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Stokoe's side sent packing as true ability is underlined; CAUGHT IN TIME Town news from '79.

Byline: By DOUG THOMSON Deputy Sports Editor

CHRISTMAS came early for Town fans as Mick Buxton's side got their Fourth Division promotion bid back on track with a resounding 5-1 home win over Rochdale.

Having won 13 of their first 18 matches, the Leeds Road men had faltered during a spell which yielded only two points from a possible eight (in the days of two for a win) and brought an FA Cup defeat by Darlington.

Buxton refused to press the panic button, but left his players in no doubt as to what was expected ahead of the trans-Pennine clash with Rochdale, who had recently brought in the hugely experienced Bob Stokoe as manager.

"It's always important to dominate on your own patch, and that's something we haven't been doing," he said. "We have been bossing matches but not putting our chances away, and that's a situation we need to change.

"People say we are under pressure, but for a club like Huddersfield Town, there is always pressure, because we shouldn't be in this division in the first place.

"That's something my players must deal with, and I am confident they will."

Town got off to a cracking start against Rochdale, and never looked back.

Just 49 seconds had elapsed when Dave Cowling swung in a corner and defender Dave Sutton climbed high to head home.

The second arrived on seven minutes, when Brian Stanton threaded a precise pass to overlapping right-back Malcolm Brown.

He delivered a teasing low cross which Cowling flicked home with the minimum of fuss.

Having tasted blood so early, Town's hunger became greater still, and Peter Fletcher looked odds on to score when he broke through in the 20th minute, only to be upended by former Burnley man Colin Waldron, who was booked.

Fletcher had to wait only another three minutes for his 15th goal of the season.

Cowling played him into space and he held off three defenders before driving the ball home.

Waldron pulled a goal back against the run of play three minutes before half-timewith a shot which crept past unsighted goalkeeper Andy Rankin.

But normal business was resumed in the second half when Town put their visitors under a constant stream of pressure.

It finally paid off when Brown hooked home a shot from a Mick Laverick corner in the 73rd minute.

Six minutes later, Ian Robins headed home from Laverick's cross.

CAPTION(S):

STOKOE: came off second-best at Town.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Dec 20, 2008
Words:409
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