Beckford brace earns three points
Jermaine Beckford scored his second brace in three games to help earn Town three points against Millwall.
The striker put Town ahead with a delicate chip before securing the points when one on one with David Forde. Sandwiched in-between the goals was another for topscorer James Vaughan who powered the ball home from the edge of the area.
Millwall offered very little with their best chances coming from set-plays. James Henry hit the cross bar before seeing his low effort well saved by Alex Smithies.
With just under three minutes played in Town’s crunch game, it was Mark Robins’ men that had the first chance of the game. Oliver Norwood curled in an inviting cross from the right-hand side and Beckford rose highest, but his header sailed over David Forde’s crossbar.
Beckford provided the game’s next opening in the 8th minute; attacking partner James Vaughan delivered a cross, which was smartly parried away by Forde from six yards out.
Millwall, who started the game in a sluggish fashion, had their first chance of the game in the 10th minute. A 22-yard free kick on the angle was smashed onto the crossbar by midfielder James Henry.
Sean Scannell won a free kick two minutes later on the left hand side after a powerful run. Norwood took the free kick, and a run across the six-yard area from Beckford was nearly enough to send the ball home, but Forde was there again to save the ball down to his left.
With just under 10 minutes until the break, Lions captain Danny Shittu attempted to shield the ball from Beckford after a loose pass, but the striker was hungry and stole the ball on the angle and his smart chip over Forde was enough to give Town the lead on Beckford’s 200th career start.
After the break, Town started the brighter of the two teams. Jack Hunt’s marauding run saw him beat Jack Smith to the ball, but his pass across the area hit Shittu and Forde managed to get his hands on the loose ball.
With just under 10 minutes played in the second half, Kenny Jackett introduced former Sheffield United man Rob Hulse and Jermaine Easter, at the expense of Martyn Woolford and Shaun Batt.
Moments later, with Town on top, Adam Clayton had his first impact on the game as his cutting through ball was greeted by James Vaughan and the Norwich loannee slammed the ball home from 15 yards to double Town’s lead.
On the hour mark, livewire James Vaughan played a neat through ball to Beckford who raced through to smash the ball past Forde in front of the visiting fans to give Town a three-goal advantage.
As Town looked to see out the three points, long-term absentee Keith Southern was introduced in the 67th minute, as two-goal Beckford was withdrawn. Calum Woods was also taken off minutes later as Paul Dixon replaced him.
Millwall had a rare chance to test Smithies with 20 minutes to go. James Henry’s cross was controlled by Hulse and his wayward shot sailed over the crossbar.
Town striker Vaughan was taken off the field with 15 minutes to go, and Lee Novak entered the fray, which was the forward’s first appearance in four games.
The home team looked like the only side to add to the score line during the closing stages, but three was enough to earn the points!
Huddersfield Team (4-4-2):
Alex Smithies; Calum Woods (Paul Dixon 70), Anthony Gerrard, Peter Clarke, Jack Hunt; Sean Scannell, Oscar Gobern, Oliver Norwood, Adam Clayton; Jermaine Beckford (Southern 67), James Vaughan (Novak 76).
Ian Bennett, Alan Lee, Neil Danns, Murray Wallace
Huddersfield Town Bookings: Jack Hunt (65)
Millwall Bookings: Shaun Batt (47), Adam Smith (60), Jermaine Easter (69)