Football: Bonus for Terriers

Huddersfield Town 1 Allison 88 Sheffield United 0 Attendance: 12,192
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The Independent Online
FOR 88 minutes of this Yorkshire derby, the parsimony for which the Broadacres are famous was displayed by the two defences and the woodwork.

Despite the loss by each side of a key central defender, neither looked like conceding a goal until the Huddersfield striker Wayne Allison, who had been as profligate as anyone with the few chances this scrappy contest produced, got on the end of a corner-kick two minutes from time.

His shot hit the underside of the crossbar and seemed to strike a Sheffield defender before crossing the line, but it was enough to carry Huddersfield to an unaccustomed sixth place in Division One - great strides for the manager Peter Jackson who rescued the Terriers from the First Division doghouse last season - and his side might have settled the issue earlier if the substitute Paul Dalton's free-kick had not come back off a post.

Apart from that, and a five-minute spell at the end of the first half when the United keeper Simon Tracey made a hash of two punches, the defences were pretty well in control, despite David Holdsworth, United's captain, being carried off with a knee ligament injury and Town's Andy Morrison missing the second half after limping through much of the first.

The Blades manager Steve Bruce, with two players away on international duty, another suspended and a host of others - including himself - injured, would have preferred the game to have been postponed.

It looked like good judgement as Town's neat, disciplined style briefly put his makeshift defence under pressure. Allison's striking partner, Marcus Stewart, who had struggled for form last term, has already found the net five times this season, and might have added to his tally early on.

With the lively Ben Thornley and Grant Johnson causing problems on both wings, he curled two shots narrowly wide of Tracey's right-hand post and thumped an angled drive into the side netting. Allison's early contribution, however, was to loft two efforts into the stand.

United got over their early nerves and the game settled into a typical local derby of grit and endeavour, but no great style or flair. United's Gareth Taylor and Graham Stewart looked fleetingly dangerous as they ran at the big Town defenders, but the Blades' most incisive strike was from the midfielder Bobby Ford, whose opportunist lob from just inside the Town half skimmed the crossbar with the goalkeeper Nico Vaesen well out of this ground.

But despite Town's unexpectedly rarefied league position, on this evidence it would be unwise to bet heavily on a Yorkshire challenge to the Midlands and North-East for promotion from the First Division.

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