Huddersfield Town nostalgia 1988: Sharp shooters blunt blades of Sheffield united
Nov 2 2010 by Mel Booth, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
TOWN recorded a derby win over Sheffield United in a 3-2 thriller.
The encounter attracted 10,400 fans, Town’s biggest home league gate of the season.
Examiner reporter Mel Booth said: “It provided the most concrete evidence yet that Town, with their suspect temperament honed by dedicated application to the task, can rival the best in Division III.”
Amid the tension, six players were put in the book.
Town had to rely, however, on the individual brilliance of goalkeeper Steve Hardwick on four separate occasions.
Hardwick said: “It was a great team performance because we are not naturally, over-physical but it just shows what can be done when everyone knuckles down and works for each other.
“Everybody played their part, we weathered the storm and what a difference it makes when you stick the chances away.”
What a difference, indeed, as leading marksman Craig Maskell bounced back to form with a double strike after Mick Byrne had netted in an explosive opening to a game.
United took the lead in the third-minute, striker Tony Agana rifled a fierce shot into the top corner after captain Martin Pike seized upon a mix-up at a Simon Trevitt throw-in.
The celebrations were still in full swing when Town equalised straight from the kick-off, Peter Withe releasing Maskell down the left and Byrne slotting in a close-range header.
Five minutes later as the Town fans just finished celebrating, their team scored again.
This time Byrne returned the favour and set up Maskell with a superb flick which was then smashed past Graham Benstead to take the lead.
Later in the game Hardwick showed his superiority with three saves in quick succession.
He reacted instantly to save an Agana volley, he then pushed a strike from Brian Deane around the post and then finally tipped a Chris Downes volley over the bar.
United’s Peter Duffield missed an open goal in the 59th minute for which he was made to pay 13 minutes later when Andy May laid a perfect pass to Maskell, who rounded Benstead and scored past him for the second time in the game.
Even then the drama hadn’t finished as Agana raised United’s hopes with his second goal in the 85th minute and then it was left to Hardwick to keep them at bay.
The Examiner’s Booth also stated that both centre-backs, Graham Mitchell and Ken O’Doherty did a tremendous job under pressure and that it was encouraging to see Maskell back to his best.
Town: Hardwick, Trevitt, Hutchings, May, O’Doherty, Mitchell, O’Regan, Winter, Withe, Maskell, Byrne. Subs not used: Bent, Marsden.
Blades: Benstead, Wilder, Pike, Downes (Joseph 71min), Carr, Smith, Duffield, Todd, Agana, Deane, Bryson (Barnsley 79min)
Referee: George Tyson (Sunderland)