Huddersfield Town battled to earn a point against run-away leaders Cardiff City, who extended their lead at the top of the table to 11 points after Leicester lost at Town’s relegation rivals Peterborough.
It was only the second time in 8 Championship games that the Welsh club have failed to take maximum points.
Huddersfield were worthy of their point and it could have been more had James Vaughan’s first half strike not been ruled out for a push on Cardiff keeper Marshall.
It was at that point that Cardiff seemed to wake up with Bellamy testing Smithies with a freekick and centre back Connolly hitting the Terriers bar from outside the box.
Half time came a little prematurely, as into stoppage time Kevin McNaughton suffered a cut to the head in an innocuous challenge that saw the ref call time whilst he remained on the field for treatment.
The silver foxed rightback was substituted at half time and Ben Nugent came on in his place with Heidar Helguson also thrown into the mix at the expense of Kim Bo-Kyung.
Cardiff sliced the Town defence open on 60 minutes, however Bellamy’s left-footed strike was well wide of captain for the day Alex Smithies net.
There was only one other chance of note, as Smithies fumbled an effort from Conway, only for Nugent to head the wrong side of the post.
Bellamy had a late chance at a harshly awarded freekick in stoppage time, but he blasted the ball straight at the Huddersfield Town wall who stood firm to hold out for the point.
The game lacked in clear cut chances at either end but despite this it was an entertaining goalless draw and the Town support gave The Terriers an ovation at the final whistle.
I don’t think you would have found many people in Huddersfield betting that this result would have happened.
Alex Smithies 8
Stood tall when needed and made a couple of good saves, beating the ball away. The keeper also claimed balls from crosses, maybe we should give him the captains armband more often!
Jack Hunt 8
Worked hard both in defense and going forward, went on one mazy run in the second half where finally a Town player shot on sight, but it was blocked! Keep it up Jack
Joel Lynch 7
Solid return to the side, looked fit considering the time he has been out
Anthony Gerrard 8
A determined display against his old side, blocked well late on to deny Fraizer Campbell
Calum Woods 7
Good outing at left-back, and showed some determination to get forward when possible too.
Oliver Norwood 7
Some lapse passes as the game wore on, but is definitely back into some form, set-pieces must be improved upon though
Neil Danns 7
Not afraid of a challenge, adds steel to Town’s midfield, still awaiting seeing a longe ranger going in, maybe it would help if we started shooting from outside the box
Scott Arfield 7
Adds industry to midfield, never looks tired and always willing. Solid display.
Adam Clayton 7
Clayts has had games where he has been more infulencial going forward but played well in a seemingly more defensive set up today
Sean Scannell 8.5
Star man – full of running and attacked when he had the ball going forward, looks promising for the rest of the season if he can keep this up
James Vaughan 8
Lone frontman, put in a lot of unselfish running, as usual, had the ball in the net only to see it ruled out, substituted late on
Came on for a tiring Oliver Norwood, little time to effect the game
Alan ‘elbows’ Lee
Looks possessed when he comes off the bench. No time to influence the game today.
Mark Lillis – Set up a perfect defensive team for today, who gave it their all and never looked like losing. Shame is we didnt look like winning either, The Terriers need some firepower and quick
Huddersdield Caretaker Boss Mark Lillis
“We`ve got to look at it that points on the board are important and sometimes you have to set the stall out and be happy with a point,”
“The clean sheets against Palace and the clean sheet against Cardiff are good. Teams around us are thinking that it`s going to be hard to come to Huddersfield.
“If we got beat in those two games, teams will be fancying their chances when they come here and we don`t want that.
“We didn`t get a lot of chances, but it was a well-earned point and I hope the fans go away and respect that.
“The main aim for the Club at the minute is to stay in the Championship and all the lads are playing for the shirt. That`s what I did as a player and I`m glad that`s what they`re doing.”
“Instead of going with a diamond, we went with Scannell (Sean) and Clayts (Adam Clayton) to make it hard for their midfield as that`s where they`ve scored a fair few goals,”
They play direct, so even when we attacked, we had to defend strong. They are good at counter attacking so we had to make sure that our defence was always switched on even when we were attacking.
“It was a big thing that I said before we went out and it worked because we`ve left here today with a clean sheet.”
“We`ve got some great leaders and when you see that as a manager it gives you belief. Everyone is pulling their weight – the fans are doing it, the staff are doing it, the players are doing it and it is great to see.
“I`ve come to work today pitting my wits against the leading manager in the Championship and I`ve enjoyed it. Football is a fantastic life and we`re all embracing that at the minute.”
Town travel to Leicester on Tuesday for the FA Cup replay, however Lillis has concerns over the availability of some players.
“The specialist said that with the type of injury he (Peter Clarke at Derby County) suffered, you can`t participate in a game of football for two weeks.
“Lee (Novak) also won`t make Tuesday, but you have adversity in life and it`s something that we`ve got to deal with. We know we`ve not got Danns (Neil) for Tuesday either, so there`s definitely a change there.
“If we think that`s a great point and relax tomorrow they might just lose focus. You can`t come off the gas, we`ve got a big week and if we get a result at Leicester then we`ve got Wigan at the weekend.”
Cardiff City gaffer Malky Mackay
“That was very much a point gained for us against a side who are now six unbeaten at home and playing for their management,”
They got a lot of bodies in front of the ball, particularly in the second half.
“It was a very tricky pitch, probably the worst we`ve played on, but it was the same for both teams.
“That being the case it`s a point gained. I`m very proud of my players for the discipline they showed.
“It would have been easy just to get it and kick it.
“On another day the two or three chances we had might have dropped in.
“Craig Bellamy made a beautiful run to get in and sometimes he sticks those in, and their goalkeeper saved well from Craig Conway too.
“But we showed a lot of patience. They had 10 men defending at times and it took bravery from us to get it down and keep switching it from side to side and work the openings.
“There was a period in the second half when I thought we were immense.
“The run keeps going in that we are undefeated and in terms that it was another clean sheet.
“That`s two goals we have let in now in eight games and that is something I very much take on board.
“You do find when you are the top team people will do anything to get points off you.
“Huddersfield should take a lot of credit for the way they played and it was full-blooded Championship game