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Match Report


Posted Sat 02 Apr 11 at 16:53 PM

Report: Tranmere 0 Huddersfield 2

Goals from Benik Afobe and Lee Novak earned Huddersfield a 2-0 win at Prenton Park on a frustrating afternoon for Rovers. After Afobe had put the visitors ahead, both Adam McGurk and Dale Jennings failed to level with close range efforts for Tranmere, while there were a number of decent attacking opportunities where only the final ball was lacking. However, the game was killed off in the final moments as Terriers substitute Novak slipped in behind the home defence to score. There were three changes to the side that started at Oldham, with Ian Goodison missing out through suspension, Andy Robinson ruled out through injury and Lucas Akins dropping to the bench. Coming into the side were Ash Taylor, Joss Labadie and Zoumana Bakayogo. Dale Jennings was close to stealing the ball off Peter Clarke inside the third minute and moments later Rovers had an appeal for a penalty turned down when Enoch Showunmi went down under a challenge from the same defender. A well flighted Aaron Cresswell free kick narrowly evaded the head of Taylor at the far post on nine minutes while Mark McChrystal got his foot in the way of Danny Ward's goalbound effort at the other end soon after. With the ball going out for a Huddersfield corner, Robbie Weir's sliced clearance gave Joey Gudjonsson a shooting opportunity but his effort went over the bar. The visitors were forced into an early substitution as Liam Ridehalgh limped off to be replaced by Jack Hunt in defence. Bakayogo's 17th minute shot deflected behind for a corner after he was put through by John Welsh's looped pass while a low effort from Jennings was blocked by a defender. The Terriers quickly broke and almost took advantage of Cresswell's missed clearance but Tony Warner was quickly off his line to reduce the shooting angle for Ward and his attempt hit the side netting. On 22 minutes Jennings raced through the Huddersfield half and released Bakayogo whose low shot was well held by Ian Bennett in the visitors' goal. Robbie Weir sent a low effort across goal and wide on 26 minutes while it needed a superb one handed save from Warner to keep out Scott Arfield's deflected shot at the other end. However, from the resulting corner the visitors took the lead against the run of play. After Kevin Kilbane's flick shot rebounded off the bar, the ball was played back into the area and with Warner unable to hold on to the cross Benik Afobe bundled the ball in from the middle of a crowd of players at the far post. It proved to be the final chance of the half with Showunmi unable to get on the end of Weir's cross on 45 minutes. Jamie McCombe headed over from six yards for Huddersfield two minutes into the second half and Labadie's low drive was turned away for a corner at the other end. Warner held on to Arfield's low free kick on 54 minutes and Showunmi looped a speculative effort wide ten minutes later. Adam McGurk replaced Bakayogo with around 20 minutes remaining, a change that also meant Jennings switching to the left side of midfield. The former Aston Villa striker was handed a golden chance to score his first goal for the Club moments after coming on with Showunmi sending in a perfect cross from the left but he failed to find the net and the ball was cleared for a corner, from which Jennings headed straight at Bennett. Warner comfortably claimed Jordan Rhodes' 25 yard shot on 80 minutes and Roberts fired over the bar after latching on to Kay's miss hit clearance. As Rovers threw men forward they got caught out at the back. With the defence appealing for offside, Lee Novak raced on to a through ball, knocked the ball past the onrushing Warner and rolled the ball into an empty net from the edge of the area. Tranmere: Warner, Kay, Taylor, McChrystal, Cresswell, Weir, Labadie, Welsh, Bakayogo (McGurk 69), Jennings (Akins 90+4), Showunmi. Substitutes not used: Collister, Wood, Blanchard, Fraughan, Mahon. Huddersfield: Bennett, Peltier, McCombe, Clarke, Ridehalgh (Hunt 11), Kilbane, Gudjonsson, Arfield, Roberts, Ward (Rhodes 68), Afobe (Novak 82). Substitutes not used: Colgan, Morrison, Kay, Lee. Referee: Darren Deadman Yellow cards: Labadie (39), Jennings (44) Follow Tranmere on Twitter at

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