All Rhodes lead to Blades showdown

Double top class: Jordan Rhodes celebrates his 40th goal of the season.           Picture: PA WIRE
Double top class: Jordan Rhodes celebrates his 40th goal of the season. Picture: PA WIRE
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Huddersfield Town 1 Milton Keynes Dons 2

JORDAN Rhodes 40th goal of the season helped Huddersfield Town book their place in the League One play-off final with Sheffield United.

Rhodes, the prolific Scotland international, pounced midway through the first-half of last night’s semi-final second leg with MK Dons to ensure this month’s showpiece is an all Yorkshire affair.

Daniel Powell’s effort provided Karl Robinson’s side with a ray of hope but Alan Smith’s strike came too late to alter the outcome.

Town have become a formidable proposition under the tutelage of Lee Clarke and his successor Simon Grayson.

But they are also flawed.

While Rhodes supplies a seemingly never-ending supply of goals, United’s rivals remain less than assured at the back. Indeed, United’s assistant manager Frank Barlow watched a terrible defensive mix-up nearly gift the visitors a second minute lead although Charlie MacDonald could not make the hosts pay.

Rhodes, though, issued another reminder he is the man Danny Wilson’s side must stop if they are to reach the Championship next term by firing Town into a 19th minute lead. Already boasting a two goal advantage following the first leg at stadium:mk, his clinical finish effectively ended Dons’ hopes of reaching next weekend’s showpiece in the capital.

Whether or not former United goalkeeper Ian Bennett will be there either must be open to debate after he suffered what appeared to be a hand injury before Powell’s 39th minute shot reduced the deficit. MacDonald spurned a glorious chance as Town continued to creak before sub Smith pounced in added time.

HUDDERSFIELD: Bennett (Smithies 34), Woods, P Clarke, Ward, Johnson, Morrison, Rhodes, Miller (Robinson 78), Novak, Higginbotham (T Clarke 88), Hunt. Not used: Roberts, Lee.

MK DONS: Martin, Lewington, MacKenzie, Gleeson, Potter, Bowditch (Chadwick 72), MacDonald (Smith 81), Chicksen (Ibhere 72), Williams, Powell, O’Shea. Not used: Doumbe, McLoughlin.

Ref: S Mathieson.