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No end in sight to Leeds United away blues
Huddersfield Town 3, Leeds United 2
Leeds boss Brian McDermott could not hide his disappointment after a fifth straight away defeat and a fifth loss in seven league games for his team.
Huddersfield striker Jon Stead upstaged United’s new loan signing Dexter Blackstock by firing his first goal in his second spell for his home-town club.
Stead turned sharply to arrow a low shot into the bottom corner in the 77th minute for the winning goal.
This was four minutes after Blackstock, signed during the week on loan from Nottingham Forest, had headed an equaliser for Leeds with his first touch less than 60 seconds after stepping off the bench.
In the early stages of the match, Leeds striker Matt Smith had headed his third goal in two matches to give the visitors the lead.
Huddersfield winger Danny Ward smashed home a tenth-minute equaliser and Tom Lees’ headed own goal just after the hour mark gave Huddersfield a 2-1 advantage.
Stead hit the post after rounding Leeds goalkeeper Paddy Kenny in the second half, while Luke Murphy and Smith were both guilty of glaring second-half misses for the visitors.
And referee Neil Swarbrick was unmoved after Blackstock went tumbling in the box in the closing stages.
McDermott felt Swarbrick got that decision wrong and said: “The ref’s missed a stonewall penalty right at the end.
“I’ve just seen it, three times. He was close to it as well, so it’s unfortunate he’s missed it.
“We created an awful lot of chances but have to learn how to manage games away from home. For a long time now, away from home, Leeds haven’t been doing what they need to do to get results.”
Huddersfield manager Mark Robins refused to let talk of a training ground bust-up between Adam Clayton and Martin Paterson overshadow his side’s win.
Midfielder Clayton and Northern Ireland international striker Paterson were both left out of Town’s match-day squad following reports of a fight between the pair during training on Friday.
But after Stead’s second-half winner clinched his side’s first win in six league games, Robins played down the incident.
“There’s bits and pieces happening in training up and down the country every day,” he said.
“There’s nothing to report; nothing sinister, nothing serious. Their omission was nothing to do with what may or may not have happened on the training ground.
“My decisions are based purely on the good of the team and football club. Every decision I make, I try to do that.
“It’s great to be sat here winning the game because those decisions are fully vindicated, so I’ll continue in the same vein.
“I’ll pick the team that I feel is capable of winning the game for us but also a togetherness, team spirit and bond between the players. That’s massively important.”