The FA Cup third round fixtures were played this week, although Bradford City’s first round exit at Rotherham left only two West Yorkshire sides in action. Both Huddersfield and Leeds played lower-league opposition, with contrasting results.
Huddersfield Town needed two goals in the last 5 minutes to see off Skrill Premier side Grimsby Town, in an entertaining 3-2 game. Ironically, it was two former Bradford City players that combined for the opening goal of the game, with Joe Colbeck’s low cross being met at the near post by Ross Hannah, to give Grimsby an unlikely lead. The Mariners went in 1-0 up at half-time, but Huddersfield responded 6 minutes after the restart, through Oliver Norwood’s free-kick. Grimsby retook the lead just 10 minutes later, however, with Craig Disley heading over the stranded Alex Smithies. A upset looked on the cards until the 86th minute, when Martin Paterson grabbed an equaliser. And there was more drama in the last minute of the game, when Duane Holmes’ cross was turned into his own net by Aswad Thomas, to give The Terriers a somewhat fortunate win. Despite having 29 shots, and over 60% possession, Huddersfield were frustrated by a resilient Grimsby defence, until the last five minutes.
The other West Yorkshire side in action, Leeds United, suffered an embarrassing 2-0 defeat away at League Two side Rochdale. A crowd of over 8,000 was present at Spotland, including an impressive 3,500 travelling Leeds fans. However, this vast travelling contingent saw Rochdale striker Scott Hogan tear the United defence to shreds, with his blistering pace proving too much for Leeds’ Pugh and Pearce. It was Hogan who broke the deadline, on the stroke of half-time, with a header. Leeds could not find any sort of rhythm in the final third of the pitch, and Rochdale counter-attacks were proving problematic for United. Despite the 45 places between the sides in the league ladder, Rochdale had 8 more shots than the visitors, much to the frustrations of the away support. Leeds never really looked like getting back into the game, and Ian Henderson’s goal with just 6 minutes to play sealed a deserved win for the League Two outfit. The Leeds fans expressed their discontent at the final whistle, but support from the fans will be vital as the side try to continue their play-off push in the Championship.