Huddersfield Town fight back leaving West Yorkshire derby level TSS December 5, 2009 Match reviews 9 Comments I said before today’s game that I’d be disappointed with anything less than a victory. Huddersfield have been conceding far too easily and whilst they have the best attacking record in the league, I felt Leeds’ impressive defensive record should keep them quiet. Add to this the fact it was at Elland Road where we haven’t lost since January and the fact we’ve won the last five without conceding and all the signs pointed to a home win. However, much like our last three meetings, things didn’t quite go to plan. Things couldn’t have got off to a better start. Whilst some of the 38,000+ fans were still trying to make their way in to the ground and find their seat, Robert Snodgrass capitalised on an error from the Huddersfield Town goalkeeper and slotted home to give Leeds United an early 1-0 lead. The chance came from a pathetically weak shot from Sam Vokes that their keeper somehow failed to keep hold of giving Snoddy the opportunity to open the scoring. Less than two minutes gone and Leeds already infront. I was already thinking we may mirror the 4-0 demolition job we did on them back in 2007. Leeds continued to press, but Huddersfield high line of defence was causing problems for Beckford who got caught offside a couple of times. Vokes had a chance to double the lead though but his header from a Beckford cross went wide. As the half wore on, the dominance changed in Huddersfield’s favour and they started to get more and more of the ball. Leeds did have another chance though in injury time when the Huddersfield Town keeper made a good save to deny Robert Snodgrass his second and keep Town in the game. The second half started much the same as the first with a goal inside the opening two minutes. This time though, it was Huddersfield’s turn as sloppy defending from Leeds kept an attacking move alive for the visitors. A shot deflected into the path of Lee Novac who headed by Casper Ankergren to level the tie. Leeds had a couple more chances but Huddersfield looked the better team for much of the game. The crowd had already been calling for Lucciano Becchio long before the substitions came on. Vokes and Kilkenny would make way for Becchio and Leeds United super-sub, Max Gradel. With our first choice frontline restored and Max Gradel on to run at the Huddersfield defence, it felt like Leeds would get another one yet. It didn’t take long either. Ankergren kicked a long ball upfield which headed towards the opposition goalkeeper. Beckford went up for the ball as well though and the challenge led to another error from the Town goalie. Gradel was on hand to pick up the loose ball and subsequently rounded the keeper and fired home to put Leeds back on top. Poor marking from setplays, not for the first time in this fixture left Leeds looking fragile at the back. A short corner routine that Huddersfield had pulled off twice was unexpected by the United defence who were perhaps a bit tired from getting up early. Town got another shot away, but this time fired wide. The poor defending from the corner and play that followed should have served as a warning sign for Leeds to buck their ideas up, but Huddersfield restored parity once more with twelve minutes left on the clock. A cross was fired in from the right and Jordan Rhodes rose above everyone else to beat Casper Ankergren and earn the visitors a point. The remainder of the match was played on the back foot by Leeds and the final whistle actually came as a relief. For the first time in a while, I can honestly say that poor defending cost us today. We looked weak from crosses, corners and free-kicks and the Huddersfield Town wingers made our full-backs look like they were in the wrong game. Derby matches are never as simple as they look on paper. Whilst myself and presumably many others would have expected a win today, the occasion often means things aren’t quite as straight forward as one would hope. Huddersfield were unquestionably the better team for large parts of this game. Leeds’ defence was largely weak and the midfield weren’t much better with the exception of Snodgrass. Still no killer instinct from Vokes and a couple of chances wasted by him, whilst Beckford’s attempts to break were too often thwarted by the flag. One person I refuse to blame today who is often an easy target is Casper Ankergren. Whilst he still flapped at too many crosses and can’t catch a cold, his ball created the second goal and he made a few vital saves that earnt us the point. The two we did concede were more the fault of pathetically poor defending than they were the goalkeeper. Nice to see Lucciano Becchio on the way back to the starting XI as we look a lot stronger with him than we do Vokes. The impact subs of Grayson once again paid dividends and you can only hope Max Gradel’s stay will become permanent. I think I’m willing to write today off as one of those derby days where it’ll never be as easy as expected. We need to forget about what was a below par performance and re-group before the next League One tie next Saturday away to Brentford. Before that though, there’s the small matter of an away day at Old Trafford up for grabs against Kettering Town on Tuesday. TSS man of the match Was suprised when Robert Snodgrass was substituted late on as he looked like the only player on the park that had caused them problems all day. Always the man for the big occasions and today was no exception. The Scot worked tirelessly and the goal just adds icing to a great performance in an otherwise disappointing display.