New season edges closer - 10 Yorkshire fixtures for 2015-16 to keep an eye out for

FAMILIAR FACES: Leeds United's Mirco Antenucci and Huddersfield's Mark Hudson clash in last season;s meeting between the two West Yorjkshire rivals. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
FAMILIAR FACES: Leeds United's Mirco Antenucci and Huddersfield's Mark Hudson clash in last season;s meeting between the two West Yorjkshire rivals. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
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SUPPORTERS across Yorkshire are on tenterhooks as they wait for tomorrow’s Football League fixtures to be revealed - with interest particularly high in the Championship which will have six White Rose representatives in 2015-16.

Huddersfield Town, Hull City, Leeds United, Middlesbrough, Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday are all pitted in the mix, with each facing 10 league matches with rival sides across the Broad Acres, with a number of intriguing matches in store.

Fans of Yorkshire’s clubs will also be quick to find the dates of a host of other fixtures as they busily scour the lists of their respective clubs when they are revealed at 9am tomorrow morning.

Here, the Yorkshire Post picks 10 fixtures which are likely to be stand-out ones for different reasons next term.

1: Rotherham United v Sheffield Wednesday

The Millers’ wounds will still be festering after defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory in the most dramatic of South Yorkshire derbies at the New York Stadium in March when Wednesday somehow triumphed 3-2.

Four goals arrived in a crazy final 11 minutes, with the final act provided by Kieran Lee, who floored the Millers with a winner deep, deep into stoppage time.

The Millers looked like securing three precious points through Ben Pringle’s 57th minute strike, but the Owls had other ideas with Caolan Lavery levelling four minutes from time.

Back came the hosts, who went straight back down the other end to go back in front through Jordan Bowery, but incredibly, Atdhe Nuhiu levelled on 90th minute.

An amazing denouement then saw Lee net a stunning winner and break Millers’ hearts. How they will be seeking payback next term.

It extended the Millers’ wait for a craved-for first league win over the Owls since March 1976 when Dick Habbin netted the winner at their former Millmoor home.

2: Huddersfield Town v Leeds United

The sight of substitute Billy Sharp celebrating with the massed ranks in the away end late on in Town’s derby with their bitter rivals from across the A62 after scoring a last-minute winner at the John Smith’s Stadium will still rankle with those of a blue-and-white persuasion.

Sharp’s strike on January 31 secured a 2-1 victory for Leeds over Huddersfield and claimed their first double over them since before the Second World War in April 1939.

Given the fact that Town have enjoyed the lions’ share of the bragging rights in terms of derbies against Leeds - who they have not finished above in the league since 1964 - they will be anxious for a spot of revenge for that grievous late defeat when the sides lock horns next term.

3: Leeds United v Preston North End

Lifelong Leeds fan and former boss Simon Grayson is likely to be afforded a warm welcome when he returns to Elland Road for the first time since leaving the club in early 2012.

Grayson has not been back to Leeds since he was axed, but has made no secret that the club still hold a place in his heart and has also hinted strongly that he would like to return to United in some capacity one day under the right circumstances.

Jermaine Beckford will also be afforded a positive reception along with former Whites assistant Glynn Snodin. Former Leeds players Paul Huntington and Neil Kilkenny are also in the PNE ranks these days.

4: Bradford City v Millwall

No love was lost between the pair in their FA Cup third-round replay this winter, with Bradford hammering the Lions 4-0 on a raw evening when tempers spilled over, with it being the Bantams who booked a dream tie at Chelsea - and not the Blues’ London rivals Millwall.

Former Owls centre-back Mark Beevers was sent off in the first half of a torrid night for the Lions, with a foul by Millwall captain Alan Dunne close to the interval prompting a melee between both sets of players that also resulted in Bradford manager Phil Parkinson and his assistant Steve Parkin being sent to the stands for their reaction to the initial challenge. Likely to be a tetchy fixture this one - also factor in Millwall’s pursuit of James Hanson.

5: Sheffield United v Bradford City

Bantams boss Parkinson was heavily linked with the Blades post recently, only for Bradford to turn down a request from their Yorkshire rivals to speak to him about potentially replacing Nigel Clough, with Nigel Adkins subsequently going onto be named as the new boss at Bramall Lane.

It has certainly added an element of spice to the two derbies between the pair in 2015-16 with Bradford also entitled to think they are overdue a win at the Lane, a venue where they have not won in 11 attempts since April 1988 - in that famous season when they agonisingly went so close to promotion to the top-flight.

6: Huddersfield Town v Hull City

The last fixture between the pair at the John Smith’s Stadium on April Fools’ Day 2013 proved an infamous one, although not necessarily due to matters on the pitch.

A George Boyd strike kept the Tigers’ promotion bandwagon on course, but it was the absence of Hull fans in the away end which proved the big talking point.

Travel restrictions from West Yorkshire Police meant that all Hull fans had to arrive at the John Smith’s Stadium on official coaches after collecting their tickets at nearby Hartshead Moor service station - much to the club’s disgust with Steve Bruce labelling it as an ‘insult.’

Just 428 visiting fans made the away trip across the M62 from Hull to Huddersfield and it hopefully there will be no draconian restrictions on Tigers supporters this season.

7: Doncaster Rovers v Chesterfield

The Rovers faithful did not witness many highlights at the Keepmoat Stadium last term, especially in the first half of 2014-15, but were afforded one when they saw off the Spireites, watched by a big travelling contingent, 3-2 in one of the more entertaining home fixtures there last term.

The game will also see Spireites boss Dean Saunders making his first return to Rovers after leaving the club for Wolves at the start of 2013, a decision which proved fateful for the Welshman, who was fired by the Midlanders at the end of the season while Doncaster went onto clinch the League One championship.

8: Middlesbrough v Leeds

Leeds did the double over Boro last term, much to the high-flying Teessiders’ chagrin, with a heroic rearguard performance, led by the immaculate Sol Bamba and keeper Marco Silvestri, seeing Leeds maintain their remarkable record at the Riverside with a 1-0 televised win in February.

The West Yorkshire outfit have now lost just once in 13 visits to Boro’s ground by the Tees since it opened in 1995.

Leeds also triumphed in front of the watching cameras at Elland Road in August in the club’s sole league win under David Hockaday. Boro will feel they owe Leeds one, for sure.

9: Hull City v Middlesbrough

The game sees Steve Agnew make his first return to the KC Stadium after leaving the Tigers to drop down to the Championship with Aitor Karanka’s Boro.

The Teessiders have painfully lost three of their last four matches down the east coast, with a howler from Jason Steele, who failed to deal with Robbie Brady’s routine free-kick giving the Tigers the points in April 2013.

A year earlier, a late winner from Matty Fryatt saw Hull down Boro 2-1, with two goals in the final 10 minutes - courtesy of an own goal from Ross Turnbull and penalty from Marlon King - seeing the East Yorkshiremen triumph by the same score on the club’s last top-flight meeting at the KC in December 2008.

10: Barnsley v Bury

The orchestrator of the Reds’ thrilling Great Escape in 2012-13, David Flitcroft, will be relishing his return to Oakwell with ambitious League One outfit Bury - and will no doubt be keen on proving a point or two after being axed by Barnsley at the end of November 2013. This came just under seven months after clinching their Championship status in a never-forgotten Survival Saturday at Huddersfield.

Former Reds players Jim McNulty, Kelvin Etuhu and Daniel Nardiello will also head back to Oakwell.