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1996–97 Huddersfield Town A.F.C. season

The 1996–97 season for Huddersfield Town failed to carry on the good work of the previous and nearly saw Town relegated back to Division Two. Following the heavy spending on players in the closed season, much was expected of the Terriers in the 1996–97 season but, despite a bright start from new striker Marcus Stewart, Horton was unable to improve on the team's consistently poor away form that had ended the side's playoff bid the previous year. Long-term injuries to Stewart and Andy Morrison did little to help things and, with the previously strong home form becoming increasingly patchy, the Terriers struggled at the wrong end of the table. It was perhaps the least celebrated summer signing, Andy Payton, who notched an impressive tally of 20 goals and helped staved off the threat of relegation as the side scrambled to 20th, just 8 points and 2 places above the drop zone.

Huddersfield Town
1996–97 season
ChairmanEngland Malcolm Asquith
ManagerEngland Brian Horton
Division One20th
FA CupThird Round
Coca-Cola CupThird Round
Top goalscorerLeague:
Andy Payton (17)

All:
Andy Payton (19)
Highest home attendance17,358 vs Manchester City (18 January 1997)
Lowest home attendance5,094 vs Colchester United (19 September 1996)

Injuries and illness forced Town to play 35 players during the season, then a record, which would actually be broken the following season. Brian Horton's job was seemingly under threat, although he wouldn't leave the McAlpine Stadium until October 1997.

Squad at the start of the seasonEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
--   GK Steve Francis
--   GK Tony Norman
--   DF Sam Collins
--   DF Tom Cowan
--   DF Jon Dyson
--   DF Kevin Gray
--   DF Thomas Heary
--   DF Steve Jenkins
--   DF Andy Morrison
--   DF Robbie Ryan
--   DF Lee Sinnott
--   MF Simon Baldry
--   MF Darren Bullock
No. Position Player
--   MF Simon Collins
--   MF Gary Crosby
--   MF Paul Dalton
--   MF Rob Edwards
--   MF Lee Makel
--   MF Paul Reid
--   FW Iain Dunn
--   FW Delroy Facey
--   FW Ian Lawson
--   FW Michael Midwood
--   FW Andy Payton
--   FW Rodney Rowe
--   FW Marcus Stewart

ReviewEdit

Town made a promising start beating Charlton Athletic 2-0 in front of the highest home crowd for an opening day game for 24 years. This was followed up by wins over Ipswich Town, Oldham Athletic, Reading & Birmingham City, but then a spell of 9 games without a win including a 6-0 hiding at Swindon Town left manager Brian Horton in the lurch.

Form wasn't helped by the consistent injuries to top players such as Marcus Stewart and Andy Morrison, but Town slowly tried to recover, but their best run of the season came during the Christmas and New Year period when they went 5 games unbeaten, but they then went on a run of 1 win in 10, which propelled them into relegation territory.

By the end of the season, top scorer Andy Payton's goals were starting to dry up, but a win on the penultimate day of the season against already relegated Southend United made certain that Town would play Division 1 football the next season.

Squad at the end of the seasonEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
--   GK Steve Francis
--   GK Tony Norman
--   DF Sam Collins
--   DF Tom Cowan
--   DF Jon Dyson
--   DF Darren Edmondson
--   DF Kevin Gray
--   DF Thomas Heary
--   DF Steve Jenkins
--   DF Andy Morrison
--   DF Robbie Ryan
--   DF Lee Sinnott
--   MF Simon Baldry
--   MF David Beresford
--   MF Marcus Browning
No. Position Player
--   MF Wayne Burnett
--   MF Gary Crosby
--   MF Paul Dalton
--   MF Rob Edwards
--   MF Lee Glover (on loan from Rotherham United)
--   MF Jeremy Illingworth
--   MF Lee Makel
--   FW Delroy Facey
--   FW Peter Kaye
--   FW Ian Lawson
--   FW Michael Midwood
--   FW Andy Payton
--   FW Rodney Rowe
--   FW Marcus Stewart

