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Match Report


Posted Tue 26 Jun 12 at 21:58 PM

Blues 0 Huddersfield 1

Blues suffered their second successive home defeat as they were narrowly beaten by 1-0 by Huddersfield Town.

The Terriers goal arrived midway through the first half via a close-range strike from Leicester-loanee Jermaine Beckford. 

Blues’ hopes of picking up any points were further dashed when they were reduced to ten men after substitute Nikola Zigic was sent for an early bath following a late challenge on Callum Woods. 

Lee Clark made two changes to his starting XI. Teenage winger Nathan Redmond replaced Danish international Peter Lovenkrands. And in defence West Brom loanee James Hurst came in for Will Packwood, with the American still suffering from a back problem. 

With just 30 seconds played Blues almost found themselves in real trouble when Curtis Davies was dispossessed just outside his own box by Danny Ward. Ward then fed James Vaughan deep inside the Blues box, but under pressure from Steven Caldwell the Terriers striker swivelled and fired wide. 

Huddersfield were posing Blues all sorts of problems in the opening stages and Jack Butland had to be alert to palm Jermaine Beckford’s cross away from the danger zone. 

With just over ten minutes played Blues made their first attempts on the visitors’ goal, as Redmond saw his shot blocked a yard in front of the line and then Hurst saw his effort deflected wide. 

Lee Clark’s side would have fallen behind on 17 minutes had it not been for Davies. With Adam Clayton looking odds-on to score, Davies executed a fabulous tackle deep inside his own area to take the ball off the Hull man’s toes.  

Huddersfield’s pressure finally told as they took the lead on the 25 minute mark. Beckford powered down the right flank before threading an incisive pass in behind the Blues defence. The in-running Beckford made no mistake as he fired a low shot past Butland and into the back of the net  

Blues came close to equalising five minutes later. Jonathan Spector went on a surging run through the middle. His run was halted with a tackle, but the ball dropped kindly to Redmond. From a distance of 20 yards, the youngster curled in a shot, which unluckily bounced back off the far post. 

But Huddersfield were soon back on the offensive and Butland was forced to make two smart saves from the lively Danny Ward.  

In a brief respite from the Huddersfield pressure, Keith Fahey saw his snap-shot go two yards wide of Alex Smithies’ post. 

Blues went into the half-time break somewhat fortunate to just be the one goal behind. 

Half-time: Blues 0 Huddersfield 1 

Lee Clark made a single change half-time with striker Nikola Zigic replacing Keith Fahey. 

There was a much more positive start from Blues in the second period of the game and their efforts almost paid dividends as first Burke saw his shot tipped over the bar by Smithies and then he fired just wide. 

Blues were forced into a second change of personnel just after the hour mark when James Hurst limped off with an injury. Hayden Mullins was sent on to take up a central midfield position, with Spector dropping to right-back. 

Hopes of Blues getting back into the game were dealt a major blow when they were reduced to ten men after 74 minutes. 

Referee Andy D’Urso adjudged that Zigic’s challenge on Callum Woods was high and unlawful and produced a straight red. 

There was then the distressing site of Davies limping off after colliding with Oliver Norwood. Mitch Hancox was given his first team debut from the substitutes’ bench 

Despite their numerical disadvantage Blues continued to press in search of an equaliser and deep into stoppage time they came oh so close to claiming a point. But they were denied that as Smithies pulled off a brilliant point-blank save to tip Wade Elliott’s firm header over the bar.  

Because of the international break, Blues must now wait two weeks for their next npower Championship game against Leicester at St. Andrew’s.  

Full-time: Blues 0 Huddersfield 1

Blues: Jack Butland James Hurst (Hayden Mullins, 64), Steven Caldwell, Curtis Davies (Mitch Hancox, 80), Paul Robinson, Chris Burke, Keith Fahey (Nikola Zigic h/t), Jonathan Spector, Wade Elliott, Nathan Redmond, Leroy Lita.  
Subs not used: Colin Doyle, Peter Lovenkrands, Darren Ambrose, Marlon King. 
Bookings: Robinson (90+6). 
Sending off: Zigic (74) 
Goals: None 

Huddersfield: Alex Smithies, Callum Woods (Paul Dixon 90+4), Oliver Norwood, Peter Clarke, Anthony Gerrard, Adam Clayton, Danny Ward (Lee Novak, 85), James Vaughan (Adam Hammill, 68), Jermaine Beckford, Keith Southern, Jack Hunt. 
Subs not used: Ian Bennett, Sean Scannell, Murray Wallace, Anton Robinson. 
Bookings: Hunt (90+2). 
Goals: Beckford (25). 

Referee: Andy D'Urso 
Attendance: 18, 437 (1,901away fans). 

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