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16:59 12th November 2011


The Terriers were defeated at the first stage of this season's FA Cup with Budweiser despite taking the lead at Swindon Town through Lee Novak's 11th of the season.

Novak's 11th goal of the season was a cracker and gave Lee Clark's side the lead midway through the first-half, but two quick-fire goals gave the Robins a half-time lead before the hosts made Town pay as they looked for a second-half equaliser.

Town's team:

Swindon Team 320

Town, in their blue and white striped shirts, black shorts and white socks, had to be alert in the early stages as the home side attacked; first a good cross from striker Raffaele De Vita was headed away well by Jamie McCombe before 'keeper Nick Colgan got down well to his right side to gather in a long range shot from Matt Ritchie.

Italian De Vita showcased his excellent delivery from the right again in the third minute, with another superb cross falling just inches away from the reach of fellow striker Alan Connell in the penalty area.

Town fought back soon after, with the returning Donal McDermott doing brilliantly to skip past two men in the centre circle before driving infield from the right wing and firing a low shot wide of goal from 25 yards.

That seemed to give the Terriers a foothold in the game; urged on by Lee Clark's shouts of 'pass the ball' from the touchline, the Town players got the ball on the deck and started to deliver quality balls into the area. On the first two occasions, home custodian Wes Foderingham opted to punch rather than catch under pressure from Lee Novak.

Tall defender Flint then fouled Novak on the edge of the box, but Gary Roberts could only curl a shot straight into the arms of the 'keeper.

Town started to control the play thereafter, with Alan Lee imposing himself on youngster Flint and winning more free kicks in dangerous positions - and incurring the wrath of the home supporters in the process.

More good play from McDermott down the right ended with his near post cross finding the head of Novak on the quarter hour mark, but his goal-bound header hit a defender and was deflected to safety.

Swindon hit back with their own free-kick in the 17th minute after striker Connell was tripped on the edge of the box, but left back Callum Kennedy - who was replacing ineligible Town loanee Liam Ridehalgh on the afternoon - fired the ball over the crossbar.

GOAL - Town then took the lead with the best passing move of the game in the 22nd minute, with Lee Novak netting his 11th of the season in all competitions. Starting with centre backs McCombe and Kay playing the ball out from the back, Calum Woods eventually found Alan Lee in space with a chipped ball forward and he quickly found his strike partner with a lay-off; Novak advanced on the Swindon goal before side-stepping to generate a yard of space and powering a low shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards out - a superb opener.

Lee Novak Celebrate 320

Swindon tried to fight back and some enterprising play from Spanish winger Lander Gabilondo was a highlight in the 27th minute. He cut in from the left flank and cleverly skipped past the challenge of Miller before Antony Kay did enough - forcing the Swindon player to shoot wildly wide.

The home defence then did well to clear a dangerous Town free-kick that McCombe headed back across the face of goal with Novak sniffing around for a second.

After impressing earlier, Gabilondo then misplaced a pass straight to his opposite number Gary Roberts on the halfway line in the 31st minute. 'Robbo' advanced on the penalty area and made room for a shot, only to drag the ball harmlessly wide.

Antony Kay and striker De Vita had an exchange of words shortly afterwards after the Swindon man won a very weak free-kick from the Town skipper.

At the other end the lively McDermott showed amazing feet to beat two Swindon defenders by the corner flag, but his resulting low cross was cleared by a defender.

BOOKING - Gary Roberts was shown the first yellow card of the game by referee Gibbs in the 35th minute for persistent fouling.

GOAL - From the resulting free-kick the home side equalised, with giant defender Aden Flint heading home powerfully at the back post. The cross was full of pace and whip, and when the ball was flicked on to the back post the big centre half charged onto the ball and gave Nick Colgan absolutely no chance with a powerful header.

GOAL - Swindon took the lead for the first time in the game in the 39th minute, with Italian Raffaele De Vita scoring the goal. Central midfielder Simon Ferry found space in the left channel of Town's penalty area and advanced to the dead ball line before pulling the ball back towards the penalty spot - where the striker was on hand to turn the ball into the roof of the net.

