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21:35 20th March 2012


Huddersfield Town's first ever visit to Chesterfield's new b2net Stadium was a happy one courtesy of first half goals from Lee Novak and Jordan Rhodes.

Simon Grayson's side were made to work hard for their victory by the bottom of the table Spireites who looked good going forwards at times, but at the back they were less secure and they were made to pay by Town's potent strike duo.

Novak's goal set the Terriers on their way and ranks up there among the best of his 13 so far this term, whereas Rhodes' now inevitable goal took his seasonal domestic tally to 34 goals in as many games.

Town, who once again donned their change strip of red shirts with black shorts and white socks, were backed by a tremendously vocal following behind Alex Smithies' goal as the game kicked off. Smithies had to be alert early on to collect a back post header across the face of the six yard box from former Town loanee Neal Trotman, but the custodian gathered easily.

At the other end Joey Gudjonsson over-hit an attempted ball into the right channel for the overlapping Jack Hunt on his 50th League start for the Club, but in any case the right back was offside.

Tom Clarke was back in the side, making his 100th Town appearance at left back due to an injury to Calum Woods, and his first contribution was a calm header back to his goalkeeper after winger Alexandre Mendy hit a cross towards the back post in the 7th minute.

Former Chesterfield man Hunt delivered a superb ball over the top of the home defence to pick out Lee Novak moments later, but the striker just didn't bend his run enough to stay onside according to the assistant referee.

Spireites striker Craig Westcarr then latched onto a good ball into the Town left channel before flashing a cross across the face of goal, but thankfully for the Terriers it was too far ahead of the lively Jordan Bowery in the middle.

Chesterfield's right sided midfielder Drew Talbot - a scorer for them at the weekend - then went on an enterprising run in the 12th minute, but after cutting infield impressively he could only place a tame left-footed effort a few feet wide of Smithies' right hand post.

John Sheridan's men had started the game impressively, with their front two and wingers looking particularly energetic, but Simon Grayson's men were finding a foothold in the game as the 16th minute approached and only a last ditch header prevented Peter Clarke or Lee Novak from converting an excellent Danny Ward cross. Antony Kay headed over the resulting corner from a very acute angle.

Grayson could be heard shouting 'pass the ball' to his players as the 20 minute mark approached and it was true that so far Town couldn't control the game as they had in Essex on Saturday. Sean Morrison tried to play the ball out from the back soon after, but his pass was intercepted on halfway, which led to a shooting chance for Bowery on the edge of the box. Smithies dealt with the effort down to his right side.

Alex Mendy was the next to try his luck on the stroke of the 21st minute, stepping inside Jack Hunt before unleashing a powerful low drive from 30 yards; that effort was spilled by Smithies, but the ever-alert Peter Clarke got in to clear the ball behind just as striker Westcarr looked to pounce on the rebound. From the corner, the giant Trotman looped a header over the bar under heavy pressure from marker Morrison.

A clever header from Gudjonsson then released Jordan Rhodes into space, but his shot was charged down by a defender.

GOAL - Town then took the lead in the 23rd minute of the game thanks to a superb volleyed finish from Lee Novak. Antony Kaydid well to win a 50-50 in midfield and his hook forward fell into the path of the former Gateshead man, who did not hesitate in pulling the trigger from the right edge of the box and sent a fantastic effort over 'keeper Tommy Lee and into the far corner.

Lee Novak Goal 320

Town almost made it two just a couple of minutes later, only for custodian Lee to deny them with a fantastic save. Rhodes and Roberts played a brilliant one-two on the left edge of the Chesterfield area to release npower League 1's top scorer into the area, but Lee got a superb hand to the ball low to his left side as Jordan tried to place the ball home.

GOAL - However, Jordan Rhodes doesn't spurn too many chances - and wasted no time in netting his 34th domestic goal of the season in as many appearances in the 27th minute. Goalscorer Novak played a good ball out to the right side for the overlapping Jack Hunt, who played a good low cross into the box without taking a touch; the ball evaded a couple of players at the front post before Rhodes took control of the ball with his back to goal, spun cleverly and fired low into the bottom corner - leaving Lee with no chance.

Chesterfield carried a threat when moving forward and it took a superb diving header from Morrison to deny a certain goal at the other end minutes later.

The game was moving at a frenetic pace by this stage and Ward soon misplaced a cross-field pass that would have put fellow winger Roberts in the clear just after the half hour mark.

Westcarr hit a long range pot-shot wide of goal soon after as the hosts searched for a way back into the game.

Skipper Clarke then produced a superb block tackle to stop the run of midfielder Franck Moussa in its tracks as the midfielder entered the Town area before Westcarr sent a speculative header over the crossbar from another good ball in from winger Mendy.

