Blackburn 0 Huddersfield Town 0: Smithies proves hero as spot-kick miss by Rhodes enables Terriers to ride their luck

Alex Smithies
Alex Smithies
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HUDDERSFIELD Town made it seven points from a possible nine with unwitting assistance from former striker Jordan Rhodes.

Blackburn chief Gary Bowyer, however, refused to blame Rhodes, who missed a penalty.

The former Town striker missed a golden opportunity to mark his 100th league appearance for Rovers with a goal but put his 61st-minute penalty wide of the left-hand post.

Rovers would have won had it not been for Town goalkeeper Alex Smithies, who made fine second-half saves from Josh King, Lee Williamson and Rhodes.

Bowyer chose to focus on the other chances, rather than the missed spot-kick. “Jordan Rhodes has won us loads of games since he’s been here and he’s going to win us loads more in the future.

“It’s disappointing for the lad that he’s missed it but it wasn’t just down to that. We’ve had enough goal attempts in the game to have won easily,” said Bowyer.

The draw capped a fine week for Huddersfield, who had followed up a home win against Millwall with victory at Wolves in midweek.

Manager Chris Powell, who felt his side earned the luck of a missed penalty, said: “After the week we’ve had, seven points is a very good return for us, especially with two games at very tricky places, and the resilience and commitment from the players was there for all to see.

“I suppose we earned the luck really. I knew there’d be a response from their performance on Tuesday, and I suppose with Jordan being an ex-Huddersfield player, we’ve earned that luck.

“They’re a decent side, they had a lot more possession, especially at the beginning of the second half, but we hung in there and actually could have nicked it towards the end. It’s a good week for us leading up to the international break and I’ve got to be very proud of their efforts.”

Since Powell’s appointment, Huddersfield have conceded seven goals in six league games. This is in stark contrast to the record before his arrival, when they shipped 13 in five league outings, and the manager said after their second clean sheet of the season: “It was a collective effort from the front boys all the way to the back but I’m pleased for Alex (Smithies) because I’ve been saying we need clean sheets.

“It was a pleasing performance and a collective effort defensively from everyone.”

Blackburn Rovers: Steele, Marshall, Hanley, Duffy, Olsson, Conway, Cairney, King, Williamson, Tunnicliffe (Taylor 88), Rhodes. Unused substitutes: Henley, Kilgallon, Eastwood, Varney, Songo’o, Lenihan.

Huddersfield Town: Smithies, Smith, Hudson, Lynch, Robinson, Scannell, Butterfield, Coady, Bunn, Holt, Wells (Peltier 86). Unused substitutes: Dixon, Ward, Murphy, Stead, Wallace, Majewski.

Referee: N Miller (Durham).

Man of the match: Alex Smithies.