The Terriers almost equalised with a real route one effort two minutes later - Colgan's big kick up-field, Alan Lee's flick into the area and Novak's great volley. Unfortunately for the Terriers, Foderingham showed great athleticism to tip the ball over the crossbar. From the resulting Roberts corner, Antony Kay powered a free header over the bar.

Town kept looking for the leveller as the half came to a close, with strikers Lee and Novak making enterprising runs at the back four, but they came to nothing.

BOOKING - Gary Naysmith was shown a yellow card in the three minutes of first half added time for a poor sliding challenge on winger Ritchie by the touchline.


Swindon attacked early in the second half down the Town left, and Calum Woods showed real intelligence to allow Matt Ritchie's driven cross to bypass him as it flashed across the face of goal - if he had got a touch to the ball, it would have undoubtedly ended up in Town's net.

SUB - Lee Clark made his first substitution in the 54th minute, with Scott Arfield replacing McDermott on the right flank.

Arfield made an immediate impact - picking the ball up just inside the Swindon half after a good tackle from Anton Robinson and playing Alan Lee in on goal with a slide-rule pass. The big striker dribbled the ball into the penalty area before trying to place his shot inside the goalkeeper and his near post, but Foderingham managed to push the ball around behind.

SUB - Swindon immediately made their first change, with Gabilondo replaced by former Sheffield Wednesday man Etienne Esajas on the wing.

Right back Woods then went on an enterprising run forward and found

SUB - Former Swindon loanee Danny Ward received a standing ovation from home and away fans alike when he replaces Roberts in the 62nd minute.

Town were bossing possession at this stage and Ward forced a couple of quick-fire corners, but the Robins defended them well. Despite their possession, no clear cut chances were forthcoming.

Anton Robinson Swindon 320

SUB - Swindon replaced striker Connell with top scorer Mehdi Kerrouche in the 74th minute.

Another positive drive forward from Arfield down the right forced another corner with a quarter of an hour to go, but once again the giant Flint did well to get his head to Danny Ward's deep delivery.

GOAL - Swindon punished the Terriers on the break in the 76th minute, with Algerian striker Mehdi Kerrouche applying the finishing touch to a pacey move. Midfielder Simon Ferry picked up a loose ball in his own half and dribbled unopposed for around 40 yards before drawing a defender and slipping a pass left to Esajas; the Dutchman crossed into the area and the unmarked striker tapped the ball past a helpless Colgan.

The impressive Arfield fired over on the volley when at full stretch as the final ten minutes began after finding space infield,

SUB - Danny Cadamarteri made his first appearance of the 2011/12 season when he was introduced as Town's final sub in the 82nd minute - he replaced Naysmith. This saw the Terriers switch to a 3-4-3 formation. Meanwhile, Paolo Di Canio replaced De Vita with Jonathan Smith.

Alan Lee's volley unfortunately struck Lee Novak before flying wide as Lee Clark's side tried to find a way back into the game. The ball was now being fired more directly towards Lee's head, but Flint was doing well against the experienced Irishman.

GOAL - Instead, Swindon made it four with a late goal from their Man of the Match Simon Ferry. The midfielder tried his luck with a volley from the edge of the Town penalty area and when Nick Colgan couldn't gather the ball in, the rebound fell straight to the Scotsman - who knocked the ball home.

Substitute Esajas fired over in added time as the Terriers were defeated.


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

Nick Colgan; Gary Naysmith (Danny Cadamarteri 82), Antony Kay (c), Jamie McCombe, Calum Woods; Gary Roberts (Danny Ward 62), Anton Robinson, Tommy Miller, Donal McDermott (Scott Arfield 54); Lee Novak, Alan Lee

Unused subs: Ian Bennett, Peter Clarke, Damien Johnson, Matt Crooks


Town: Gary Roberts (35), Gary Naysmith (45)

Attendance: 5,728

    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.