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Match Reports

Report: Huddersfield 1 Rovers 1

All three points snatched from their grasp at the death.

31 December 2016

Rovers claimed a hard-working point on New Years Eve against promotion-chasing Huddersfield Town.

But it could have been all three as Danny Graham's second half header gave the visitors a surprise lead in what was a largely one-sided affair at the John Smith's Stadium.
 
Rovers put up a fantastic rearguard display to keep the hosts at bay, until four minutes into added time at the end of the match as Nahki Wells curled home a last-gasp free-kick.
 
When the two sides met back at the beginning of December it was Huddersfield who started the match strongly, and it was the same in the return fixture at the John Smith's Stadium.
 
Just 40 seconds in and Jason Steele was called into action in the Rovers goal, the returning Gordon Greer blocked a shot from Rajiv van la Parra, Kasey Palmer, who scored in the corresponding match, saw his acrobatic effort palmed away.
 
Nahki Wells then had a header saved, before the striker fired high over the bar as Rovers threw their bodies on the line to keep out the Terriers.
 
After soaking up the pressure Rovers hit Huddersfield on the break on 28 minutes. Sam Gallagher taking the ball past the home defence, but his shot across goal flashed wide and just beyond the despairing dive of strike partner Danny Graham.
 
Back came David Wagner's side, Elias Kachunga forcing an easy save, then following a flowing move involving defenders Michele Hefele and Tommy Smith the ball was played to Wells, but from close-range his shot was smothered by Steele.
 
The hosts continued to push Rovers back in the latter stages of the first half, Rovers restricting them to long-range strikes as van la Parra and Wells both failed to hit the target.
 
After a first half full of goalmouth chances, the second half was quiet in comparison as Rovers restricted their opponents to very little in the way of openings.
 
It wasn't until the 68th minute that either side had a sight of goal, Smith firing well wide after a one-two with Wells, before Charlie Mulgrew had to hack clear from inside his six-yard box as the Terriers looked to up the ante.
 
But with eight minutes remaining, and after soaking up the pressure, it was Rovers who hit Huddersfield on the break to great effect.
 
Chasing a lost cause into the area Gallagher stole the ball off Hefele before feeding Liam Feeney, and the winger's centre was pin-point in picking out Graham who headed home his 9th of the campaign.
 
Town responded with a swerving shot from substitute Jack Payne that Steele had to palm behind, and then threw on Mark Hudson to add some height to the home attack.
 
But Rovers could have settled late nerves had they been cleverer with the ball on the break in the closing stages.
 
Twice Rovers broke with men in advantage, but on both occasions the pass was too slow in arriving and Gallagher was flagged offside.
 
That would prove to be crucial as Huddersfield grabbed a leveller in the fourth of five additional minutes at the end of the game.
 
After sub Harry Bunn was fouled on the edge of the box, Wells hit the perfect free-kick over the wall and into the opposite corner to where Steele was positioned.
 
It was tough on Rovers to concede so late on, but they had worked tirelessly throughout and more than deserved the point they claimed.
 
HUDDERSFIELD: Ward, Smith, Whitehead (c) (sub Hudson 86 mins), Kachunga, Mooy, Lowe, van la Parra (sub Bunn 59 mins), Wells, Schindler, Hefele, Palmer (sub Payne 59 mins).
 
Subs not used: Coleman (GK), Billing, Cranie, Stankovic.
 
Goals: Wells 90+4 mins.
 
Booked: Whitehead 16 mins.
 
ROVERS: Steele, Nyambe, Greer, Mulgrew, Williams, Feeney, Akpan, Evans (sub Bennett 69 mins), Conway, Gallagher, Graham (sub Brown 89 mins).
 
Subs not used: Raya (GK), Stokes, Emnes, Mahoney, Travis.
 
Goals: Graham 82 mins.
 
Booked: None.
 
Attendance: 21,311 (including 1072 Rovers fans)

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