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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:03 4th February 2012

HUDDERSFIELD 1 MK DONS 1

Town were forced to settle for a draw at home to promotion chasers MK Dons following a good second half display from the visitors.

The Terriers dominated for large spells in the first half and eventually took the lead when Jamie McCombe headed in debutant Kallum Higginbotham's cross on the stroke of half-time.

MK Dons, despite equalising in fortunate fashion, deserved their goal and although Town went close twice late on, a point each was probably a fair result.

Lee Clark handed home debuts to January transfer window signings Kallum Higginbotham and Sean Morrison in a team that included two other changes with Scott Arfield taking the place of the injured Danny Ward and Tommy Miller replacing Damien Johnson, who dropped out of Clark's sixteen.

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The bench for the Terriers featured Alex Smithies and Calum Woods who had both made good progress following injuries in a recent Development match against Blackburn.

For the visitors, Karl Robinson handed debuts to Newcastle loanees James Tavernier and Alan Smith.

The Terriers, with Kallum Higginbotham playing just off Jordan Rhodes, started well and almost opened the scoring when Higginbotham floated a ball to the back stick which was just out of the reach of Jamie McCombe.

Town's next chance, in the ninth minute, fell to Jordan Rhodes who headed over when well placed from Danny Cadamarteri's excellent cross.

The visitors had their first chance of the game ten minutes in when Alan Smith broke from midfield and chipped a neat cross to the back stick for Stephen Gleeson. The midfielder's touch was sharp and took him past Jack Hunt, but his effort on goal from 12 yards was well blocked by Sean Morrison. The resulting corner saw Ian Bennett produce a brilliant punch to clear the danger.

An innocuous looking hoof forward by Bennett almost produced the opener for Town moments late. Morrison beat Alan Smith in the air and headed the ball neatly down for Arfield who hit a superb dipping volley, which required Martin to make a smart save.

The Dons 'keeper then had to show excellent reactions to turn the ball away from danger after Shaun Williams had to deflected Jack Hunt's cross goal wards.

Clark's deadline day signing Higginbotham was influencing a lot of Town's play in the final third and, in the 34th minute, chipped a precise ball towards McCombe whose header went just the wrong side of the post for the Terriers.

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GOAL - The home side deservedly opened the scoring in the first, and only minute of injury time, when Jamie McCombe planted Kallum Higginbotham's cross back and across Martin and into the top corner of his goal. Few could argue with the goal, which gave the Terriers the advantage at the half way point in the game.

HALF-TIME - TOWN 1 DONS 0

BOOKING - Captain Gary Naysmith was the first in the book for a crunching tackle on Stephen Gleeson.

BOOKING - Tommy Miller quickly followed his teammate into the book after 'high footing' Alan Smith in the middle of the park.

The visitors started the second 45 well and forced Bennett into two mistakes in two minutes when he miss-kicked and then missed his punch; luckily for Town on both occasions the Dons were unable to capitalise.

Town reacted well and forced Luke Chadwick into a goal line clearance when Sean Morrison met Higginbotham's far post corner with his head in the 56th minute.

GOAL - The away side equalised in the 62nd minute when Stephen Gleeson's free-kick went over the head of everybody and in the back of Ian Bennett's net. The awarding of the free-kick was certainly debatable, but when Gleeson swung in from wide on the left he caught Bennett out and levelled matters.

BOOKING - Alan Smith received the first caution for the visitors when he dived in on Jamie McCombe in the 64th minute.

Jamie and Sean 320

SUB - Alan Smith departed the field two minutes later and was replaced by powerful striker Jabo Ibehre.

With twenty minutes remaining the away side were well and truly on top and both Morrison and Bennett were required when Dean Bowditch slipped in Charlie MacDonald who saw his goal bound effort blocked by the pair. Loud shouts of handball followed from the away players and fans alike, but referee Salisbury waved away their claims.

Excellent play from Higginbotham saw him slip past Williams in the 75th minute; the former Falkirk man had the option to either shoot or pass as he drove down on Martin's goal but in the end chose to pass and failed to find Arfield on his outside.

SUB - Karl Robinson made his second change of the game with 15 minutes remaining with Dean Bowditch making way for Jay O'Shea. The Dons' change was quickly followed the Clark's first of the match with Anton Robinson replacing Tommy Miller.

SUB - The Dons made their third and final change of the game with six minutes remaining - Daniel Powell replaced Luke Chadwick.

With four minutes of added time remaining the Terriers sprung in to life and went within a whisker of grabbing all three points on two occasions. Firstly, Jack Hunt sprinted down the right wing and smashed Martin's crossbar with a shot come cross. Scott Arfield then skimmed the upright with a rifled volley, but it just wasn't to be for Clark's men.

FULL-TIME - HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1 MK DONS 1

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

Ian Bennett; Gary Naysmith (c), Sean Morrison, Jamie McCombe, Jack Hunt; Danny Cadamarteri, Tommy Miller (Anton Robinson 76), Oscar Gobern, Scott Arfield; Kallum Higginbotham, Jordan Rhodes

Unused substitutes:

Alex Smithies, Calum Woods, Alan Lee, Lee Novak

Bookings Town: Gary Naysmith 48, Tommy Miller 51

Bookings MK Dons: Alan Smith 64,

Gate: 15,898

Away: 302

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    Data provided by Press Association

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