Four-star Rhodes rides to the rescue
Sheffield Wednesday 4 Huddersfield Town 4
Sunday 18 December 2011
Jordan Rhodes was the last player to leave the Hillsborough pitch, lapping up the adulation of the away fans and clutching the match ball, and who could blame him after an afternoon that the Huddersfield Town striker is unlikely ever to forget?
The 21-year-old Scottish international scored four goals, the last in the sixth minute of added time, to salvage a point from a thrilling Yorkshire derby in which Huddersfield led 2-0, then trailed 4-2 before Rhodes's last-gasp intervention.
It should ensure an interesting conversation this morning in the home in Holmfirth that Rhodes shares with his father, Andy, the goalkeeping coach at Wednesday.
It will also increase interest in the Huddersfield striker, who already had Premier League scouts watching him before taking his League One tally to 17 yesterday. But Lee Clark, the Huddersfield manager, believes Rhodes will stay at the club because of owner Dean Hoyle's desire to see them promoted to the Championship.
"We know in January calls will come, people will still try to test our resolve, but the man who owns the club is a massive supporter, he has got a bob or two and promotion is more important than pounds," said Clark, whose team stayed four points behind second-placed Wednesday with the draw.
Wednesday had won eight out of nine at home in League One but Huddersfield took control with two Rhodes headers from Gary Roberts crosses.
Wednesday's attacking threat had been non-existent but they got into the game after 26 minutes when Rob Jones headed past Ian Bennett from Ben Marshall's left-wing cross. Reda Johnson equalised two minutes later after it seemed the ball just would not go in. Sanchez Watt's deflected shot looped on to the crossbar and Bennett foiled Chris O'Grady's follow-up but finally Johnson forced the ball in.
Both teams paused for breath but Marshall reignited the contest on the hour with Wednesday's third goal. The on-loan Stoke winger brushed aside the Huddersfield full-back Jack Hunt on the left, charged into the box and dispatched a low finish. Wednesday looked to have sealed victory with Chris O'Grady's looping back header over Bennett from a Chris Lines free-kick.
Huddersfield, not so long ago invincible in this division, were staring at a third straight defeat but up stepped Rhodes, who already had two League hat-tricks this season. His low, angled drive gave them fresh hope and with Wednesday's defence panicking, Peter Clarke played him through andhe produced a sumptuous finish into the far corner.
Rhodes' hat-tricks this season
3 Luxembourg Under-21s v Scotland Under-21s, 6 October.
3 Exeter City v Huddersfield Town, 15 October.
3 Huddersfield Town v Preston North End, 22 October.
4 Sheffield Wednesday v Huddersfield Town, yesterday.
Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Bywater; Johnson, Jones, Batth, Tavernier; Lines, Prutton, Semedo, Marshall (Bennett 90); O'Grady, Watt (Lowe 46).
Huddersfield Town (4-4-2): Bennett; Hunt, Bruce, Clarke, Naysmith; Ward (McDermott,70), Miller, Gobern, Roberts; Novak (Parkin 82), Rhodes.
Referee Darren Deadman.
Man of the match Rhodes (Huddersfield).
Match rating 9/10.
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