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Smith strike hands Town first home win

Town 1 - 0 Barnsley. The Terriers shrugged off a late claim for a Barnsley equaliser to savour their first home win of the season.

Town 1 - 0 Barnsley. The Terriers shrugged off a late claim for a Barnsley equaliser to savour their first home win of the season.

Martin Smith (Player Profile) 158

Martin Smith, back from injury, came off the bench to score a superb and deserved winner after Town had dominated the match against a defensive and dour Barnsley side.

John Thorrington had been taken off after a nasty-looking clash with Keith Curle and, just before the first hour, Smith's first touch was to chest down an enticing cross by Danny Schofield following some neat interplay between Schofield and Jon Stead, who drew away defenders from Smith, on the right flank.

His second was to drill the ball past Andy Marriott to rapturous applause from the home fans.

It was a just reward for all the hard work that had gone before and the crowd had already responded to what looked like a bad injury to Thorrington and provided an atmosphere befitting a Yorkshire derby.

Goal-shy Town were once again dominant against a Barnsley side who seemed content to sit deep and hit the Terriers on the break.

For a thundering derby game, there was too little atmosphere and, despite controlling much of the first half, Town were finding it hard to break Barnsley down.

Town were in danger of falling victim to complacency when Bruce Dyer broke free twice in the first half, providing the visitors with two first half chances but only a super save by Scott Bevan and Dyer's decision to go for goal for his second chance (which was missed) with veteran strike partner Mike Sheron waiting for a square ball caused some consternation in the dugout.

The Terriers had played the better football and created several chances including a first half penalty claim which was denied despite strong appeals after Keith Curle appeared to manhandle Eddie Youds in the Barnsley area.

A 15th minute long range shot by Jon Stead was gathered by Andy Marriott. Stead's close range header from Irons' cross a little later was bundled away.

The Terriers were proving to be very nervous in front of goal and, when Kenny Irons broke away just before half time and pushed the ball into the danger area neither Kevin Gallacher or Danny Schofield on the rebound could find the target.

Football matters were briefly forgotten after John Thorrington was felled following a challenge with Keith Curle.

Thorrington was unable to continue after a poke in the eye - he was unable to see - and needed to be substituted.

The crowd felt so strongly about the American winger's injury, which eventually forced him off, and getting justice for the tackle that a member of the crowd invaded the pitch and remonstrated with the referee while Mick Wadsworth was furious and had to be barred from entering the pitch by the fourth official.

After the injury, the atmosphere grew in the McAlpine, but there was still an air of tension until Smith's goal and, after a flurry of yellow cards as the derby gained even more bite and conviction, the Terriers had to survive with just a one goal lead.

Town were playing deep again - inviting attack - and Bruce Dyer was gifted a chance to level the scores but, in a reflection of his performance, Bevan pulled off another save as the nail-biting became intense with Town unable to bury the game with a second goal.

There was still time for a late late turn of events that saw Barnsley turn the ball into the back of Bevan's net but the 'goal' was eventually disallowed for pushing - the last chapter in the niggling contest between Keith Curle and Eddie Youds which saw both players get booked.

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