Huddersfield Town nostalgia: Ian Greaves’ 1970-71 Terriers getting to grips with the top flight
Aug 28 2010 by Dougie Thomson, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
A BATTLING display against Arsenal at Highbury and goalless home draw with Derby County suggested Ian Greaves’ young Town team were getting to grips with the additional demands of top-flight football.
The manager had refused to press the panic button when, after hopes were raised by opening wins over Blackpool and Southampton, Town were mauled by Liverpool, who won 4-0 at Anfield.
He called for a big response in the midweek mission at Highbury – and got it.
While Town were under the cosh at Anfield, the Gunners had downed Manchester United by the same scoreline, with John Radford claiming a hat trick.
But he was well contained by Roy Ellam – the pair had grown up together in Hemsworth – and it took a 75th-minute strike by Ray Kennedy to earn the points for Bertie Mee’s side.
Home fans in a 34,848 crowd grew restless as Town worked hard to knock Arsenal out of their stride, and both skipper Jimmy Nicholson and Steve Smith came close to giving the visitors a first-half lead.
Headers by John Roberts and Peter Storey were Arsenal’s best efforts until Kennedy nodded home George Graham’s flick.
And it took late saves from Nicholson and Town substitute Colin Dobson by Bob Wilson to deny Town a share of the points.
“It’s a pity we lost, but I couldn’t ask for more than the lads gave me,” said Greaves.
“Hopefully, we’ve put the memory of Anfield well behind us.”
Having pitted his wits against Mee, Greaves then succeeded in blanking out Brian Clough’s Derby.
The opening 20 minutes of the Leeds Road contest watched by 27,997 were all action.
But then the game slowed down and the defenders took over, much to the frustration of fans, who several times broke out into a slow handclap.
One Derby supporter had run onto the pitch and kneeled at the feet of Kevin Hector before kick-off.
But the former Bradford Park Avenue man and his fellow striker John O’Hare got little change from Ellam and Trevor Cherry, being restricted to one chance each.
Alan HInton came closest, but was denied by Terry Poole’s save.