Football: Haunting reminder for Huddersfield

Swindon Town 3 Huddersfield Town

Peter Lansley
Friday 09 October 1998 23:02

THIS TIME last year Huddersfield Town were bottom of the First Division and Swindon third from top. Roles may have been dramatically reversed since, but last night Jimmy Quinn's new charges signalled their intention to climb away from relegation danger by giving the current leaders a first-half battering.

Quinn was taking charge of Swindon for the first time and, despite a spirited second-half comeback from Peter Jackson's team, deserved to see a scintillating start lift his team four places to 18th in the table. It was a dreadful start to Jackson's second year at Huddersfield's helm but how Quinn would settle for such problems this time next year.

The Swindon fans had barely finished reading Jimmy Quinn's first programme notes when their team took a surprising lead. Mark Walters got clear down the right wing, saw his cross deflected at the near post by George Ndah for Iffy Onuora, the former Huddersfield striker, to stretch out a leg and score from two yards out.

Onuora started his career with the Yorkshire club but he was only as fired up as the rest of the Swindon players who last night seemed to perceive their place in the relegation zone as a personal indictment. It seemed hard to credit that Huddersfield were heading the division as the rest of the half turned into a goal procession for Quinn's side.

Nico Vaesen had saved well from Ndah, but the Belgian goalkeeper was unable to cater for the less predictable skills of Walters after 14 minutes. Ty Gooden's square pass found Walters on the left-hand corner of the penalty area and his delicate chip wafted into the top corner of the net.

Huddersfield's opportunity to break back came and went on 18 minutes. The Swindon goalkeeper Frank Talia risked all when rushing out of his penalty area to head clear. But when the ball ran clear, Grant Johnson guided his shot wide of the unguarded net.

Eight minutes before the break, Gooden's corner came to Darren Bullock. The one-time Huddersfield hard man lofted his shot against the underside of the crossbar and the ball rebounded off the head of Vaesen into the net. For Huddersfield, it was that kind of night.

Swindon Town: (4-4-2) Talia; Robinson, Reeves, Borrows, Hall; Walters, Bullock, Leitch, Gooden; Ndah, Onuora. Substitutes not used: Cuervo, Watson, Willis.

Huddersfield Town: (4-4-2) Vaesen; Phillips, Morrison, Collins (Dyson, 78), Edwards; Dalton (Browning, 66), Horne, Johnson, Thornley (Barnes, 45); Stewart, Allison.

Referee: A. Bates (Stoke-on-Trent)

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