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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:58 27th March 2011

Terriers Put Three Past Magpies

Notts County remain only two points above the League 1 relegation zone, following a 3-0 defeat to Huddersfield Town.

Terriers' top-scorer Jordan Rhodes gave the hosts the lead ahead of the break and teed up Gary Roberts for the second on 58 minutes. The forward then added his second and Huddersfield's third three minutes later to give his side a comfortable three points at the Galpharm Stadium.

Encouraged by the performance in midweek against top of the table Brighton, Notts went into the match against the Terriers with every confidence of picking up some much needed points. Lee Clark's side were hoping to open up a four-point gap between themselves and third-placed Peterborough United, at the same time maintaining their unbeaten run in the league since the turn of the year.

Notts had gone six games without scoring from open play and were desperate for goals to pull them away from the relegation zone, which they sat two points clear of. It was a boost for Paul Ince that he was able to name both of his top-scorers, Craig Westcarr and Lee Hughes, in the starting line-up for the first time since the FA Cup replay against Manchester City on February 20.

The hosts, evidently brimming with confidence, put the Magpies under some heavy pressure early on and looked particularly dangerous on the wings. Inventive link-up play between the two right-siders, Lee Peltier and Roberts, created a chance inside the six-yard box for frontman Benik Afobe, only he was denied by the legs of Stuart Nelson.

Westcarr tested the home stopper Ian Bennett for the first time with a powerful drive, after he broke free down the right. However, the Terriers continued to look the more threatening and Mike Edwards had to produce a vital last-ditch challenge to prevent Afobe from getting a shot away in a fantastic goal-scoring position.

The danger-man Afobe thought he'd scored when the ball crashed into the side-netting, following his quick turn and shot. Scot Arfield might have done better with his close-range header moments later, which Nelson gathered on his goal line.

Huddersfield's pressure finally paid off on 36 minutes, when Arfield split the Notts defence with an incisive pass. Afobe's direct run allowed him to chip towards the back post, where Rhodes nodded home his 19th goal of the season.

Rhodes nearly added his 20th before the break with a hopeful punt that Nelson parried away, low to his right. The goalkeeper had to produce a similar stop to keep Gudjonsson's driven free-kick from finding the bottom corner.

Notts started to show more promise going forward after the goal and Westcarr came close with a well struck free-kick. This continued after the interval but Nelson still had to make two key saves inside the first few minutes to keep his team in the game.

He stayed on his feet to block Afobe's effort, when the Arsenal loanee was set free by a long ball over the top. Shortly after, he was required to tip away Rhodes' powerful shot from a tight angle.

On 58 minutes, Roberts managed to double the hosts' lead in another fast-paced attack that stretched the County backline. This time, Rhodes was fed into space and his low centre enabled Rhodes to delicately lift the ball over Nelson.

Things got worse three minutes later, when Nelson was left exposed again. Afobe was given room to float the ball across the six-yard area for Rhodes to side-foot into the top corner with ease.

Ince introduced three substitutes, with Njogu Demba-Nyren, Sam Sodje and Alan Gow replacing Dave Martin, Liam Chilvers and Ricky Ravenhill. None were able to spark a revival, as Huddersfield saw out the game, and Notts were beaten for the fourth match on the bounce.

The Magpies need all the support they can get in two crucial fixtures at Meadow Lane against Oldham and Rochdale. Both could go a long way to helping the team secure a place in League 1 for 2011/12.

Attendance: 13,661 (403 Notts County supporters)

Magpie Player Man of the Match: Stuart Nelson

Magpie Player

    Data provided by Press Association

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