Match Report: Huddersfield Town 1 - 3 Norwich City
Mar 15 2010 by Dougie Thomson, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
Huddersfield Town 1 Norwich City 3
TOWN paid the price for failing to take their chances as Norwich showed the ruthlessness which looks like taking them back to the Championship at the first time of asking.
If Lee Clark’s side can reproduce the kind of football played in the first half over a longer period – and rediscover their cutting edge in front of goal – then there’s still a great chance they could be in the promotion mix.
They made a storming start to a highly-charged contest thanks to Neal Trotman’s second-minute goal.
And Danny Drinkwater, Gary Roberts, Lee Novak, Anthony Pilkington and Trotman all came close.
But just as they did in Norfolk back in December, leaders Norwich, now seven points in the clear after Leeds lost 1-0 at Southampton, gradually got back into the game, and shattered Town’s unbeaten home league record with three goals in 17 minutes.
The strikes which downed Town followed a similar pattern, with low crosses leading to close-range finishes, top scorer Grant Holt levelling with his 27th of the season in the 69th minute before substitute Stephen Elliott claimed his first goals for the club.
It meant Republic of Ireland frontman Elliot took the honours over Trotman in the battle of the on-loan Preston players.
But Town’s centre-back can still be encouraged by his contribution, with his second goal for the club, nodded home at the near post from Pilkington’s corner from the Town left, being followed by a series of clearing tackles, blocks and headers.
What a shame that Gary Doherty, another Republic international, and Michael Nelson were just as effective as Trotman and Town skipper Peter Clarke in the heart of the Norwich rearguard.
They were certainly kept busy as Town, with Roberts to the fore, tore into their visitors from the off.
It took a vital last-ditch tackle from ex-Hartlepool man Nelson to rob Town top scorer Jordan Rhodes as he shaped to shoot from Roberts’ incisive seventh-minute cross.
Then Rhodes had a decent-looking penalty shout from a Nelson challenge turned down before Drinkwater played a nice one-two with Pilkington and brought a smart save from on-loan Newcastle goalkeeper Fraser Forster in the 11th minute.
Town were impressing, and Novak shot narrowly wide after good approach play by Michael Collins before Pilkington’s 20th-minute shot was punched away.
Novak put a low shot right across the face after robbing Doherty in the 25th minute, and Trotman’s venomous 33rd-minute volley was only diverted off it’s course to goal when it smacked into Darel Russell, who appeared to know little about his vital block.