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Huddersfield Town 3-2 Leeds United: Derby Day Blues For United Once Again

Dexter Blackstock scores with his first touch in a Leeds United shirt but it is not enough to spare the Whites from defeat at the John Smith's Stadium. Read the match report here.

Matt Smith was once again amongst the goals but United went down 3-2 at Huddersfield.
Matt Smith was once again amongst the goals but United went down 3-2 at Huddersfield.
Nigel Roddis

Following on from Leeds United's 4-0 home win against Birmingham City, there were no changes to the United side and Brian McDermott opted for the same 3-5-2 formation that was so successful last week. New signing Dexter Blackstock took up his place on the bench though on the day that saw the Whites officially announce the signing of defender Marius Zaliukas.

United, backed by 4,000 travelling fans, couldn't have got off to a better start when in the second minute Matt Smith headed them ahead. Alex Mowatt claimed the assist from a corner and the feel good factor from last weeks goal-fest seemed set to continue.

Unfortunately though, it wasn't to last and after the home side managed to get inside the United half for the first time, they found themselves level with their first attempt on goal. Adam Hammill floated over his corner to the edge of the area where Danny Ward was waiting with all the time in the world to bring the ball down and smash it past Paddy Kenny. He couldn't have hit it any better and the ball flew in through a crowd of bodies.

You could say it was quite a lively opening ten minutes and despite starting the game massively on the back foot, Huddesfield weren't to look back after equalising. The home side had the better of the first half but failed to really create a goal scoring opportunity. Adam Hammill's effort from distance was the best effort they could muster but Paddy Kenny was more than equal to that.

United settled down a bit in the second period and saw a little more of the ball. There were some attempts from long range which included an effort from Luke Murphy. A few minutes later, there was absolutely no doubt whatsoever as to whether Murphy should have done better with another chance the former Crewe man received. It was the result of Leeds' best move of the match, Rodolph Austin and Matt Smith were both involved as Murphy was left with a sitter but he didn't catch it right and the ball was off target.

Not only did United miss the best chance of the second half but they also decided to take Huddersfield's. Adam Hammill once again claimed the assist but this time it was United man Tom Lees who converted the chance by heading the ball into his own net. Jon Stead should have stretched the lead after rounding Paddy Kenny but he somehow managed to strike the post and United cleared the danger.

It was time for Dexter Blackstock to make his Leeds debut and what an impact the on-loan Nottingham Forest striker was to have. United were awarded a free kick down their right hand side and Mowatt's delivery was met with a glancing header from Blackstock which went past Smithies and levelled the scores. One touch in a Leeds United shirt and one goal, surely the Whites would go on to win it from here with 15 minutes remaining?

Nothing is ever simple for Leeds United though and they once again threw away the momentum as the home side went 3-2 up. Ross McCormack, who put in an abysmal performance, dilly dallied on the ball and lost it when he should have passed. Huddersfield broke and Sean Scannell went past Jason Pearce as though he wasn't there. His square pass to Jon Stead was gleefully slotted past his former Sheffield United team mate Paddy Kenny and the Terriers were back in front.

There was no way back for United and whilst you would say that Huddersfield deserved their cup final victory, it could so easily have been different. Poor defending for each goal cost United who should have taken control of the game following their early goal through Matt Smith. As I alluded to in my preview, last weeks brilliant result against Birmingham now means very little because the Whites have failed to build on those three points. Another missed opportunity then, on to Yeovil next week.