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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:03 19th November 2011

Rhodes Double Defeats Notts

Notts County were defeated 2-1 by Huddersfield Town in a scrappy affair at the Galpharm Stadium.

The opening 45 minutes saw both sides frustrate each other. But, just a minute into the second half, Jordan Rhodes gave the hosts the lead with a fine header.

Huddersfield went down to 10 men, after Alan Lee elbowed Sam Sodje in the face. Moments later, Rhodes added his second of the game, capitalising on a defensive slip.

Neal Bishop added a late consolation goal for the Magpies with a swinging finish on the turn. However, there was no time for Notts to salvage a point and the hosts took all three points.

Notts had been looking to end the Terriers' remarkable run in the league, which had stretched to 42 games - equal with Nottingham Forest's Football League record. Anything other than a defeat would have seen the home side shatter that, though Martin Allen's side were determined to see them fall short.

One change was made to the side that beat Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup seven days earlier, with Sam Sodje replacing Mike Edwards at the heart of defence. There was a place on the bench for Edwards, as well as Lee Hughes, who had previously been ruled out through injury.

Neither goalkeeper was tested in the opening stages, as both teams organised themselves well. Ben Burgess was Notts' main outlet and won plenty of headers, only for the hosts to mop up the second ball on multiple occasions.

At the other end, Sodje justified his place in the starting 11 by winning endless aerial battles. None was more important than his header on 20 minutes, where he denied Town's top-scorer Rhodes at close-range, as he looked set to convert Lee's knockdown.

Ben Burgess

County threatened for the first time shortly after, when Huddersfield failed to clear Alan Sheehan's free kick. The ball was eventually worked to Karl Hawley on the edge of the box, where he turned sharply and placed just inches wide.

Strong hold-up play from Ben Burgess created the Magpies' next opening. The frontman distributed towards the right wing and Bishop, following an interchange with Julian Kelly, picked out Jeff Hughes, who directed over.

Stuart Nelson was forced to gather low on his goal line, when Lee rose high to connect with Scott Arfield's searching centre. Lee came close again when he headed powerfully over from Gary Robert's out-swinging corner.

Burgess had almost caught out home stopper Ian Bennett moments before Lee's second effort with an unexpected volley. However, Bennett backtracked to collect inside his six-yard box.

In the final moments of the first 45, the home side almost went ahead, as Rhodes charged down Krystian Pearce's defensive clearance. The striker raced clear but Nelson rushed out of his area to block, before Sodje removed the danger.

Krystian Pearce

Town did go in front just a minute into the second period, courtesy of full-back Jack Hunt's swinging delivery from the right that found Rhodes unmarked. Rhodes showed great composure to direct the ball into the top-right corner with a looping header.

Ishmel Demontagnac's arrival, at the expense of Jeff Hughes, added life to Notts' attacking game. Within moments of coming on, the wideman almost found Hawley with a bended delivery but the home rearguard managed to survive the scare.

Jeff Hughes

On 61 minutes, Huddersfield were down to 10 men when Lee was seen to have elbowed Sodje in the face during an aerial challenge. Sodje was unable to continue, despite his protests, and both outfits were down to 10 men temporarily.

Before the Magpies could get Edwards on the pitch, Rhodes struck again, following a slip at the back by Pearce. The forward raced clear with the ball and fired low sternly into the bottom corner without hesitation.

Notts did manage to pull one back late on, though it was through Bishop, who found the net with a swinging finish from outside the area deep into added time. Huddersfield celebrated at the final whistle, having set a new Football League record of 43 games without loss.

Attendance: 13,227 (962 away supporters)

Man of the Match: Sam Sodje

    Data provided by Press Association

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