HUDDERSFIELD Town aren’t at Wembley yet but one thing’s for sure – they’ve got a great opportunity to get there.
That’s thanks to a rock-solid show at stadium:mk, where strikes by Jordan Rhodes and Jack Hunt made Bucks fizz for Town’s superb travelling fans and rewarded the discipline and desire of Simon Grayson’s industrious side.
The next goal is likely to be crucial in this compelling League I play-off semi-final contest, which resumes at the Galpharm tomorrow evening.
If Town can add to their lead, MK really will have a mountain to climb.
But if the Dons can notch – and it took a fine late save by Ian Bennett to prevent substitute Jabo Ibehre heading MK a lifeline in time added on – Karl Robinson’s side will be roused.
They are certainly capable of posing danger – Daniel Powell and the wily Alan Smith caught the eye in the first half while the two Deans, Lewington and Bowditch, also tested Bennett in the second.
But Town, with Damien Johnson outstanding and the whole spine of the side looking effective, were as good as in any game since Grayson’s February arrival.
And while home boss Robinson described the match as “weird”, it was all pretty wonderful as far as Town’s tuneful 3,481 supporters were concerned.
The tension was clear as both sides took time to settle and passes went astray, but MK were the first to bring their supporters in an 11,893 crowd to their feet as former Leeds, Manchester United and England star Smith, who is on loan from Newcastle, flicked a shot just over after nearly controlling Stephen Gleeson’s pass on his chest.
Full-back Calum Woods, later to be forced off by a toe injury, poked a long-distance effort wide in response.
Then Lee Novak’s flick from a cross by Scott Arfield, who had to be replaced by Kallum Higginbotham in the 27th minute after damaging an ankle, was blocked.