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17:07 31st March 2012


A last-gasp goal from Carlisle United striker Lee Miller deep into second-half added time meant that Simon Grayson suffered his first defeat as Huddersfield Town manager this afternoon.

Carlisle were the more impressive side in the first half, but it took them until the 48th minute to register on the score-sheet when former Town man James Berrett scored.

However, the introduction of Alan Lee from the bench led to an equaliser for the Terriers when his cross was converted by Lee Novak for his 14th of the season.

Both sides had chances as they pushed for a winner and substitute Lee struck the post in added time before Miller's dramatic winner.

Town, once again sporting their away strip of red with black shorts and socks on their travels, lined up 4-4-2 as the game started whereas hosts Carlisle were deploying a 4-3-3 system - with target man Lee Miller flanked by Francois Zoko and Jon-Paul McGovern in attack. To combat this, Lee Novak was dropping into midfield to help out when the Terriers were defending.

Carlisle came out of the blocks well and had the first shot of the game within the first 60 seconds. Zoko, who has caused problems for Town in the past, held the ball up well before laying off to former Town midfielder James Berrett - who drove a 25 yard effort just wide of Alex Smithies' right-hand post.

The Cumbrians were passing the ball nicely in the early stages and twice big Sean Morrison had to step enterprising runs from Ivorian Zoko in their tracks with crunching tackles and blocks. Nevertheless, the home fans were encouraged by what they saw.

At the other end, Rhodes and Novak were getting little change out of big centre halves Livesey and Murphy.

Carlisle bossed the opening 10 minutes and went very close to opening the scoring soon after. Right back Frank Simek found space to cross into the box and when the ball evaded everyone at the near post, Zoko took a touch with his back to goal before acrobatically overhead-kicking the ball towards the target - clipping the outside of the post.

Town's first sight of goal followed in the 13th minute when Kay clipped a clever ball into the area; Novak laid it off to strike partner Rhodes, but his snapshot was well blocked by a defender before rolling through to 'keeper Collin.

Moments later Greg Abbott's side were back on the attack and Zoko got past Jack Hunt too easily, getting to the by-line before pulling the ball back across goal; midfielder Noble got a left-footed shot away, but Tom Clarke did well to get back inside the six yard box to deflect the ball behind.

Town forced their first corner of the game in the 20th minute - and almost hit the net with it. Danny Ward had won the set-piece off Simek and it was his ball into the box that caused the problems, but Sean Morrison nodded the ball just wide of the far post after losing his man with a clever run.

Carlisle hit back through a superb long-range strike from Liam Noble upon the restart and Smithies was at full stretch to his right as the ball flashed inches past the post.

BOOKING - Diego Arismendi received the first yellow card of his Town career in the 23rd minute. After being warned for a challenge in the centre circle moments earlier, he caught Noble just after the Carlisle man had played a pass and referee Mr Miller didn't hesitate to book him.

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Simon Grayson's men were struggling to make the ball stick up front with a quarter of the game gone, but the Terriers dug in and put together their best passing move of the game after the half-hour mark. Gary Roberts turned his man brilliantly down the right before playing a pass to Rhodes' feet and when he knocked it back to Novak, Collin had to palm his 25 yard curling effort over his own bar.

Town did look dangerous from set-pieces, with Morrison heading over Ward's resulting set-piece.

The Terriers were finally getting a foothold in the game at this point and another high-quality Ward corner caused problems again on the stroke of 37 minutes; only a last ditch clearance from a defender prevented top scorer Rhodes from heading towards goal.

Carlisle striker Lee Miller's header from the edge of the box was easy pickings for Smithies with three minutes of normal time remaining in the half and skipper Peter Clarke had to be on hand a couple of minutes later to block Zoko's near post cross just as McGovern looked to pull the trigger.

There was one final chance for the hosts in the single minute of added time; Miller did well down the left before cutting infield and passing to Noble, who struck Smithies' right-hand post with another impressive strike from just outside the box.


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GOAL - The second half started fairly evenly, but the Cumbrians found the net in the 48th minute through Town Academy graduate James Berrett. Right winger McGovern found Zoko with an infield pass and the attacker cleverly laid it off to overlapping right back Simek; his low ball towards the penalty area was perfect for the midfielder, who strode onto the ball before prodding it past Smithies from around the penalty spot.

