Football: Stewart's back-heel keeps Terriers on top

Huddersfield Town 1 Sunderland 1
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The Independent Online
SUNDERLAND MISSED the chance of replacing Huddersfield as First Division leaders when they failed to capitalise on second-half dominance which brought them seven corners in the last 10 minutes - but no goals - in front of a record crowd of 20,741 at the McAlpine Stadium.

The Huddersfield manager, Peter Jackson, admitted that he was relieved with the result, which kept his side two points clear of the Wearsiders at the top of the table. "I'm delighted with a point and I think the result was fair," Jackson said. "So we've proved everybody wrong again by remaining top." Jackson saved his greatest praise for the former Wales captain, Barry Horne, who dominated for the Terriers in midfield.

"If Barry was 10 years younger he'd be worth millions. He was 'Captain Marvellous' tonight," he said.

The Sunderland manager, Peter Reid, was less satisfied. "I don't think we played well. But on chances alone, we deserved to win. It's a difficult place to come because Jackson and Terry Yorath have got them well organised."

Jackson has built a side whose deliberate approach work belies a sharp cutting edge, in which the wing play of David Beresford and Ben Thornley provides ammunition for the Nationwide League's most successful strike partnership, Wayne Allison and Marcus Stewart.

Allison twice narrowly failed to provide the finishing touch to Beresford's crosses before a searching ball from the opposite flank left Sunderland exposed at the far post. Beresford struck the ball low and hard, and Stewart neatly back-heeled it past the stranded Thomas Sorensen after 27 minutes.

Sunderland's equaliser came when Allan Johnston's centre evaded everyone except Sunderland's captain, Kevin Ball, who appeared from a ruck of players to force the ball home three minutes before half-time.

That gave Sunderland the initiative and they should have taken the lead when Quinn burst clear. Though he was bundled off the ball, Bridges gained possession but shot straight at Nico Vaesen. Moments later, Bridges stooped to meet Summerbee's cross, but his header flashed narrowly wide.

Town resorted to the long ball down the middle, but with no greater success than their opponents, and long-range shots from Rob Edwards and Steve Jenkins were the nearest they came to restoring their lead.

Huddersfield Town (4-4-2): Vaesen; Jenkins, Dyson, Morrison, Edwards; Beresford (Barnes, 83), Horne, Johnson, Thornley (Phillips, 87); Stewart, Allison. Substitutes not used: Dalton.

Sunderland (4-4-2): Sorensen; Makin, Melville, Butler, Scott; Summerbee, Ball, Rae, Johnston; Bridges (Dichio, 78), Quinn. Substitutes not used: Craddock, Mullin.

Referee: M Messias (York).