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Match Reports

Match Report : 02/11/2013

2 November 2013


Goals from Leon Barnett and Nick Powell made it three games unbeaten for Latics in the Championship, with the defender heading his side into the lead after 21 minutes, only for Oliver Norwood to equalise in first half stoppage time, before Powell thumping close range effort edged Latics back in front.

An open game entertained the crowd at the DW Stadium as both sides tried to force more goals in the game, but Latics crucially held on with another impressive display in the middle of midfield by Chris McCann.

Owen Coyle made two changes from the team that drew 0-0 with Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday as Marc-Antoine Fortune replaced Grant Holt and Ben Watson came in for James McArthur.

Buoyed from the confidence of two clean sheets, Latics expressed themselves much more going forwards and did so from early on.

Callum McManaman looked to be enjoying his game as he sent Jazz Richards in circles in the early stages, drawing fouls from the right back and also from Norwood as the match progressed.

Clever football was being observed by Latics supporters in the DW as Nick Powell, Jordi Gomez and McManaman linked up as a three behind striker Fortune.

Latics began to create half chances in the first 20 minutes, with McManaman flashing wide after a neat one-two in the middle with Powell, then it was Powell's turn when he fired a left footed effort just over the bar.

On 20 minutes Chris McCann pushed forwards to collect a Gomez pass into the middle and from 25 yards he unleashed a superb effort which forced Smithies to flail the ball over the bar.

From the corner Latics took advantage to score their first goal in two games, when Ben Watson's clever corner to the front post was just too high for the first defender, allowing Leon Barnett to muscle off his marker and fire home with a strong, stooping header.

Latics continued to impress as the half went on and even had a penalty shout on 34 minutes when Fortune felt that he had been pushed from behind by Peter Clarke as he collected the ball with his back to goal in the box.

The referee waved away his claims, but that didn't stop Latics from looking spirited and with the intent to push on.

Huddersfield lost influential midfielder Jonathan Hogg on 40 minutes when he was caught accidentally by Jordi Gomez after a sliding challenge from the Terriers' midfielder.

Then came a real kick in the teeth for Latics as Huddersfield grabbed an equaliser a minute into stoppage time.

Powell lost possession in the middle as he slipped on the wet surface, allowing Norwood to advance with the ball, spreading it wide for Richards.

The full back's cross was cut out, but fell to Norwood on the edge of the area, he hit it low and hard and found himself celebrating an equaliser as the ball took a big deflection off Ryan Shotton and away from Lee Nicholls into the bottom corner.

It should have been a case of tails up for the visitors in the second half, but it was Latics who started stronger, with Fortune hitting the post in the opening two minutes of the half.

Emmerson Boyce found him inside the area down the right and with a great first touch the 32-year-old took the ball on towards the near post, firing the ball at Smithies and onto the post.

Latics kept up their pressure and two minutes after that chance Nick Powell put his side in front.

Huddersfield looked dumbfounded as the Manchester United loanee found acres of space in the area down the right, he was allowed to compose himself before hammering a right footed effort over the head of Smithies to send the DW Stadium into raptures.

Latics made a positional change just before the hour mark when the more natural wide man Marc Albrighton replaced Gomez, who had a solid performance.

Just after the change Huddersfield almost found their second equaliser, when their own hour-mark substitute Sean Scannell cut the ball back for Danny Ward inside the area, with the former Bolton Wanderers winger having his shot blocked on the line by the body of Lee Nicholls who continued to impress on his third straight appearance in the first team.

Barnett then had to be on hand to hold out the Terriers as Ward aimed a cross into the area at their target man Jon Stead, only for the scorer of the games' first goal to flick the ball away from the danger zone.

Latics continued to attack as the second half went on, but the game opened up as both sides looked for a goal for their own purposes.

Powell remained a constant threat as he closed down every loose ball, and when Grant Holt replaced Fortune, Huddersfield were given another headache to deal with as he entered a bruising battle with Terriers' captain Peter Clarke.

James McClean became another major threat when he replaced McManaman with 10 minutes remaining, challenging Huddersfield full back Richards and forcing him into a number of foot races.

The Republic of Ireland international brought about some of Latics' best late chances, with an attacking run down the left.

McClean's attempt to cut the ball across for a completely free Grant Holt in the centre seemed to be stopped by the hand of a Huddersfield defender, only for the referee to allow play to continue, leaving McClean challenging with the out-rushing Smithies who just stifled another chance at goal.

Latics held out for five minutes of added time as Huddersfield continued to try and claim a point, but the likes of Shotton, Barnett, Boyce and McCann remained superb in their defending to ensure a big victory and retain their side's unbeaten home run this season.

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