Match report: Carlisle United v Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield Town missed out on the chance to climb into an automatic promotion place as they surrendered a two-goal lead to a Carlisle United side who left it late to make their mark in what was a fantastic advert for League One football.

And manager Lee Clark was left to ponder what might have been as the introduction of Francois Zoko by the home side put the previously confident Terriers right onto the back foot.

He said: "Of course, you're very disappointed when you're 2-0 up away from home and you don't take the three points.

"We've had a poor finish to the year and I think it just showed a little bit of eagerness to try and do things right, and by doing that we got too deep as a group and we couldn't get outside our box.

"Carlisle changed things around a bit and went for a diamond formation, which we tried to match, and we seemed to cope with it fine at first. They then brought on Zoko and he gave them another dimension, but we should have dealt with them better.

He added: "We have to rebuild somewhere though and that's a base for us to start looking towards some more positive results."

Things looked to be going to plan for the visitors as they weathered the expected spell of early pressure from Carlisle and they deservedly edged in front when Peter Clarke controlled a drilled ball back into the box before picking his spot in the bottom corner.

It became nip and tuck as the game flowed from end-to-end but the points were all-but in the bag shortly after the hour-mark when substitute Scott Arfield pounced on an error by James Chester to smash the ball into the roof of the net.

Cue a fight-back from the Cumbrians and, with the Terriers sitting

deep, former Owl Frank Simek took advantage of too much space by clipping a wicked cross towards the back post for Francois Zoko to nod home.

It then became one-way traffic with Alex Smithies making save after save as Madine, Zoko and Berrett went close.

And it was James Berrett, who joined Carlisle from Huddersfield on a free transfer in the summer, who supplied the killer delivery for Chester to make amends for his earlier error with an unstoppable header that left Smithies beating the floor in the frustration.

It was then a case of hanging on as the home side flooded forward, although Scott Arfield will feel that he should have done better when Rhodes picked him out with seconds left on the clock. He had time and space but he opted for a first-time shot that was always rising high.

"It was a good game, but we're disappointed that we didn't get the win," new boy Kevin Kilbane admitted.

"We felt that we'd done enough, but credit to them for coming back into it. It was a great way for me to start and we've shown that we're a good team."

CARLISLE UNITED: Collin, Simek, Chester, Michalik, Robson, Marshall (Thirlwell 38), Taiwo, Berrett, Grella (Zoko 58), Curran (Bowman 79), Madine. Subs not used: Caig, Murphy, Hurst, Cruise.

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN: Smithies, Peltier, Gudjonsson, P Clarke, N Clarke, T Clarke, Lee (Arfield 58), Kilbane, Novak, Afobe (Rhodes 73), Ridehalgh. Subs not used: Bennett, Roberts, Pilkington, Atkinson, Carey.

REFEREE: Geoff Eltringham.


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