At the other end Rhodes and Ward hunted the ball down in tandem and robbed left back Nathan Smith of possession before the striker found Gudjonsson on the edge of the box, but the Icelander pulled his effort wide of goal.

Jordan Rhodes had a better chance moments later after Ward did excellently to win the ball and drive forward in the centre of the park; the Scottish international side-stepped the diving Trotman inside the area before taking aim with his left foot, sending the ball inches wide of the woodwork.

Town almost netted a breakaway third goal with two minutes of normal time remaining when Novak found space down the right edge of the Chesterfield area. His floated cross to the back post found Gary Roberts in space - and the talented winger simply lobbed the ball back towards the other post with ultimate calm. 'Robbo' beat the 'keeper all ends up - but as everyone held their breath inside the b2net Stadium his effort came back off the face of the crossbar before bouncing to safety.

Jordan Rhodes Goal 320


Town were kicking towards the travelling Terriers in the second half but it was clear from the outset that the Spireites had come out of the tunnel all guns blazing looking for a goal to get themselves back into the game.

Striker Bowery had a presentable chance five minutes after the restart when left winger Mendy, who seemed to favour his right foot, smashed the ball low across the box, but with a defender in close attendance he could only toe the ball wide of the watching Alex Smithies' near post.

Joey Gudjonsson was claiming for a penalty barely 90 seconds later when one of his trademark piledrivers struck a defender en route to goal, but referee Mr Sarginson was having none of it. 'Keeper Lee actually spilled Ward's resulting corner, but Peter Clarke was levered away from the rebound by his marker before conceding a free-kick.

The Chesterfield goalie was in action yet again in the 54th minute when Roberts expertly pulled a long ball forward from Peter Clarke out of the sky, beating the right back in the process; Lee turned 'Robbo's' low cross around his own near post.

Chesterfield were trying to work the channels when attacking, using the athleticism of their two strikers to decent effect. They also had some considerable aerial power in their side and midfielder Mark Allott was utilising his long throw at every opportunity. Moussa and Mendy were also trying their luck from range and the former sliced a shot high and wide of goal after some decent build-up play just after the hour mark.

Right back Hurst then won a free-kick off Antony Kay just wide of the Town penalty area, but Trotman could only divert Westcarr's useful delivery high over the crossbar at the back post.

Chesterfield were putting the Town defence under their first sustained period of pressure at this stage, but Town's dogged defending was epitomised by one superb clearing header by Tom Clarke from another Westcarr free-kick in the 65th minute amongst a crowd of players.

Danny Ward, who had looked dangerous all night, looked to relieve the pressure in the 70th minute with a superb individual run covering half the pitch, but unfortunately he fired powerfully over the crossbar from just over 20 yards out.

SUB - Town made the first substitution of the game with 20 minutes left when Alan Lee replaced the superb Novak in attack.

Lee immediately reinforced his cult status, charging 30 yards down the field to close down Trotman as he attempted to sweep up a loose ball - actually outpacing the defender to keep the ball in the corner.

SUB - Chesterfield first change followed closely, with Mark Allott replaced by attacker Nicky Ajose.

Lee's tenacity won another corner with quarter of an hour remaining, but Rhodes' goal-bound header from the subsequent set piece was half blocked and rolled into the waiting hands of Lee.

SUB - Simon Grayson introduced Diego Arismendi for his second Town appearance in the 78th minute; the Uruguayan replaced Gudjonsson in central midfield.

Jordan Rhodes Celebrate 320

Town could have killed the game off courtesy of an 80th minute free kick. Hunt won the set-piece after Mendy tripped him near the corner flag and when Lee flicked Ward's delivery towards the back post, Sean Morrison was only inches away from scoring his second goal for the Club with a back stick header.

Peter Clarke pulled off a trademark block to deflect a dangerous looking snapshot away from target after more good work down the Chesterfield left from Mendy, keeping the two goal advantage.

The lively Talbot directed a decent headed chance over Smithies' bar with just over six minutes remaining but on the whole Town were pressing their opponents well out of possession, restricting their chances.

SUB - Town's final substitution was made with two minutes of normal time remaining; Danny Cadamarteri replacing Jordan Rhodes.

The Terriers had to see out three minutes of added time at the end of the game, but in truth the hosts looked uninspired by that stage and Grayson's men comfortably saw out the final stages to record a valuable second away victory of 2012.


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

Alex Smithies; Tom Clarke, Peter Clarke (c), Sean Morrison, Jack Hunt; Danny Ward, Joey Gudjonsson (Diego Arismendi 78), Antony Kay, Gary Roberts; Jordan Rhodes (Danny Cadamarteri 88), Lee Novak (Alan Lee 70)

Unused substitutes: Ian Bennett, Scott Arfield

Attendance: 6,916

Town: 1,724

    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.