Blackpool 1 Huddersfield 3: Happy return for Grayson lifts Terriers up to second
21:03 GMT, 24 September 2012
Simon Grayson returned to Bloomfield Road to scupper Blackpool's chances of moving top of the npower Championship as his Huddersfield side leapfrogged them with their third successive victory.
The Terriers boss, who spent seven years on the Lancashire coast as a player then later a manager, inflicted Blackpool's first home defeat of the season while moving his current team up to second.
Grayson went back to the home of his former employers for the first time since his departure for Leeds in 2008, and it was clear long before Lee Novak's 13th-minute opener that Ian Holloway's men were in for a difficult evening.
Three and easy: Norwood (left) celebrates his strike
Blackpool: Gilks, Eardley (Dicko 78), Baptiste, Evatt, Crainey, Gomes (M Phillips 64), Osbourne, Ferguson (K Phillips 64), Taylor-Fletcher, Delfouneso, Ince.
Subs not used: Halstead, Sylvestre, Martinez, Broadfoot.
Goal: Taylor-Fletcher 27.
Huddersfield: Smithies, Hunt, Peter Clarke, Gerrard, Dixon, Clayton, Norwood (Woods 85), Southern (Arfield 90), Ward, Novak, Vaughan (Scannell 80).
Subs not used: Bennett, Wallace, Lee, Robinson.
Booked: Vaughan, Dixon, Norwood.
Goals: Novak 13, Vaughan 45, Norwood 48.
Referee: Tony Bates (Staffordshire)
Latest Championship table, fixtures and results
A direct approach had troubled
centre-back pairing Alex Baptiste and Ian Evatt from the off so it was
no surprise to see Novak profit from a James Vaughan flick-on to break
The hosts were back on level terms just 14 minutes later, though, when
the relatively subdued Thomas Ince set up ex-Huddersfield forward Gary
Taylor-Fletcher for the equaliser.
However, Grayson's men found themselves back in front again when Oliver
Norwood's inviting free-kick was headed home by Vaughan.
himself gave Huddersfield a two-goal cushion less than three minutes
after the break with another set-piece which eluded everyone before
flying into the far corner.
Blackpool went into the game having dropped just five points from their
opening six encounters but they failed to seize the initiative on a wet
evening as the visitors took a deserved lead.
Adam Clayton and Daniel Ward had already gone close and the hosts failed
to heed the warning as Vaughan headed the ball into Novak's path and he
coolly slotted the ball past goalkeeper Matt Gilks.
False dawn: Taylor-Fletcher had equalised against his former club
Ince has turned in a series of eye-catching performances to underpin
Blackpool's strong start and he was instrumental in the leveller,
bamboozling Anthony Gerrard before sliding the ball across for
Taylor-Fletcher, who just had to prod home.
Stephen Crainey nearly picked out Nathan Delfouneso moments later as the
Seasiders began to grow into the game, but Grayson's men delivered a
killer blow on the stroke of half-time.
A Norwood free-kick from the right was begging to be thumped home and
Vaughan obliged with a header in front of the stranded Gilks.
Holloway's half-time words were still ringing in his players' ears when
former Manchester United midfielder Norwood curled in a third. The set
piece specialist's centre was aimed towards Vaughan, but the ball evaded
him and Gilks was left grasping air as the ball ended up in his net.
That prompted Blackpool to bring on substitutes Matt and Kevin Phillips,
with the former firing just wide, while Delfouneso should have reduced
the deficit when he blazed wide.
It could have turned into a thrashing, though, had the offside flag not twice denied Vaughan from grabbing his second goal.
But Huddersfield had enough to coast to a victory which will have been
particularly sweet for Grayson, whose Leeds side crashed to a 5-0 home
defeat to Blackpool last season.