HUDDERSFIELD Town started 2012 off with a 2-2 draw at Notts County, when in truth they should have had all three.
Defensive weakness cost The Terriers again as they failed to hold onto a 2-0 lead that they had built up through Gary Roberts header on 52 minutes and Jordan Rhodes on 58 Minutes.
Alan Lee had a golden chance to put Huddersfield 3-0 up but he somehow managed to hit the bar when it looked odds on he would score, perhaps the ‘keeper got a touch, but he really should be scoring from that position.
At 3-0 the game would have been over for County but Huddersfield invited them on and gifted them the chance of a reprieve as Tom Clarke felled Sheehan in the area for a Penalty.
Ian Bennett was the man that Town fans looked to, he has an impressive save rate from penalties, but on this occasion he could not keep out Jeff Hughes as he halfed the defecit.
Town had chances to re-establish a 2 goal cushion through Danny Cadamarteri but it wasn’t to be.
County continued to pump the ball forward and with striker Ben Burgess on the field in place of their right back Julian Kelly it was obvious that a route one bombardment was on the horizon.
Town’s defence could not cope with a long ball over the top in the 84th minute. Experienced striker Lee Hughes outmuscled the Town defence as he volleyed an unstoppable shot past Bennett for 2-2.
The impetus was with County now who kept up the pressure on Town as they looked to steal an unlikely winner however the best chance at the end of the game fell to Huddersfield.
Alan Lee flicked a ball into the area that ‘keeper Stuart Nelson spilled at Rhodes’ feet, the ball was squared to Arfield who managed to miss the target under pressure from a County defender.
It wasn’t to be as referee Nigel Miller called time on a game that really should have seen The Terriers leaving Meadow Lane with 3 points and a winning start to 2012.
Town’s team (4-4-2):
Ian Bennett; Gary Naysmith, Peter Clarke (c), Tom Clarke, Jack Hunt; Gary Roberts (Scott Arfield 81), Oscar Gobern, Anton Robinson, Danny Cadamarteri; Jordan Rhodes, Alan Lee
Nick Colgan, Antony Kay, Lee Novak, Jon Parkin
Town Goals: Gary Roberts (52) Jordan Rhodes (58)
Town Booking: Jack Hunt (14)
Ian Bennett 6
No Chance with Penalty or equaliser.
Jack Hunt 6
A few crosses but not the jack Hunt of earlier this season also picked up his 7th booking of the season
Peter Clarke (c) 5
Went close to scoring in first half – lost Lee Hughes for County’s equaliser
Tom Clarke 4
Communication problems early on, also gave away the Penalty, otherwise did okay but he is not the answer to our CB problems
Gary Naysmith 6
According to everyone had a solid game
Oscar Gobern 6
Passes backwards and sideways far too often. With his build should also be more of a threat at set plays
Anton Robinson 6
Solid defensive showing and got in opposition box on a few occasions – perhaps his best showing in a Town shirt
Danny Cadamarteri 6.5
Did well again on the right wing.
Gary Roberts 7
Scored a Header! also hit the bar which Rhodes scored from. Cant ask for more that an assist and a goal – shouldn’t have been on the losing side.
Alan Lee 5
Can’t believe his miss – If he scored at 3-0 the game would have been over – although this being Town you never know.
Jordan Rhodes 8
Scored again, 22nd of the season – shouldn’t have been on the losing side.
Scott Arfield 5
Missed a glorious Chance in the dying moments to win the game.
Lee Clark speaking to HTAFC.com
“I’m very disappointed because we got ourselves in a fantastic position by doing all the right things in the game; competing, winning second balls, tracking runners and standing up in the challenge. However, the first goal came for the same reason that we conceded against Carlisle – diving in gave them the opportunity to get back in the game.
For the second goal we were too deep and they got the ball over to Lee Hughes, who is a good finisher. It feels like a defeat. Sheffield Wednesday felt like a win, but in all honesty we have scored six goals from our last two away games and we have taken two points.
“We have to work as hard as possible on the training ground and we might have to look at changing the system to become more solid. I’ve just explained to the players after the game that some of them may lose their place now because we need to change the system, but I can’t let this continue to go on – we can’t keep throwing away wins, because draws are no good for us.
“The lads who come in have got to seize their chance. Too many of them are not delivering at the moment and we need to get them to deliver.
“I knew Notts County would be strong, committed and would have lots of desire – any team Martin Allen manages is like that. When you get into a position like that you have to do the basics right and we didn’t do that.
“We scored two and could have scored more. As I have just said we’ve scored six goals in our last two away games and have only taken two points. There is work to be done.”