SUB - The Cumbrians continued to pressure after taking the lead, ergo Simon Grayson didn't waste time in making a double change; Alan Lee and Scott Arfield were the players coming on, replacing Gary Roberts and Diego Arismendi in the 56th minute.

Town immediately pressed Carlisle back into their half, with a couple of Morrison's long throws causing restless moments in the home penalty area. That pressure ended with Peter Clarke looping a back post header over the bar from Kay's cross.

Tom Clarke, who was having another good game at left back, headed yet another impressive Ward corner over the bar as the hour mark approached.

Town were working the channels more effectively at this point, giving Morrison the chance to launch the ball into the area. Danny Ward picked one of the clearances up down the Town left before skinning Simek and delivering into the area, but Antony Kay's ambitious volley from 25 yards went into orbit after Collin had punched clear.

Zoko went past Hunt again in the 67th minute before putting another quality pull-back into McGovern's path, but just as it looked like the former Swindon man would extend his side's lead Tom Clarke put in a tremendous block to divert the ball wide - earning him a lot of thankful slaps on the back from his teammate.

Hunt then went on the attack upon the restart and his cross into the box was pure quality; unfortunately for the travelling Terriers, Alan Lee's header was at full stretch and he could only divert the ball wide of goal.

Lee Novak - now playing down the right since the introduction of Lee - then latched onto a good ball over the full back from Kay and burst into the area, but with a lot of options available he managed to place his cross between Rhodes and Lee.

SUB - Carlisle left back Chris Chantler took a knock during that passage of play, so Greg Abbott replaced him with former Leeds man Lubo Michalik in the 72nd minute. This change saw Murphy move to full back.

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Novak drove a shot straight at Collin with just under 15 minutes to go after Kay found him with a pass on the edge of the area before a Carlisle defender threw himself in front of a half-volley from Alan Lee as the Terriers searched for a way back into the game.

GOAL - Town did find their way back into the game with 10 minutes left when Lee Novak scored his 14th of the season. Substitute Alan Lee did well to roll right back Simek to latch onto a ball down the channel and when the big striker drove a low cross-come-shot towards the back post, Novak was totally unmarked and slotted the ball home with the 'keeper stranded.

BOOKING - Peter Clarke was yellow carded in the 84th minute for a late challenge on Liam Noble after the Town man overran the ball.

You still felt there was a goal in this game following Town's equaliser and another long range shot from midfielder Noble wasn't far wide of goal.

SUB - Jordan Cook replaced Tom Taiwo in an attacking substitution by Carlisle in the 87th minute.

Another Morrison long throw dropped at the feet of Peter Clarke in the final minutes of the game, but under heavy pressure the skipper couldn't get a shot away and Collin managed to snuff out the opportunity.

With five minutes of added time at the end of the game there was still time for a winner and Smithies had to be alert to push away Cook's powerful volley, albeit from an ever-decreasing angle.

Substitute Alan Lee then hit the post with a great left-footed drive from 20 yards that looked in all the way. Rhodes flicked a long ball forward into his path and the experienced Irishman showed great strength to brush past the giant Michalik before striking towards goal, but with the 'keeper beaten the ball smashed off the woodwork.

GOAL - Carlisle then netted a winner deep into added time at the end of the game in unusual circumstances through striker Lee Miller. A neatly worked free-kick was cleared by the Terriers, but when a defender lobbed the ball back into the area the striker beat Alex Smithies in the air and looped a header into the vacant net to seal all three points for his side.


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

Alex Smithies; Tom Clarke, Peter Clarke (c), Sean Morrison, Jack Hunt; Danny Ward, Diego Arismendi (Scott Arfield 56), Antony Kay, Gary Roberts (Alan Lee 56); Lee Novak, Jordan Rhodes

Unused subs:

Ian Bennett, Joey Gudjonsson, Jamie McCombe

Town bookings: Diego Arismendi (23); Peter Clarke (84)

Attendance: 7,530

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    Data provided by Press Association


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