poke the ball wide of goal with his toe.
HALF TIME: NOTTS COUNTY 0 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0
The second half commenced in a similarly battling fashion, with Alan Lee just overplaying an attempted ball over the top that would have put strike partner Rhodes through on goal. At the other end Lee Hughes got temporarily goal side of Peter Clarke to latch onto a long ball from substitute Pearce, but his volley from an acute angle drifted well wide.
Home midfielder Hamza Bencherif then tried his luck with a free-kick fully 30 yards out from goal, but all he could do is drill the ball at the head of teammate Lee Hughes.
GOAL - Town then took the lead in the 52nd minute through winger Gary Roberts. Skipper Peter Clarke played a ball out of defence that initially looked to be intended for Alan Lee, but when the defence left it alone the alert Jordan Rhodes drifted in behind to pick up the ball. The top scorer steadied himself before drifting a cross to the back post, where the left winger headed home gleefully on his 175th appearance for the Club.
The home side tried to muster an immediate response and skipper Clarke did brilliantly to clear a Jeff Hughes over his own crossbar before Tom Clarke failed to clear an Alan Sheehan cross, with Lee Hughes firing wide on the turn at the back stick.
Gary Naysmith then did brilliantly at the back post when it looked like striker Hughes would get a clear headed on another Sheehan cross, forcing his opponent to nod the ball wide by getting tight to his man.
The hosts were really turning the screw at this point, but the Terriers still looked dangerous on the break - and soon extended their lead.
GOAL - The second goal came in the 59th minute from the familiar source of Jordan Rhodes - his 22nd of the domestic season. The move started with Anton Robinson, who picked out Roberts with a precise cross-field pass; the winger chested the ball down before trying an audacious lob over the 'keeper. The ball cannoned back off the crossbar with Nelson beaten - and straight on to the head of the striker, who nodded the ball into the vacant net.
To County's credit they fought back, with Hughes heading a Kelly cross wide at the far post before a very useful volley from Neal Bishop was bravely blocked by the diving Tom Clarke inside the area.
Town looked deadly on the break and Rhodes outmuscled Pearce by the corner flag to break towards goal. His pull-back for Alan Lee looked perfect, but somehow the striker managed to strike the bar with his shot from no more than 10 yards out.
Bennett comfortably held another Lee Hughes snapshot in the 66th minute, but he could do nothing about a shot from midfielder Alan Judge soon after. The right winger brought down a throw-in brilliantly before striking for goal with his left foot from 25 yards out - and 'Benno' was at full stretch when the ball cannoned off the crossbar and fell to safety.
Notts County were then handed a lifeline in the 71st minute of the game when Tom Clarke brought down Alan Sheehan inside the Town area. A deflected cross from Lee Hughes fell to the left back, who hadn't been tracked into the area, and the defender went to ground to try and block the shot - catching Sheehan as he did.
GOAL - Up stepped Jeff Hughes - he sent the home fans into raptures by firing confidently to Ian Bennett's right side to reduce the deficit.
It felt like there was another goal in the game and Danny Cadamarteri soon fired wide from a Roberts corner as play recommenced.
BOOKING - County midfielder Alan Judge was booked for dissent in the 81st minute.
SUB - Lee Clark made his first substitution in the same minute, with Gary Roberts replaced by Scott Arfield.
SUB - Martin Allen made a very attacking change at the same time, with giant striker Ben Burgess replacing right back Kelly.
GOAL - A ball over the top was Town's undoing in the 84th minute, with the experienced Lee Hughes notching the equaliser for the hosts. Hughes managed to get down the side of Town skipper Peter Clarke before sending a volley towards goal that looked to take a slight deflection on its way past Ian Bennett and into the net.
County pressed forward and midfielder Bencherif sent a header over the crossbar after Sheehan delivered a free-kick into the area.
Sheehan was soon pressed into action at the other end, making a brave block to deny Arfield a clear shot at goal on the edge of the box.
Town almost nicked all three points in the four minutes of added time when Alan Lee flicked a header into the area; Rhodes managed to get in front of the goalkeeper and he could only push it to Scott Arfield, who rolled the ball millimetres wide of the far post under heavy pressure from a defender.
Rhodes nodded a Hunt cross wide at full stretch late in the game, but the game ended in stalemate.
FULL TIME: NOTTS COUNTY 2 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 2
Town's team (4-4-2):
Ian Bennett; Gary Naysmith, Peter Clarke (c), Tom Clarke, Jack Hunt; Gary Roberts (Scott Arfield 81), Oscar Gobern, Anton Robinson, Danny Cadamarteri; Jordan Rhodes, Alan Lee
Nick Colgan, Antony Kay, Lee Novak, Jon Parkin
Town Booking: Jack Hunt (14)
County Booking: Alan Judge (81)