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Archived News from May 2004

REPORTS FROM HUDDERSFIELD SITES
1st May 2004 23:33


from messageboard downatthemac.com:

Well Played Stags....

How the Hell have we finished above Mansfield?!! I have never seen such a one sided match for an away team. It was like watching Brazil v Honley Reserves !! I hope they go up through the play-offs because they are streets ahead of us when it comes to playing football. I would swap their 11 players for ours anyday!
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we were beaten for pace & movement.

Compare their midfield & attack to ours. No comparison.

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It pains me to say it, but, they were magnificent today. Lawrence was pure class and deserved his goal, i applauded it, to the annoyance of a few around me; he should be in a much higher league. We missed Effe's pace and Danny's vision, and were unlucky with a few shots, but we deserved to lose
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that no 7 was class, he should have had a hatrick really. Heck they could have scored 6. I don't know what went wrong. We started really brightly and scored and then gave them a free header. Interesting to see that no.7 starts by the corner flag and then runs into the box late. He even out-tricked Carss today. We were second best to every ball unfortunately.

Well done Mansfield

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downatthemac.com

Stags outplay Terriers
By Geoff

Town got it all wrong in front of a big McAlpine crowd this afternoon. Mansfield won 3-1 and they were worthy winners over a disorganised Town side who weren't 'at the races'.

Battle hardened, long time fans of Huddersfield Town could have forecast this game last week. An important match in front of a big crowd at home and it all goes pear shaped. At least Torquay gave us another match in which to put the record straight and win automatic promotion. The season is still alive for the final league match at Cheltenham and even if that fails Town are still in the playoffs. Plenty of fans would have welcomed that situation with open arms this time last year.

Unfortunately it was this season's saviour, Peter Jackson, who appeared to put Town at a disadvantage in this important game. To change to three forwards and therefore weaken the midfield played straight into speedy Mansfield's hands. It was a tactically weak thing to do when the players needed the comfort of a familiar system on a high profile day. The other main disadvantage wasn't of Jackson's doing. It was the absence of the knowledgeable Sodje at the back. The Town defence looked young and inexperienced as they were faced with two exceptional forwards in Lawrence and Mendes. Far too often Scott and Mirfin failed to read the play and the far from speedy Yates was left in isolation.

Town made an excellent start to the match after the start was delayed 15 minutes by a huge 18,600 crowd trying to get in. After 5 minutes Booth had the ball in the net from a header. But even though the referee looked to be giving it a linesman's flag had it disallowed. Town kept pressing and they took the lead on 14 minutes. A cross by Abbott was won by Booth from two defenders and laid into the centre of the goal. McAliskey was on hand to hit home from close range.

This got Mansfield more attacking minded as they slowly came to grips with the unusual Town formation. A corner was conceded by Rachubka after a good shot. But the danger wasn't over as the perfect cross was met by Day who seemed to drift in unmarked. A downward header sped into Town's net to bring the visitors level. The Stags were now taking control as they gained confidence. They were looking dangerous every time they entered Town's half of the field.

Mirfin was guilty of handing the next goal to them on a plate in the 38th minute. The young defender dwelled on the ball instead of finding row Z and was robbed by Mendes. The forward gave Rachubka no chance with a power shot across the keeper. Two minutes later Town won a free kick but Abbott didn't work the keeper as his shot just cleared the Mansfield crossbar. Abbott managed to get in an overhead kick but that too cleared the bar. The half had started with Town in control for 15 minutes but Mansfield now looked to be in a comfortable position.

The second half started with Yates nearly increasing the visitors lead. His 'clearing header' hit the bar and bounced down onto the goal line then out to the defender's relief. Town were finding it hard and were fighting to stay in the game never mind getting level. A Mansfield player was clear through in the 50th minute but mercifully he slipped just as he was shaping to shoot. Town fans breathed easier for a while.

Five minutes later Fowler came on to replace Scott as Jackson tried to strengthen the midfield. Town were trying hard to get some kind of fluency but all too often the good passing football was coming from the visitors. On 63 minutes Booth headed goalwards strongly from a free kick. But Pilkington was on form and saved well with the loose ball being cleared from danger.

In the 70th minute Onuora was wheeled out replacing Lloyd. Jackson was trying to salvage something from the game. The forward nearly was the hero as he was just short of a driven cross as he slid in on goal. But Town were leaving themselves open at the back particularly as two defenders had been taken off. A quick move down Town's left in the 76th minute put Lawrence in and he made no mistake with his shot. Mansfield could have gone further ahead before the referee put Town fans out of their misery and blew the final whistle.

Town: Rachubka, Yates, Mirfin, Scott (Fowler), Lloyd (Onuora), Carss, Worthington, Abbott, Holdsworth, McAliskey, Booth
Subs: Senior, Edwards, Brown
Mansfield: Pilkington, Eaton, Baptiste, Day, Hassell, Corden, Williamson, Curtis, Lawrence, Mendes, Disley
Subs: D'Jaffo, White, Artell, Larkin, Dimech
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htafc.com
Town's promotion bid this season will go to the wire. Today was a set-back, but promotion is still in the Terriers hands thanks to results elsewhere. 'What might have beens' must be put well out of the mind before the Terriers travel to Cheltenham next Saturday. The equation is simple, win or match Torquay's result away at Southend and the Terriers will be playing Second Division football, just 12 months after relegation and almost extinction.



