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Match Reports

Match Report : 15/03/2014

15 March 2014

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Huddersfield Town 2 Rovers 4

Jordan Rhodes struck his second hat-trick in Rovers colours to down former club Huddersfield Town at the John Smith's Stadium.

The Scottish international put Rovers in front with the first attack of the game on four minutes, latching onto Rudy Gestede's flick-on to cooly fire home.

Rovers were in control but a triple blow just past the midway point of the first half could have derailed them.

After Adam Hammill levelled for the hosts with a cross that flew into the far corner, Rovers then saw Jason Lowe limp off with an ankle injury followed by Rudy Gestede who was stretchered off unconscious after a collision with Terriers captain Peter Clarke.

The start of the second half saw Rovers regain the lead once more when Rhodes rose at the back post to head home Craig Conway's centre, before Conway himself got in on the act when Smithies couldn't hold his 25-yard effort.

The home side looked for a way back and with just under 20 minutes to go they grabbed themselves a lifeline when Nahki Wells finished confidently from James Vaughan's flick, but Jordan Rhodes was always going to have the final say.

The 81st minute decider was made by the tenacity of Lee Williamson who forced Adam Clayton into an error, Rhodes needing no second invitation to sweep the loose ball home for his 20th of the campaign and to seal all three points.

After three consecutive defeats, boss Gary Bowyer made three changes to his starting line-up as David Dunn, Lee Williamson and Matt Kilgallon all came back into the eleven.

Grant Hanley missed out with a hamstring injury whilst Todd Kane and Luke Varney both dropped to the bench.

Rovers were quick out of the traps at the John Smith's Stadium, taking the lead with their very first attack on four minutes.

A long ball upfield from Michael Keane was flicked on by Rudy Gestede for strike partner Jordan Rhodes. The former Terrier still had plenty to do as he turned and faced the goal, but he easily rode the challenge of Murray Wallace to cooly slot home into the opposite corner.

The home side looked to hit back straight away but the returning Matt Kilgallon was alert on a couple of occasions to keep them at bay.

At the other end Rhodes had a low shot saved after good work from Lee Williamson and Craig Conway before David Dunn fired straight at Alex Smithies in the home goal.

Oliver Norwood saw a shot well blocked from Michael Keane before Huddersfield captain Peter Clarke missed a great chance to level when he headed wide when well placed from a corner.

But in the space of five minutes Rovers were hit by a triple whammy.

Firstly on 25 minutes the home side levelled and there was a touch of fortune about it. A quick free-kick on the left saw Adam Hammill cross with his right, the ball flying beyond everyone and into the bottom corner of Paul Robinson's goal.

Rovers have been hit regularly with injuries this season and they would then suffer two further injury blows as firstly Jason Lowe and then Rudy Gestede went off.

Lowe, who started the match at right back, tried to play on after landing awkwardly earlier in the game but he eventually made way for Todd Kane. Then as Rudy Gestede challenged for a header with Peter Clarke he collapsed to the ground.

There was serious concern as medical teams from both clubs saw to the giant striker and after a lengthy period of treatment the likeable Frenchman was stretchered off to hospital. Luke Varney on as his replacement.

That stoppage affected both sides as play stuttered to get going once more, Nahki Wells dragging a shot wide after a through ball from Jonathan Hogg, whilst at the other end Michael Keane and Tommy Spurr both went close with headers from corner kicks.

Nine added minutes were played, Luke Varney going the closest for Rovers, whilst an important tackle from Matt Kilgallon denied Danny Ward at the other end.

The start of the second half saw the hosts press Rovers back with striker Nahki Wells their main threat.

On 51 the former Bradford man saw a shot beaten away by Paul Robinson, the rebound falling to Danny Ward but he blazed horribly wide,

A minute later Wells was again was in the thick of it, latching onto a ball in the box but he fired high over the angle.

But as that early promise came to nothing, it was Rovers who struck with devastating simplicity on 55 minutes.

Neat approach play by Gary Bowyer's side culminating in Craig Conway whipping a cross to the back post where Rhodes rose to head back across the area and in off the woodwork.

Ten minutes later and Rovers added a third as clever distribution Michael Keane set Conway racing from halfway, as the hosts backed off, the Scotsman took full advantage, charging towards goal before unleashing a 25-yard shot that squirmed through the arms of Alex Smithies and in off the same post that Rhodes had scored from earlier.

That prompted a double change from Mark Robins' side as James Vaughan and Sean Scannell were introduced and almost immediately it had the desired impact.

On 71 minutes, a long ball out of the defence was flicked on by Vaughan to fellow striker Wells, and he got the better of Kilgallon before turning and lashing home to make it 2-3.

But any thoughts of a leveller were soon erased as Rovers struck once more with nine minutes remaining.

Lee Williamson showed great tenacity and determination to give Adam Clayton no time on the ball just outside his own area, and as the Terrier lost possession Jordan Rhodes pounced, the outcome inevitable as he spanked the ball past a static Smithies and into the back of the net.

The overjoyed striker wheeled away to celebrate his second hat-trick for the club, his 20th goal of the season.

That fourth goal knocked the wind out of Huddersfield's sails and on this occasion they couldn't raise their game further to give the thousand travelling fans any never last few minutes.

After the previous week of defeats, the final whistle was a relief, Rovers have just the small matter of Leicester City at home next Saturday at Ewood.

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN: Smithies, Dixon, Norwood (sub Scannell 68 mins), Clarke (c), Hogg, Clayton, Ward (sub Vaughan 68 mins), Hammill (sub Bunn 90 mins), Wallace, Wells, Smith.

Subs not used: Bennett (GK), Woods, Gobern, Southern.

Goals: Hammill 25 mins, Wells 71 mins.

Booked: None.

ROVERS: Robinson, Lowe (sub Kane 26 mins), Keane, Kilgallon, Spurr, Dunn (sub Taylor 74 mins), Evans, Williamson, Conway, Gestede (sub Varney 34 mins), Rhodes (c).

Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Olsson, Feeney, Dabo.

Goals: Rhodes  4, 55, 81 mins, Conway 65 mins.

Booked: Kilgallon.

Attendance: 13,311 (including 1,042 Rovers fans).

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