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22:08 6th February 2011

Exeter City 1 Huddersfield Town 4

So on a damp and blustery afternoon at the Park, City slump to their biggest home defeat of the season going down 4-1 to Huddersfield in front of 4786 supporters. City lined up: Krysiak; Golbourne, Duffy, Archibald-Henville, Tully; Harley, Edwards, Cozic; Stewart, Nardiello, Logan.
An adventurous 4-3-3 formation then, and a surprising line up, however perhaps, given the injuries to Hamer, Taylor and Cureton, the fact that this was the middle game of a run of three in six days and that there were only 48 hours until the second leg of the Area Final of the JPT Trophy against Brentford, perhaps it wasn't too surprising.
As it was it was City who started brightest against their lofty opponents, aided in part by a fierce wind at their backs blowing towards the Big Bank. In the eighth minute Cozic helped the ball on to Nardiello who struck a ferocious shot from distance that deflected off a defender over the bar for a corner. On the quarter hour a Harley corner was whipped over at pace needing the faintest of touches from Logan to see the ball into the back of the net, but unfortunately he was millimetres from making a connection.
Midway through the half Tully's long throw into the box was inadvertently headed on by a Huddersfield defender to Nardiello who lashed a fearsome first time volley over the angle of post and bar. Nardiello came closer a couple of minutes later bursting into the box from a strong run down the left, but his low drive from a tight angle skimmed a defender just enough to deflect it onto the post and away for another City corner.
On the half hour Harley smashed a terrific free kick towards the far top corner from just outside the corner of the box that was headed behind, then from the resulting corner the ball was eventually worked wide to Troy who skipped down the left before slamming in a peach of a cross from the by-line that Logan nodded marginally over the bar at the near post. Five minutes later Troy sent Nardiello scampering through on goal with a slide rule daisy cutter, but the keeper was alive to the danger and came sprinting out of his box to clear with Nardiello closing fast. The final action of an absorbing half came with five minutes remaining as Harley surged forward into the box, jinked left and right to work an opening then fired a sweet looking shot from the edge of the box that the keeper saved comfortably.
So with City well on top at the break the second half would hopefully see more of the same, albeit this time playing into the face of the stiff breeze. But alas it was not to be and it was Huddersfield who changed the course of the game with the introduction of Danny Cadamarteri in the opening ten minutes. His first contribution was to latch onto a ball through the middle where he found himself - with no little hint of offside - with time and space fifteen yards out to control the ball and turn and fire past a helpless Krysiak to make it 1-0 to Huddersfield.
City looked for an equaliser in quick fashion and five minutes later Harley found himself twisting and turning inside the box before standing a decent cross to the far post where Tully burst in to nod over the bar from a tight angle. On the quarter hour Noble was introduced into the fray at the expense of Tully as Edwards dropped into the centre of defence from midfield and Duffy moved across to right back. Sadly all it did was signal a lightning quick break from Huddersfield from deep in their own half where they worked the ball expertly from right to left to the impressively quick - and again offside looking - Gary Roberts who drilled the ball through Krysiak's legs to make it 2-0 to the visitors. Immediately Cozic was withdrawn for Thomson, then ten minutes later Logan made way for O'Flynn.
However once again the changes merely signalled another Huddersfield goal. Duffy and Anthony Pilkington tangled on the edge of the six yard box and with both stumbling somehow Pilkington stumbled forward connecting with the ball as he fell to knock it seemingly in slow motion past a disbelieving Krysiak as the visitors went 3-0 up from what would appear to be just three attempts on goal.
Huddersfield's final goal was the best of their four though, and with minutes remaining the ball was worked across the box to Kevin Kilbane who drilled a fierce low drive back towards the far corner that might have got the slightest of deflections along the way to make it 4-0 and consign City to their second consecutive home defeat. Three minutes into five minutes stoppage time Nardiello pulled one back with a fine shot through a crowded box from 15 yards, but it was scant consolation for City who'd worked hard without reward throughout the game.
So a bad day at the office? Manager Tisdale thinks so, with Huddersfield by and large being matched by an industrious City undone by a combination of fortunate finishing and unfortunate defending. Which is a shame really as, bizarrely as it sounds after a 4-1 home defeat, City deserved a lot better. But it was not to be so on we move to the next game, which once again is at home and a mere two days away when we entertain Brentford in a televised winner takes all JPT area final with a Wembley appearance the rewards for the victors. Should we prevail it would be a massive shot in the arm for the club, players and supporters and might just be the boost needed for a vital set of fixtures looming large on the horizon.
Look forward to seeing you there on Monday night then, and lets cheer the lads on to hopefully a famous victory and our third trip to Wembley in five years. I can't wait.
    Data provided by Press Association