BECK­FORD TAMES BE­LOW-PAR LIONS

HUD­DER­S­FIELD 3 MILL­WALL ......0

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Mark Shales

MARK Robins has chal­lenged Hud­der­s­field to main­tain the level of per­for­mance on dis­play in the vi­tal win over Mill­wall in their re­main­ing two fix­tures.

The Ter­ri­ers’ Cham­pi­onship sur­vival hopes were given a boost – and Mill­wall’s own drop fears in­ten­si­fied – thanks to Jer­maine Beck­ford’s dou­ble and one for James Vaughan.

Town’s vic­tory moves them to within a point of Mill­wall – although the FA Cup semi­fi­nal­ists have two games in hand.

Af­ter James Henry struck the bar with a free-kick for the vis­i­tors, Beck­ford opened the scor­ing in the 37th minute seiz­ing on an er­ror by Danny Shittu in his own penalty area be­fore grace­fully curl­ing past David Forde from a tight an­gle.

Vaughan dou­bled the hosts’ ad­van­tage in the 55th minute, driv­ing home af­ter be­ing found by Adam Clay­ton, with Beck­ford’s sec­ond coming in the 62nd minute as he fired into the top cor­ner fol­low­ing Vaughan’s through-ball.

The im­por­tance of the vic­tory wasn’t lost on Robins, and he piled the praise on Beck­ford.

“The (first) goal from Jer­maine was out­stand­ing,” he said.“He’s stolen it and picked his pocket but the fin­ish from that an­gle was ter­rific.

“His sec­ond one was out­stand­ing as well and the whole move­ment for James Vaughan’s goal was ex­actly what we’d spo­ken about.

“The goals we’ve got were really pleas­ing, the clean sheet was as pleas­ing and the per­for­mance as a whole was a really ma­ture one.

“I’ve al­ways said the play­ers are good enough in­di­vid­u­ally, we just haven’t put it to­gether as a team of­ten enough to keep our­selves out of harm’s way. But that per­for­mance goes some way to giv­ing us a real chance.

“We can see our­selves over the line now and it would be a shame if we let that level of per­for­mance slip.

“If we go to Bris­tol City and get three points that should hopefully see us over the line.

“It’s about what we do though – we’re not ask­ing for any favours from any­body. If we can keep that level of per­for­mance I’m sure we’ll be fine.”

Beck­ford nod­ded wide with the game’s first chance af­ter five min­utes, be­fore Forde saved from the former Ever­ton man three min­utes later.

Henry’s free-kick beat Alex Smithies but not the bar, be­fore Beck­ford made the break­through. Af­ter Vaughan made it 2-0 Mill­wall waned and Beck­ford, on his 250th league ap­pear­ance, made it three.

Lions boss Kenny Jack­ett be­moaned his side’s de­fend­ing, say­ing: “I feel we’ve cer­tainly de­fended away from home bet­ter than we did here.

“We gave poor goals away. I don’t think my side adapted to the con­di­tions, we got caught on the ball too many times – par­tic­u­larly in our half.

“And thirdly I thought they lacked en­ergy and sparkle – I wouldn’t say we nec­es­sar­ily lacked com­mit­ment but that sparkle wasn’t there.

“From our point of view with the sched­ule that we’ve had – which has been con­sid­er­able – the equa­tion lies in get­ting ev­ery­one be­hind us and mak­ing sure we do have a side that has enough en­ergy at this late stage of the sea­son.

“I’m ob­vi­ously con­cerned but we have to look for­ward and it’s a key that three out of our four re­main­ing games are at home – and they’re three in a row.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age

MOV­ING UP: Hud­der­s­field Play­ers cel­e­brate Jer­maine Beck­ford's open­ing goal

SKILLS: Sean Scan­nell wrong foots Mill­wall's Adam Smith

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