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21:33 30th August 2011


The Terriers advanced to the second round of this season's Johnstone's Paint Trophy at the expense of hosts Northampton this evening courtesy of a late second-half goal from substitute Lee Novak.

Donal McDermott gave Lee Clark's side the lead with a spectacular first-half strike, but Town were immediately pegged back when the hosts equalised within two minutes. With the game looking to be heading to penalties, Novak was called up from the bench to convert a Calum Woods cross eight minutes from time to put his side in the next stage of the competition.

Town, sporting their home strip of blue and white stripes, started on the front foot but left back Calum Woods - making his first appearance since the opening day draw against Bury - was needed inside three minutes to make a good interception as striker Adebayo Akinfenwa looked to latch onto an early cross.

Northampton's Ben Tozer saw his side-footed shot blocked by Town skipper Antony Kay in the eight minute following an attacking corner for the Cobblers.

Gary Johnson's side looked full of pace in the early stages, but were lacking a little bit of quality when it came to the final ball into the danger zone.

Town made inroads into the hosts' half as the 10th minute approached, with successive corners taken by Gary Roberts dealt with well by the home defence.

At the other end Lewis Young - elder brother of Manchester United's Ashley - went on a promising run down the right that resulted in a corner for the home side. Arron Davies whipped the ball in and midfielder Turnbull headed towards goal at the near post, but Jack Hunt was on hand to clear the ball off the line.

BOOKING - Northampton's Paul Turnbull was then shown the first yellow card of the game for a cynical foul on Gary Roberts right in front of the dugouts as the Terriers launched a counter-attack.

Roberts was heavily involved in Town's attacks in the opening stages and went very close to opening the scoring in the 22nd minute. The winger cut infield to latch onto a low cross from the left from striker Jordan Rhodes and at the near post, he showed great awareness to lob the ball over the goalkeeper - only for defender Byron Webster to get back and clear off the line.

On the stroke of the 25th minute the Cobblers hit back by creating their own opportunity, with John Johnson finding space to cross down the Town left; unfortunately for them, the lively Young headed the ball miles wide in acres of space in the middle of the goal.

BOOKING - Town's Calum Woods picked up a yellow card in the 28th minute for a late challenge on Northampton's Young in the centre circle as the hosts broke away following a Town corner.

The Terriers created another golden opportunity in a very direct style moments later, only for goalkeeper Sam Walker to deny them brilliantly. A long goal kick from Ian Bennett was flicked on by Alan Lee, which allowed winger Donal McDermott to flick the ball into the area; Jordan Rhodes raced past a defender and onto the ball, but his low left-footed shot from just 15 yards out was deflected inches wide of the post by the goalkeeper - who did well to stand up and make himself a big target.

Rhodes' striking instinct then worked against him on the stroke of the 35th minute; after collecting a low cross into the area from McDermott's right flank, he opted to spin and shoot rather than lay the ball off to Roberts on the edge of the area and his effort was easily snuffed out.

Jack Hunt was continuing where he left off against Wycombe at the weekend, showing blistering pace down the right at times. One barnstorming run - which included a one-two with McDermott - resulted in the full back swinging an excellent cross to the back post, but at full stretch Rhodes could only divert the ball wide of the far post.

GOAL - Donal McDermott then opened the scoring in the 39th minute with a superb individual effort, capping off the best period of Town pressure in the game so far. After picking up a pass on the right flank following a throw-in, the former Manchester City man drifted infield onto his favoured left foot and dropped his shoulder to beat a defender before firing low into the far corner from 25 yards out in unstoppable fashion!

GOAL - However, the Cobblers hit back within two minutes to restore parity in the scoreline. Johnson picked the ball up on the Northampton right and delivered a quality cross towards the penalty spot - where Michael Jacobs rose unchallenged to head the ball past the stranded Bennett's left side.

Antony Kay survived a late first half penalty claim against him for handball as he challenged for a left wing cross with the powerful Akinfenwa, but the referee turned it away and the stalemate remained until the half time interval.


Neither side made changes in personnel during the interval and the game recommenced with the Terriers enjoying possession. With Lee Clark screaming at his side to pass the ball from the sidelines, his players did just that; a prudent move given that big Alan Lee was being marked by two players when the ball was played in the air.

One magic turn from McDermott down the right side in the 55th minute left defender Tozer for dead, but his low ball played across the area was well cleared by the outstretched leg of a defender.

Donal was involved in most of Town's good work in the opening quarter of an hour following the restart and his beautiful ball gave Rhodes a half chance in the 59th minute. The Scottish under-21 international showed decent strength to hold off Northampton's McKoy, but blasted his right-footed effort just over the crossbar from around 25 yards.

BOOKING - Town picked up their second yellow card of the night when Anton Robinson slid in late on winger Jacobs.

SUB - Northampton made their first change of the night in the 65th minute when McKoy was replaced by Ashley Corker.

SUBS - Town boss Clark made a double substitution in the 69th minute, with Lee Novak and Danny Ward replacing McDermott and Rhodes.

Ward was immediately into the action, collecting a great cross-field pass from Cooper and firing the ball powerfully across the face of goal. A defender got a feint touch to the ball and had it been any more, it would have flown into his own net. As it was Town got the corner, but Antony Kay could only place his resulting header over the crossbar.

Fellow sub Novak then placed a tame header straight into the goalie's hands when a long throw dropped to him at the near post.

SUB - Northampton's second change followed in the 76th minute, when cult hero Akinfenwa was replaced by Bas Savage.

The lanky front man immediately tested Bennett with a near post header, but he directed the ball too firmly into the ground and in the end it was a routine save for the goalie.

However, tricky winger Jacobs forced Bennett to turn the ball over the crossbar moments later with a stinging 25 yard drive moments later.

GOAL - Just as the Cobblers were enjoying a good spell, the Terriers struck in the 82nd minute - with substitute Lee Novak grabbing his fifth of the season. After collecting a cross-field pass on the left side, Gary Roberts drove infield and waited for full back Woods to overlap before slipping him the ball; the Liverpudlian then drove into the area before playing the ball across the face of goal with his left foot, presenting Novak with the easy task of side-footing the ball home from close range.

SUB - Town immediately made their final change, with Roberts replaced by Scott Arfield.

BOOKING - Alan Lee was shown a yellow card with four minutes left for a foul on Ben Tozer, with the Northampton man also being booked for reacting to the challenge.

Rather than a late Northampton charge for an equaliser, the Terriers saw out the game with a period of sustained possession - and Alan Lee even tested the goalkeeper twice in the final minutes. Northampton had one long range strike, but Bennett was equal to it - athletically tipping the ball over the crossbar.


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

Ian Bennett; Calum Woods, Liam Cooper, Antony Kay, Jack Hunt; Gary Roberts (Scott Arfield 83), Oscar Gobern, Anton Robinson, Donal McDermott (Danny Ward 69); Alan Lee, Jordan Rhodes (Lee Novak 69)

Unused Subs: Nick Colgan, Jamie McCombe

Town bookings: Calum Woods (28), Anton Robinson (64), Alan Lee (86)

Northampton bookings: Paul Turnbull (16), Ben Tozer (86)

    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.