Match Report: Sean Scannell sets up tasty start for Mark Robins at Huddersfield with FA Cup tie against Wigan
Leicester City 1 Huddersfield Town 2
The King Power Satdium
Tuesday 12 February 2013
If, as seems likely, Mark Robins takes charge at Huddersfield Town after belatedly being given permission to talk to the Yorkshire club about their vacant manager's position, he will launch his tenure at the John Smith Stadium with a fifth-round FA Cup tie at home to Wigan Athletic on Sunday.
Huddersfield earned the right to face the Premier League strugglers after Sean Scannell's goal 15 minutes from time took them into the last 16 for only the second time in 14 years at the expense of Championship rivals Leicester.
Robins looks set to succeed Simon Grayson at Huddersfield after Coventry, who had earlier refused to countenance any approach for their man, changed their position. The former Manchester United striker reportedly had a clause in his contract allowing him to speak to other clubs provided minimum compensation requirements were met.
Should he take the job, his loss will be a major blow to Coventry. Robins, who enjoyed some success with Rotherham and Barnsley, has been at the Ricoh Arena for only five months and has taken the Sky Blues from the relegation places to play-off contention in League One. But the financial problems that continue to make Coventry's future uncertain, combined with his own ties to the north, would make the move an attractive one for Robins irrespective of moving up a division.
Huddersfield's form going into this fourth-round replay amounted to two wins in their last 15 games in all competitions, although they did hold Championship leaders Cardiff to a goalless draw last weekend. Nonetheless, caretaker manager Mark Lillis made six changes and given that Huddersfield lost 6-1 at this venue in the Championship on New Year's Day it did not suggest any great expectation of progress.
Yet they went ahead in the fourth minute. Adam Clayton had a lot to do to beat Kasper Schmeichel as he stood over the ball 25 yards out in a central position after Wes Morgan had brought down Scannell but his delivery from the free-kick was first class, the ball lifting over the Leicester wall and curling away into the top corner to Schmeichel's left, giving the keeper no chance.
It was a lead Huddersfield were able to hold on to for only three minutes, however. Leicester won a corner, met with a header by Ritchie de Laet that hit a Huddersfield defender and spun nicely into the path of centre-back Michael Keane, who swept home his first goal for the club.
Thereafter, the first half had little of the energy and enthusiasm that might once have been expected of an FA Cup tie. Leicester had enough second-half possession to have taken the upper hand but twice Marko Futacs squandered good chances and when David Nugent managed to meet an Anthony Knockaert cross with a low header he aimed it straight at goalkeeper Ian Bennett.
The misses proved costly as Huddersfield exploited their pace on the break. Schmeichel had kept the scores level with one superb save from Scott Arfield but he could not stop Scannell putting the Yorkshire side in front after he beat Paul Konchesky and then Keane on a run from the halfway line.
"We knew an approach to a manager had been made but I told the lads to keep focused on the tie and they have done themselves proud on a great evening for the club," Lillis said.
Leicester City (4-4-2) Schmeichel; De Laet, M Keane, Morgan, Konchesky; James, Gallagher, Wellens (Dyer, 81), Knockaert; Futacs (Waghorn, 74), Nugent (Vardy, 74).
Huddersfield Town (4-4-1-1) Bennett; Dixon, Wallace, Gerrard, Woods; Sinnott (Norwood, 65), Arfield, Scannell, Atkinson (Gobern, 83); Clayton; Lee (Vaughan, 70).
Referee J Adcock (Nottinghamshire).
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