November 6, 2012
Rhodes bags but Rovers draw
Jordan Rhodes gave Huddersfield a scare on his return to the John Smiths Stadium, but Lee Novak's last-gasp strike earned a 2-2 draw against Blackburn.
Rhodes, who completed an £8million move across the Pennines to Rovers in the summer having propelled Town into the npower Championship with 40 goals in League One last season, was on target just before half-time to cancel out Novak's early strike.
Danny Murphy's second-half spot-kick looked to have given Henning Berg his first win in charge of Blackburn, but Novak popped up in the fourth minute of injury time to ensure a share of the spoils.
Berg was appointed as Steve Kean's replacement last week and presided over a 2-0 defeat at Crystal Palace over the weekend, but saw his side bounce back with a creditable point.
Huddersfield would have been hoping to move above Rovers in the table with their third successive home win, but a lack of cutting edge up front - exacerbated by the absence of injured on-loan strikers James Vaughan and Jermaine Beckford - almost proved costly until Novak's late heroics.
While Huddersfield were unchanged, Rovers made two alterations to their side from Saturday with Ruben Rochina and Mauro Formica replacing Morten Gamst Pedersen and Colin Kazim Richards.
There was only one name on everyone's lips tonight, however, with Rhodes predictably straight into the action flicking on to Rochina, whose first-time blast from 25 yards forced Huddersfield goalkeeper Alex Smithies to tip over.
Rovers continued to show promise in the early stages with Rochina and Murphy seeing deflected efforts go wide.
However, against the run of play Novak put the hosts ahead in the 15th minute, aided by some sloppy defending after Sean Scannell was cynically robbed on the left wing by Scott Dann, who received a yellow card for his troubles.
Rovers failed to clear their lines from Oliver Norwood's innocuous delivery and Novak was on hand to stab home.
Town looked to have nullified Blackburn's attacking threat with Rhodes increasingly isolated, although Rochina was threatening on occasion and justified his return to the starting line-up two minutes before half-time.
His ball over the top allowed Rhodes to beat the offside trap to fire past Smithies and level the scores, although the Scotland international kept his celebration low-key with just a raise of the arm.
Rovers carried the momentum from that timely strike into the second half, when they took the lead in the 55th minute.
Olsson burst into the box and, although the ball looked to be running away from him, a needless lunge from behind by Joel Lynch left the referee with little option but to point to the spot.
Veteran Murphy calmly slotted the ball home from the spot, sending Smithies the wrong way.
Danny Ward's introduction in the 59th minute gave Huddersfield a spark in the final third, but a last-gasp interception from Olsson prevented the substitute from what would have been an easy finish.
That seemed to galvanise Simon Grayson's men and they enjoyed some sustained attacking pressure, but the visitors held firm and nearly doubled their advantage with Dickson Etuhu's close-range strike from Rochina's corner just going wide of the post.
Huddersfield continued to press for the leveller, but luck seemed to have deserted them as Scannell put a free header wide.
However, just as it seemed all hope was lost, Adam Clayton's ball into the area fell kindly for Novak and, although the striker slipped, he did manage to put in the equaliser.
|Huddersfield Town||Blackburn Rovers|
|1 Alex Smithies||1 Paul Robinson|
|5 Peter Clarke||16 Scott Dann|
|33 Joel Lynch||3 Martin Olsson|
|3 Paul Dixon||31 Grant Hanley|
|2 Callum Woods||27 Adam Henley|
|24 Keith Southern||18 Dickson Etuhu|
|14 Adam Hammill||13 Danny Murphy|
|8 Adam Clayton||14 Marcus Olsson|
|4 Oliver Norwood||10 Mauro Formica|
|7 Sean Scannell||11 Jordan Rhodes|
|9 Lee Novak||23 Ruben Rochina|
|13 Ian Bennett||Jake Kean 34|
|6 Anthony Gerrard||Bradley Orr 2|
|15 Murray Wallace||Bruno Ribeiro 32|
|22 Anton Robinson||Morten Gamst Pedersen 12|
|16 Scott Arfield||Simon Vukcevic 33|
|11 Daniel Ward||Diogo Rosado 38|
|19 Alan Lee||Raheem Hanley 26|
|Daniel Ward for Adam Hammill (59)||Simon Vukcevic for Ruben Rochina (78)|
|Alan Lee for Oliver Norwood (60)||Diogo Rosado for Mauro Formica (82)|
|Lee Novak (11)||Scott Dann (15)|
|Joel Lynch (54)|
|Adam Clayton (69)|
|· Squads: Huddersfield Town | Blackburn Rovers|