Terrier on the Terraces: Cup draw fails to set pulses racing

editorial image

Perhaps the only redeeming feature in the disappointing FA Cup third round draw, which pitted Town against Reading, is that Town don’t face Charlton.

Unfortunately, the opposition, who visit Huddersfield in February anyway, are familiar foes and I doubt anyone at the club will be rubbing their hands in anticipation.

It’s hardly as if Reading will be excited at the prospect of a long trip to Huddersfield, to be fair, and the match will no doubt be one of the last games featured on the Saturday night highlights, barring a remarkable turn of events.

Between now and then, however, Town have a chance to build on the good result and performance against Brentford.

It was the first win in five for Chris Powell’s men, and it was thoroughly deserved. An even first half gave way to a second period where Town started well in the ascendancy, but where Brentford came back and made life tricky after making it 2-1.

The resolve of the defence was pleasing. After the poor run of form, it would have been easy for a back line without Joel Lynch to have let the lead slip.

But Murray Wallace had a fine game alongside Mark Hudson, and Jack Robinson had his best game for the club.

In midfield, Jonathan Hogg had been restored to the starting eleven and showed how much the side had missed his energy. He was everywhere, and had a magnificent game.

His claim to be man of the match was as good as anyone’s, as he set the midfield tempo, pressing high and snapping into tackles.

Diego Poyet will no doubt turn into a fine midfielder, but his omission in preference to Hogg gave Town a balance in midfield which should not be changed.

A final word goes to the goalkeeper. Alex Smithies gets more stick than most, mostly undeserved, but his performance on Saturday was match-winning.

He pulled off a string of superb saves, including one in the first half where he had to readjust brilliantly after a deflection, and when he and his defence were beaten, it only seemed to inspire them to greater heights of commitment to the cause.