My favourite post-Premier League match – part two

The second of our occasional series of articles looking back at memorable post-Premier League matches – see here for more information – sees Ian Sheard reflect on a superb derby victory from earlier this season.

Huddersfield Town 2 Bradford City 2 (City win 4-3 on penalties), Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, Tuesday 4 October 2011

I must confess that only one game popped into my head when asked to write this… I don’t think that I am the only City fan that has blocked out the past 10 or so years with very few highlights springing to mind. I apologise for sounding pessimistic, but I can only really remember games prior to promotion in ’99 and a couple of years after. Famous wins at Goodison Park, Blackpool, Hull, 4th round (I believe) F.A Cup match v Sheffield Wednesday to name but a few. I believe there was a 2-1 victory away to Huddersfield included in that with a Edinho and Robbie Blake goals.

Which brings me to another famous victory at Brighouse FC! As soon as we knocked out Sheffield Wednesday in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy earlier this season, I was hoping for Town home or away, having missed the Leeds United Carling Cup fixture due to my honeymoon. I was therefore delighted when the two teams were drawn against each other.

I think the reason why I have chosen this match is mainly due to the fact that Town were so confident going into the game having been undefeated in at least 40 games, I think. Listening to BBC Radio Leeds on the way to the ground, it was apparent that Town pundit Kieran O’Regan had written us off as though we were a Sunday league club. I think we as City fans were wondering how many they could score past us, but hoping to not be as humiliated as the last we visited the Galpharm.

The atmosphere was superb, as usual, from the travelling away fans which was lifted by the performance on the pitch minus the injury of Ross Hannah. We managed to hold Town off for the first half, with a few decent saves from Matt Duke. The second half was when City played some nice football, passing the ball on the floor and attempting to get Jack Compton, Chris Mitchell and Mark Stewart running on the ball.

We won a corner and, just as my father in law uttered, ‘watch Oliver’s run’, we were 1-0 up. Albeit an own goal, we still looked dangerous from the set piece. Unfortunately an ex-target for City, Tommy Miller, equalised and I feared it may be the first of many (ever the optimist!). However, another set-piece one minute later and another excellent move from Luke Oliver – 2-1 City! We were in raptures.

Six minutes later Town were back in it. However, this time both the fans and players seemed to believe we could win this. I honestly think the Town fans did as well, but would be interested to see how many admitted it! We held out, defending well and keeping a very good Town side at bay.

Penalties.

Having taken them so far, I wouldn’t have minded if we had lost. We had played well and given a better account of ourselves than anyone expected. This was affirmed by Town’s decision to take penalties away from us City fans. It didn’t work.

Nialle Rodney scored the winner and that was it. We had beaten the ‘unbeatable.’ A game in which we were supposedly going to out-played, out-passed and out-classed. Listening to Derm Tanner’s modest account of the game after made it all the sweeter, as did knowing that this would, in my opinion, begin the demise of Town’s promotion bid.

I know it’s only a recent game but it certainly showed how well we can play when the pressure is off and the crowd are behind the team throughout. No matter what happens this season and the next, I’ll always remember the time we got one over the team from Brighouse when they had done it to us so many times before.

I wonder if Mr O’Regan likes cream with his humble pie?



Categories: Post-Prem matches

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