The game kicked off fifteen minutes late to allow the swarm of fans outside the ground time to take their seats.



Town started brightly and forced the first corner of the game on 5 minutes after good work by McAliskey saw John-Baptiste head behind. The resulting corner was half cleared by the Stags defence and Holdsworth swing the ball in to the far post for Booth who found the back of the net from six yards. Unfortunately for the Terriers, the assistant referee had raised his flag seconds earlier to indicate a Mansfield set-piece much to the annoyance of the McAlpine faithful and Peter Jackson.



However, on 14 minutes Town found the back of the net again, and this time it stood. Good work by Abbott on his return from suspension, saw the ex-Preston man cross from the right flank to the far post for skipper Booth. The Town veteran calmly chested the ball past two covering Mansfield defenders and squared for fellow frontman McAliskey who made no mistake from 3 yards.



The visitors forced their first corner of the game on 19 minutes after good work by Mendes released Corden down the left who fired in a tight-angle shot that keeper Rachubka did well to push round his near post. From the resulting corner Rhys Day rose unmarked on the penalty spot and forced a downward header past Town's loan keeper and into the back of the net.



Just after the half hour mark, Town had a half chance after Mirfin hooked clear from defence and found the head of Booth who flicked on to fellow striker McAliskey. Just as looked as if the Academy striker would add to his tally the Town was thwarted by a lat flag from the assistant referee.



On 37 minutes the Terriers fell behind after a slip by Mirfin let in the lively Mendes who made no mistake from 12 yards out.



The Terriers responded immediately and on 39 minutes after referee Tanner awarded a free-kcik to the left of the Stags' 'D'. Pawel Abbott hit the set-piece inches over keeper Pilkington's bar.



Two minutes before the break the visitors came close to increasing their lead after a cross Lawrence was headed goalward by Corden. Luckily for Town, Rachubka was in the right place to stop the midfielder's point-blank effort.



On the stroe of half time Town broke uyp another Stags' attack and launchyed their own counter through McAliskey who fed Holdsworth on half-way. The young wing-back proceeded to the edge of the are where he fed Abbott on the right and the Polish Under 21 Internationl hit a 20 yard effort that wa sinchjes over Pilkington's bar.



Abbot was involved a minute latyer, this time attempting an acorobatoc overhead kick from 8 that narrowly missed the target.



Half Time: Huddersfield Town 1 Mansfield Town 2



The Terriers had a massive let-off within the first minute of the second half after Lawrence crossed from wide on the right. Under no pressure Town's Mr Reliable, Steve Yates, 'cooly' headed against his own cross bar and saw the ball bounce down a la 66. Much to the relief of the Town faithful, there was no Russian linesman and the ball bounced into the grateful arms of Rachubka.



Town had another lucky escape on 49 after Lawrence fed Corden as he stormed into the box and, just as the Mansfield player looked like he would add to the visitors' tally, he lost his footing. The midfielder still got his shot away and, much to the relief of the McAlpine faithful, Mirfin cleared off the line.



Manager Jackson made his first change of the game on 55 minutes when the fit again Fowler replaced Paul Scott.



On the hour mark the Terriers had vociferous appeals for a penalty turned down after Baptiste felled Booth in the area. Seconds later Booth was again involved, this time rising above the Stags defence to head over the bar.



Town maintained the pressure and their next effort came when young Mirfin fired in a through-ball from the half-way that McAliskey failed to connect with after beating the off-side trap.



The visitors made their first change of the afternoon on 61 minutes with Larkin replacing Disley. Larkin's first involvement nearly saw the third result for the visitors when his cross-cum-shot almost caught Rachubka off his line, but the Town stopper did well to tip the effort over the bar.



Town nearly equalised on 64 minutes after a foul on Booth by John-Baptiste saw a Carss free-kick floated into the box. Booth's header forced an excellent save from Pilkington and the ball rebounded into the path of McAlikey who laid off to Abbott, but the striker's shot was cleared off the line by the busy John-Baptiste.



Jacko made his second change of the afternoon on 70 minutes when Iffy Onuora replaced left-wing back Anthony Lloyd.



Iffy's first involvement almost brought an equaliser after a superb run and cross from Holdswsorth found Worthington at the near post. The midfielder's first time volley ran into the path of Iffy at the back post who was inches away from converting.



Town were hit by a sucker blow on 74 minutes when they failed to react to a Mansfield throw on the right. Lawrence collected the ball after several Stag touches and fired past the desperate dive of Rachubka.



On 80 minutes Rachubka made another fine save after the visitors broke quickly and found themselves 3 on 2. Larkin received the ball out wide and hit a curling shot that the loan stopper did well to tip over the bar.



With 6 minutes remaining Curle made his second change of the game when Mendes was replaced by D'Jaffo.



Curle made his final change of the afternoon on 90 minutes when Dimech replaced Williamson.



Full Time: Huddersfield Town 1 Mansfield Town 3



Attendance: 18633

Travelling : 1745

 

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