Huddersfield Town recorded a second away win in a row and extended their unbeaten streak to 9 games following a hard fought but well deserved 2-0 win at Hartlepool
The three points see’s Town climb back up into the play off positions at the expense of Millwall who lost 1-0 away at Wycombe.
Lee Clark had sent out an unchanged side from the one that performed so well at Carlisle, and they did not dissapoint.
The game started at a frantic pace and Gary Liddle showed Hartlepool’s intent with a crunching tackle on Lee Peltier in the first minute, a challenge that saw the reliable defender eventually replaced by Tom Clarke on 21 minutes.
Tom Clarke did an able job as deputy as Town more than matched their hosts for passion and a physical presence.
Town were soon ahead through a Gary Roberts penalty on 17 minutes, despite the whistles of the home support, Roberts cooly slotted the ball past Pools ‘keeper Flinders.
The penalty was awarded after Jordan Rhodes battled for the ball and Sam Collins and Scott Flinders made a hash of dealing with Town’s top scorer and the referee was quick to point to the spot.
Town never looked back from that moment as they looked comfortable throughout the first half, with Drinkwater and Kay performing well again in midfield as Town bossed the game.
Hartlepool’s best chance of the game came in the second half after Tom Clarke had given away possesion, Antony Kay came to Town’s rescue with a headed clearance from the line, that was in the 59th minute and seemed to spark Town back into life as just 7 minutes later Town went 2-0 up.
Town had won a corner through Pilkington, and Roberts initial delivery was cleared out of the area, the tricky winger collected the loose ball and put in a superb near post cross for Novak who cleverly flicked a header over the ‘keepers dive and into the far corner. Neal Trotman was there just to make sure by thundering in the rebounded ball, but the goal was clearly Novak’s and see’s the hot young prospect get up to the 10 goal mark for the season.
Hartlepool looked like a beaten side at this point and Town could have gone on to score more, but in the end a two nil victory is more than good enough as Huddersfield record only their 5th away win of the season, and now go into Tuesday nights game with Tranmere full of confidence ahead of next Saturday’s visit of neighbours Leeds.
Alex Smithies 8
Did what he had to with minimal fuss, was rarely troubled
Lee Peltier 7
Targeted in the early minutes as he took a huge wack from Gary Liddle and was taken off with a shin injury soon after, should be okay for Tuesday
Neal Trotman 8
Solid display, won everything in the air, hopefully he is a bit more settled and can bring his form to his home games
Peter Clarke (c) 8
Little got by the captain today, and he marshalled the defence well
Dean Heffernan 8
Picked up a soft booking for a trip on Jones, but looked solid both defensively and going forward
Anthony Pilkington 8
Tormented the pool’s defence and was unlucky with a freekick that whistled just over the bar
Daniel Drinkwater 8
Has formed a good partnership with Kay, and probed well
Antony Kay 8
Deployed in a more defensive role away from hom, made one tellin goalline clearance, dominant throughout
Gary Roberts 9
perhaps the man of the match for me, worked hard and an assist for the secong goal as well as scoring a cool penalty
Lee Novak 9
Great strikers goal, despite Trotman trying to claim it!
Another all action display for the all action Geordie
Jordan Rhodes 8
Won the penalty, and caused the Hartlepool defence problems throughout
Tom Clarke 7
Very able deputy at right back, made some solid challenges, was booked for one mis-timed challenge on Monkhouse
Nathan Eccleston 6
Deployed on the left wing, had little time to make an impact on the game
Lee Clark 10
The Town manager seem’s to have found a winning formula on the road and like at Carlisle, Huddersfield dominated the game and never looked like losing.
Lee Clark on the game
‘There were a lot of good aspects about today’s performance. As everyone knows by now I am always delighted when we keep a clean sheet and score goals, but we could have possibly had more as we got into other good situations. We thoroughly deserved that win today because I thought we were dominant from start to finish. They caused us problems with some of their set plays, but we dealt with those well’
Lee Clark on Peltier’s injury
‘Hartlepool were competitive and worked us hard. I understand it’s a man’s game and we have to go and win tackles, but unfortunately Lee Peltier has come out of one a little bit worse for wear and couldn’t carry on. He tried to give it a go for another ten or fifteen minutes, but you could see he was struggling a little bit. That is the only downside from today, but we are hoping that if we can get a bit of work on his lower shin he might be alright for Tuesday night’