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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 04 Feb 12 at 17:43 PM

REPORT: HUDDERSFIELD 1 MK DONS 1

Stephen Gleeson's third goal of the season helped MK Dons to an important point as they drew 1-1 at Huddersfield Town.

The Dons trailed the Terriers thanks to Jamie McCombe's header on the stroke of half time but the visitors produced a dominant second half performance in a thrilling contest at the Galpharm Stadium and a fine free-kick from Gleeson saw the Dons earn the draw.

In an entertaining game that ebbed and flowed, with the Terriers having the better of the first half and the Dons enjoying the better of the second, a point appeared the fairest result. Although Huddersfield could have snatched the latest of winners in injury time when Jack Hunt watched his long range effort come off the underside of the bar.

Alan Smith vs Huddersfield

The trip to the Galpharm Stadium offered the Dons boss Karl Robinson an opportunity to play his new-look side for the first time with James Tavernier starting at right-back and Alan Smith occupying the free-running role in the hole in between midfield and lone striker Charlie MacDonald in his first start.

The home side opened at an impressive tempo, immediately putting the Dons under pressure and forcing a few moments of nervy defending. There was certainly a gasp from the travelling supporters behind the Terriers goal when Jack Hunt delivered a great cross into the box for Jordan Rhodes, but the Dons were fortunate as the ball just managed to get away from the star striker and Stephen Gleeson quickly cleared the lines.

Huddersfield were lively in their play and they were finding holes in the Dons' defence to create some good chances. Jamie McCombe should have done better when a long ball fell at his feet inside the six-yard box but he couldn't steer his prodded effort goal bound while Danny Cadamarteri's cross in for Kallum Higgingbotham was flicked over the bar.

In the early phases the Dons had to contend with Huddersfield controlling the majority of the play and had to rely on their counterattack style to ask questions of Clark's men.

Smith, hearing boos from the Terriers supporters with every touch, drifted from the centre of midfield into the right of the box before lifting a pass into Stephen Gleeson's path.

The midfielder drilled a left-footed shot through the bodies, but a deflection turned the ball away for a corner.

Darren Potter vs Huddersfield Town

Although they had created chances Huddersfield had not produced a save from David Martin in the Dons' goal. However, that changed when Terriers goalie Ian Bennett made a long clearance which bobbled up for Scott Arfield who fired a shot from the right of midfield for Martin to tip away.

After initial Huddersfield dominance the men from MK enjoyed more of the possession and began to spray the ball around in a familiar fashion. A typical Dons passing move carved open the Terrier back line only for Dean Bowditch to tamely turn the ball into the grateful arms of Bennett.The contest between second and fifth in League 1 was an intriguing one with some good football played in the absorbing end-to-end encounter.

Arfield was key to most of the positive play from the Terriers and when he got the better of Smith on the right flank it seemed as though a goal was certain for the hosts. The midfielder continued his run through to the box but the eventual pass to bring Rhodes into play was a poor one and the defensive pairing of MacKenzie and Williams quickly recovered.

On the stroke of half-time a foul by Darren Potter on the halfway line presented Huddersfield with a free-kick, played to the right Higgingbotham curled a cross into the box and McCombe out-jumped everyone in the box to plant his bullet header into the top left corner.

Charlie MacDonald vs Huddersfield Town

It was a suckerpunch for the Dons to have conceded so close to the interval, but on returning for the second half the visitors pressed high up the pitch as they looked to find an equaliser. If they were to find the leveller they had to make the most of their set-pieces, when Bowditch's corner evaded most in the box yet Dean Lewington kept the move alive and Stephen Gleeson picked up the ball to shoot at a tight angle only for his effort to be blocked before Bennett could be tested.

The Dons found themselves back on level terms in the 62nd minute when a foul on MacDonald on the far left touchline gave Gleeson a chance to loft a free-kick into the box.

However, the Irishman, whether intended or not, lift his delivery above the bodies into the crowded box and curled the ball past Bennett.It may have been an over-hit free-kick but it will go down as an impressive strike from the midfielder.

The home fans became vocal when a high tackle by Smith brought a caution from referee Graham Sailsbury, a few moments later the former Leeds striker was replaced by Jabo Ibehre, more likely due to Smith's fitness than his temperament in the game.

The Dons were enjoying their best spell and they were left feeling unlucky when appeals for handball were turned down after MacDonald, threaded through by Bowditch, saw his shot blocked by a combination of Sean Morrison and McCombe and the Dons striker was certain a hand had been used.

Stephen Gleeson celebration v Huddersfield Town

The Dons were desperately seeking a winner - Jay O'Shea had two corners which produced little in terms of goal mouth action but threatened to cause some problems for Huddersfield. It had been a commanding second half display from Robinson's men and they looked increasing like the side to find the all-important winner if there was to be one.

That was until four minutes of injury time were announced and Huddersfield had two golden chances to take all three points. First Williams made a goalline clearance to deny Arfield at the near post from Cadamarteri's cross, but their best opportunity came when Hunt smashed a 30-yard screamer against the underside of the bar. As the ball failed to bounce over the line both sides picked up an important point.

Huddersfield Town: Bennett, Hunt, Naysmith (c), McCombe, Morrison, Arfield, Miller (Robinson 78), Gobern, Cadamarteri, Higgingbotham, Rhodes.

Subs not used: Smithies, Woods, Novak, Lee.

Booked: Naysmith, Miller

MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Tavernier, Williams, MacKenzie, Lewington (c); Potter, Gleeson; Bowditch (O'Shea77), Smith (Ibehre 66), Chadwick (Powell 86); MacDonald.

Subs not used: McLoughlin, Flanagan.

Referee: Graham Sailsbury (Lancashire)

Attendance: 15,898 (302 away)

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