HUDDERSFIELD Town are through to the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time in five years – and could have Mark Robins at their helm when they tackle Premier League Wigan Athletic at the John Smith’s Stadium on Sunday.
As the club were given permission to open talks with the Coventry City manager, caretaker boss Mark Lillis masterminded a second win in five games under his command in this fourth round replay.
Sean Scannell secured success with a superb solo effort with 15 minutes remaining, giving Town’s 392 travelling fans a reason to smile all the way back up the M1.
Town arrived at the ground where they were beaten 6-1 in the Championship on New Year’s Day and made six changes in the wake of Saturday’s hard fought goalless draw with league leaders Cardiff City.
Goalkeeper Ian Bennett made his first start of the season after Alex Smithies pulled out of the game due to a family bereavement.
Joel Lynch was left out due to feeling some reaction to a recent hamstring injury and Murray Wallace came in at centre back to play alongside Anthony Gerrard, who took the captain’s armband.
Other new inclusions were Paul Dixon, Chris Atkinson, Jordan Sinnott and Alan Lee for Jack Hunt, Oliver Norwood, Neil Danns and James Vaughan.
Click on link below to view a gallery of match action pictures from Town's win
Town, possibly playing their last game under the caretaker management of Lillis, lined 4-1-2-2-1 formation.
The tie got off to an action packed start with two goals inside of six minutes.
Busy Town drew first blood through midfielder Adam Clayton, who fired home direct from a free kick after Wes Morgan fouled Lee 25 yards out.
But Leicester responded promptly when David Nugent’s shot was deflected for a corner which was swung over by Anthony Knockaert for defender Michael Keane to poke the ball beyond Bennett’s dive after Town failed to deal with Ritchie De Laet’s header.
Town reacted to this setback positively, with youngsters Atkinson and Sinnott working well together to stretch the home defence, but the Foxes again came close in the 18th minute when another Knockaert corner was cleared only for Paul Gallagher whose rising drive went just over the bar.
Bennett had to react smartly to punch clear from a Marko Futacs effort, while Gallagher put another shot wide.