Huddersfield Town 2 Bournemouth 2: Terriers finish with a point.... PLUS Town draw Posh in Cup

IRISHMAN Alan Lee says it is good to feel wanted again and is determined to reward Huddersfield Town's faith in him by taking them straight up into the Championship.

The 32-year-old target man was taken aback at hearing Crystal Palace were prepared to let him go, considering his goals had played a major part in keeping them up last season, including a final day strike which consigned Sheffield Wednesday to the drop rather than the Londoners.

He became Lee Clark's 10th signing of the summer on a two-year contract and after his second appearance for Town, explained his decision to drop down a level.

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"I was surprised initially when I heard there was a possible bid. That was my feeling after the start I'd had, scoring goals, working hard and after everything I had done last season, hearing that Palace were prepared to accept a bid for me.

"I want to be wanted and Lee Clark had tried to sign me before and I thought 'enough messing around, I don't want any uncertainty'. They offered me an extended contract which I am very grateful for and I thought I can go to Huddersfield and be part of something special – part of promotion.

"I had said the season before I would have signed for Norwich City when they went down because I saw it as an opportunity to come back up and be part of something special and that's exactly what I'm looking for here. Automatic promotion has to be our goal."

Town have lacked a target man since the retirement of Andy Booth but they overdid it in the first half on Saturday, hoofing a series of long balls in Lee's direction.

"I'm comfortable with it – that was plan A, B and C last season for Crystal Palace but it's doing it at the right time that matters. The lads know that and you saw that the second half was infinitely better. But full credit to Bournemouth, they played some very good football," said the former Rotherham forward.

Lee is renewing his partnership with Jordan Rhodes and said: "He's a fantastic young talent. We played a few times together at Ipswich and that's all he did then, score goals. I cannot believe Ipswich sold him. It was an astonishing decision and we are very lucky to have him here. Ipswich fans were going to have a protest about his sale but Bobby Robson died around that time."

Neither of Town's front two got much opportunity during that first period which the Cherries controlled, playing attractive football with the insurance of Shaun Cooper in front of the back four.

Marvin Bartley set up the opener, shrugging Joey Gudjonsson off the ball and threading the ball down the left channel for lone striker Josh McQuoid to cut inside and bend the ball beyond diving England Under-21 squad member Alex Smithies and inside the far post.

It took Town until the last minute of the half to equalise, Antony Kay rising to head home a corner from the inventive Gary Roberts from 10 yards out.

It got better for the misfiring hosts soon after the break, however, when Roberts pinched the ball off the toes of Anthony Pilkington but was tripped by Bartley and got up to send Shwan Jalal the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Kay, aiming to hold down a central midfield role under pressure from Scotland Under-21 Scott Arfield, admitted: "They came out and surprised us popping it around and we were fortunate to be 1-1 at the break but that spurred us on.

"We got the penalty and I thought we were going to kick on but credit to them, they did well and it was a disappointing result."

Of his own position he added: "I think we have competition in every position this season.

"Whoever gets a starting shirt knows that if you don't play well in one game you can't be surprised if you don't play the following game.

"You have to concentrate on your own performance and win as a team. We have to get promotion without a shadow of a doubt. The play-offs are the least we can aim for with the amount of and quality of players we have got.

"We have to forget all about last season's play-off disappointment and kick-on again."

Town appeared to kick on after going ahead but Bournemouth always posed a threat, Town captain Peter Clarke performing heroics at the back to deny them.

It should still have been game over when substitute Lee Novak's back-heel freed Roberts to torment his marker and drill a low cross which Lee struck against the foot of the post.

Bournemouth took advantage and, in the 79th minute, Marc Pugh headed home at the far post from a delightful chip from Harry Arter, brought on to support McQuoid at Cooper's expense.

Town rallied but Jalal produced the save of the game – he was rarely tested – going full length to his right to palm a drive from Novak for a corner after Gudjonsson had headed over the defence.

A goal then, however, would have been rough justice on Eddie Howe's promoted visitors.

MATCH FOCUS

Hero: Peter Clarke

The Town captain stood head and shoulders above any of his team-mates, defying an early knock, to produce a commanding display in central defence, often covering the mistakes of others. His performance set the standard for others to follow this season.

Villain: Marvin Bartley

Bossed central midfield for the visitors, shrugging off Joey Gudjonsson to set up the Cherries opener but then ruined his good work by conceding the penalty which helped Town go 2-1 ahead.

Key moment

Stoppage time: Shwan Jalal in the Bournemouth goal produces the save of the match to prevent Lee Novak scoring the winner for Town right at the death.

Ref watch

Eddie Ilderton: Makes a nice change to see a referee allowing robust challenges to go unpunished and as a result he kept the game flowing nicely.

Verdict

It is taking time for Huddersfield with all their new faces to gel – still not playing at the sustained high tempo which typified many of their performances last season.

Quote of the day

If everyone played 100 per cent every week we'd play for Real Madrid wouldn't we?

– Town striker Alan Lee explains his side's dip in form from the

3-1 win over Charlton.

Next game

Leyton Orient v Huddersfield Town, League One. Saturday, September 11 at 3pm.

Click here for the latest Johnstone's Paint Trophy draw.

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