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Match Reports

Huddersfield Town v Rovers

6 November 2012

Huddersfield Town 2-2 Rovers

Henning Berg's Rovers suffered last-gasp heartache in a 2-2 draw at Huddersfield.

Lee Novak's injury-time equaliser, his second of the game, robbed Rovers of all three points after they had controlled the game for long spells.

After a bright start in which Alex Smithies in the home side's goal was tested on four occasions, Huddersfield took a 15th minute lead when Lee Novak poked home after a scramble in the box.

Rovers regrouped and Jordan Rhodes, making his first return to the John Smith's Stadium since his record-breaking summer move, grabbed the all-important equaliser, latching onto Ruben Rochina's through ball to fire home just before the break.

Early into the second half Rovers got their nose in front when after Markus Olsson was brought down in the area by Joel Lynch, Danny Murphy scored from the spot.

But just when it looked like Rovers had done enough to earn their first win for the new boss, a hopeful 95th minute ball into the Rovers box was seized upon by Lee Novak and he poked it underneath Robinson.

The result was harsh on Rovers, they had shown a marked improvement from the game against Crystal Palace at the weekend, hopefully a first win will come for the manager at home on Saturday.

For his second game in charge Henning Berg made two changes from the side that lost for the first time on their travels last time out at Crystal Palace.

Saturday subs' Mauro Formica and Ruben Rochina both impressed sufficiently to make the step up to the starting eleven, Morten Gamst Pedersen having to settle for a place on the bench, whilst Colin Kazim-Richards missed out with a muscle injury.

Rovers were quick out of the blocks as soon as referee Roger East blew his whistle, with Ruben Rochina forcing Terriers goalkeeper Alex Smithies into a fingertip save after just 20 seconds.

Roared on by some 2000 visiting fans Rovers continued to press, Rochina again going close with a long-range strike that deflected wide, the same with a Danny Murphy shot from the resulting corner.

It was an entertaining first ten minutes from the visiting side as Rochina and Mauro Formica again saw shots deflected wide, but from Huddersfield's first attack they were to take the lead.

It came from a 15th minute free-kick after Scott Dann had fouled Sean Scannell. Oliver Norwood's ball into the box caused chaos as the Rovers defence scrambled to get the ball away, but they failed at their task and striker Lee Novak poked the ball home. Replays suggested that the Huddersfield man had pulled Grant Hanley away from the ball but the goal was allowed to stand.

Unbowed Rovers continued to look to get a goal their attacking play deserved, a lovely move involving Jordan Rhodes and Markus Olsson saw Rochina let fly once more but again Smithies was equal to his effort, Mauro Formica unable to claim the rebound as Paul Dixon cleared.

Keith Southern then tested Paul Robinson with a snap-shot at one end before Markus Olsson volleyed acrobatically at the other, but thankfully two minutes before the break Rovers finally got that all-important goal.

It was Ruben Rochina who made it with a superb piece of skill to lift the ball over the Huddersfield defence to where Jordan Rhodes broke through to fire low into the bottom corner of the net.

The former Huddersfield man wheeled away in muted celebration, just as he promised to do.

Rovers started the second half confidently and within ten minutes of the turnaround they would go in front for the first time.

It was from a needless penalty conceded by Terriers defender Joel Lynch as he stretched to take down Markus Olsson from behind in the box as the Swedish international attacked with pace.

Captain Danny Murphy took the penalty honours and made no mistake, cooly slotting home with Alex Smithies diving the wrong way for his first goal in a Rovers shirt.

That prompted a double chance from Simon Grayson with Alan Lee and Danny Ward thrown on, Ward almost scoring with his first touch but Martin Olsson defended brilliantly to lift the ball over his own bar when the Huddersfield man was through.

That prompted a spell of pressure from the home side, Adam Clayton seeing a well-struck shot headed over his own bar by Grant Hanley, before he went close with a shot that fizzed over the bar.

At the other end Dickson Etuhu was just off target from a Rovers corner, Rochina's inswinger was hit high into the night sky and as the ball dropped the Nigerian struck just wide of goal.

Simon Vukcevic and Diogo Rosado were sent on for tired legs but it was the Terriers who caused more consternation as Ward fired into the site-netting with Robinson scrambling across.

Then as the game entered the final throes it seemed as Rovers had quelled the danger, a break from Vukcevic saw him find Markus Olsson but his shot deflected wide. Diogo Rosado then saw a promising move break down as he unfortunately slipped in the area.

But as the game entered added time Huddersfield pressed once more, Paul Robinson having to dive full length to deny Alan Lee as the aerial bombardment increased.

However just when it looked like Rovers had seen the game out, a hopeful delivery into the box saw Scott Dann and Dickson Etuhu both go for the ball, it skimmed off a head and behind to Lee Novak and he poked it home despite the best of efforts from Robinson on the line.

It was a harsh ending for Rovers who had worked tirelessly throughout and deserved the win.

The draw meant Henning Berg picked up his first point as Rovers boss, but it really should have been all three. Next up is his first home match as Birmingham City are the visitors to Ewood Park this Saturday.

HUDDERSFIELD: Smithies, Dixon, P. Clarke (c), Lynch, Woods, Scannell, Southern, Norwood (sub Lee 60 mins), Clayton, Hammill (sub Ward 60 mins), Novak.

Subs not used: Bennett (GK), Gerrard, Wallace, Arfield, Robinson.

Goals: Novak 15, 90 mins.

Booked: Novak, Lynch, Clayton.

ROVERS: Robinson, Henley, Dann, Hanley, Martin Olsson, Formica (sub Rosado 82 mins), Etuhu, Murphy (c), Markus Olsson, Rochina (sub Vukcevic 79 mins), Rhodes.

Subs not used: Kean, Orr, Pedersen, R. Hanley, Ribeiro.

Goals: Rhodes 43 mins, Murphy 55 mins.

Booked: Dann.

Attendance: 14,597

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