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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
18:26 25th February 2012

TOWN 2 EXETER CITY 0

Jamie McCombe and Jordan Rhodes scored the goals as Simon Grayson started his reign as Huddersfield Town manager in the best way possible.

McCombe scored the opener with his head from Danny Ward's pin-point free-kick before Jordan Rhodes sealed the victory with a precisely placed shot from just inside Exeter's penalty area.

The visitors never really troubled Town, with Alex Smithies only having to make a couple of elementary saves early in the first-half.

The win saw Town move above Sheffield Wednesday ahead of the Steel City derby on Sunday.

Simon Grayson made no changes to the team that lost last time out against Sheffield United.

Jack Hunt Exeter 320

On the bench however there were places for Antony Kay and Joey Gudjonsson at the expense of Calum Woods and Kallum Higginbotham.

Paul Tisdale's men very nearly stunned the home crowd in the second minute when set-piece specialist David Noble hit a dipping 35 yard free-kick, which flashed just past the diving Alex Smithies' left-upright.

Town's first foray on Artur Krysiak's goal should have produced the opener when Danny Ward swung in a cross from the right but Alan Lee, unmarked, glanced his header wide of the Poles' goal.

Alex Smithies was making his 100th League start for the Terriers and was called upon to make too sharp saves within a couple of minutes when Jake Taylor and Liam Sercombe both tried from outside the area.

Jamie McCombe Exeter 320

The visitors skipper David Noble was playing at the top of a front three and tested Smithies from range in the 28th minute with another dipping effort from 25 yards, which was parried away well by Town's stopper.

Krysiak was called upon to make a smart save on the half an hour mark when Jordan Rhodes beat his marker to Jack Hunt's cross and directed a header on target. The 'keeper's rebound managed to evade the on rushing Alan Lee and the Grecians cleared the danger.

GOAL - Jamie McCombe scored the first goal of Simon Grayson's reign as Huddersfield Town manager with a well placed header from Danny Ward's left wing cross. The goal came five minutes from half time after Aaron Dawson had brought down Ward thirty yards out. The winger took the free-kick and swung in a deep cross which McCombe won in the air and guided into the far corner of Krysiak's goal.

HALF-TIME - TOWN 1 GRECIANS 0

The first effort of the second half came from the boot of Robinson following good work down Town's left. The former Bournemouth man collected the ball 30 yards out from Gobern before drilling a ball into the fans in the Fantastic Media Stand lower.

Danny Ward was enjoying a good game on the wing for the Terriers and almost doubled Town's advantage when he stepped inside Liam Sercombe before rifling an effort with his left just wide of Krysiak's goal.

SUB - Paul Tisdale made his first change of the game on the hour mark when Richard Logan replaced Aaron Dawson.

SUBS - Grayson quickly followed suit replacing Alan Lee with Lee Novak and gave Joey Gudjonsson his first appearance of the season in place of Anton Robinson.

Novak was inches away from making an immediate introduction when he rolled Scot Bennett before driving a shot just over the Grecians bar.

Joey Gudjonsson Exeter 320

With twenty minutes remaining Jordan Rhodes thought he had sealed the three points. Morrison's long throw in was flicked onto the back post by McCombe, and Rhodes was there to steer the ball home - sadly as he turned away to celebrate the linesman on the left had his flag held aloft.

SUB - Former Swansea striker Guillem Bauza was introduced in the 71st minute - Liam Sercombe made way.

With less than twenty minutes remaining the Terriers were beginning to build up a head of steam and went close twice when Ward drilled a ball across goal which Krysiak diverted away in front of Rhodes. Moments later Novak raced down the right-wing and found Rhodes with his cross, but the Scottish international failed to connect cleanly with the ball.

SUB - Town made their final change of the game in the 83rd minute with Danny Cadamarteri replacing Gary Roberts.

GOAL - Jordan Rhodes sealed victory for the Terriers with five minutes remaining with a superb effort from 14 yards out. Oscar Gobern did well in the build up to steal the ball from Exeter and find Novak; the substitute played in his strike partner who curled the ball over Krysiak to notch his 30th goal of the season.

FULL-TIME - Huddersfield Town 2 Exeter City 0

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

Alex Smithies; Gary Naysmith (c), Sean Morrison, Jamie McCombe, Jack Hunt; Gary Roberts (Danny Cadamarteri 83), Oscar Gobern, Anton Robinson (Joey Gudjonsson 65), Danny Ward; Jordan Rhodes, Alan Lee (Lee Novak 65)

Unused substitutes:

Ian Bennett, Antony Kay, Danny Cadamarteri

Bookings Town:

Bookings Grecians:

Gate: 14,105

Away: 238

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    Data provided by Press Association

    QUICK FACTS

    Town was the first club to win three successive league titles in 1926. Only Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have matched this feat.