ResultsEdit

Division OneEdit

Date Opponents Home/

Away

Result

F - A

Scorers Attendance Position
17 August 1996 Charlton Athletic H 2 - 0 Bullock [15], Morrison [85] 11,858 3rd
25 August 1996 Barnsley A 1 - 3 Cowan [44] 9,787 12th
31 August 1996 Crystal Palace H 1 - 1 Payton [33] 11,166 16th
7 September 1996 Ipswich Town A 3 - 1 Payton [47, 67], Stewart [51] 10,661 7th
10 September 1996 Tranmere Rovers H 0 - 1 10,181 11th
13 September 1996 Oldham Athletic H 3 - 2 Stewart [15, 85], Gray [90] 10,296 7th
22 September 1996 Stoke City A 2 - 3 Worthington [7 (og)], Stewart [36] 9,147 14th
28 September 1996 Reading H 1 - 0 Payton [34] 10,330 11th
8 October 1996 Birmingham City H 3 - 0 Edwards [17], Stewart [23], Dalton [45] 10,904 7th
12 October 1996 West Bromwich Albion A 1 - 1 Cowan [51] 14,960 6th
16 October 1996 Swindon Town A 0 - 6 7,724 10th
19 October 1996 Southend United H 0 - 0 9,578 10th
26 October 1996 Port Vale H 0 - 1 11,017 12th
30 October 1996 Wolverhampton Wanderers A 0 - 0 22,376 13th
2 November 1996 Bolton Wanderers A 0 - 2 15,865 15th
8 November 1996 Bradford City H 3 - 3 Dalton [42], Lawson [45], Crosby [48] 14,126 13th
16 November 1996 Oxford United A 0 - 1 7,460 15th
19 November 1996 Manchester City A 0 - 0 23,314 17th
23 November 1996 Grimsby Town H 2 - 0 Payton [24, 27] 10,590 13th
30 November 1996 Port Vale A 0 - 0 6,026 15th
3 December 1996 Sheffield United A 1 - 3 Payton [14] 14,700 15th
7 December 1996 Norwich City H 2 - 0 Payton [34, 56] 10,749 13th
14 December 1996 Portsmouth A 1 - 3 Makel [51] 6,954 17th
21 December 1996 Queens Park Rangers H 1 - 2 Payton [51] 10,718 18th
26 December 1996 Tranmere Rovers A 1 - 1 Payton [21] 10,134 18th
28 December 1996 Ipswich Town H 2 - 0 Lawson [50], Payton [85] 11,467 18th
1 January 1997 Stoke City H 2 - 1 Makel [6], Edwards [63] 11,919 12th
18 January 1997 Manchester City H 1 - 1 Lawson [78] 17,358 13th
25 January 1997 Oldham Athletic A 2 - 1 Payton [71, 83] 8,566 13th
28 January 1997 Reading A 1 - 4 Payton [9] 5,710 13th
1 February 1997 Bradford City A 1 - 1 Crosby [1] 17,373 14th
8 February 1997 Wolverhampton Wanderers H 0 - 2 15,267 15th
15 February 1997 Grimsby Town A 2 - 2 Stewart [44], Edwards [48] 6,197 16th
22 February 1997 Bolton Wanderers H 1 - 2 Cowan [16] 15,861 16th
1 March 1997 Norwich City A 0 - 2 13,001 17th
4 March 1997 Oxford United H 1 - 0 Makel [27] 11,276 14th
8 March 1997 Queens Park Rangers A 0 - 2 9,789 18th
15 March 1997 Portsmouth H 1 - 3 Stewart [35] 10,512 20th
22 March 1997 Barnsley H 0 - 0 14,754 20th
31 March 1997 Sheffield United H 2 - 1 Dalton [1], Cowan [18] 14,551 19th
5 April 1997 Crystal Palace A 1 - 1 Payton [61] 13,541 20th
9 April 1997 Charlton Athletic A 1 - 2 Dalton [77] 11,032 20th
12 April 1997 Birmingham City A 0 - 1 14,394 20th
19 April 1997 West Bromwich Albion H 0 - 0 12,748 20th
26 April 1997 Southend United A 2 - 1 Payton [23], Beresford [67] 4,762 20th
4 May 1997 Swindon Town H 0 - 0 11,506 20th

FA CupEdit

Date Round Opponents Home/

Away

Result

F - A

Scorers Attendance
4 January 1997 Round 3 Queens Park Rangers A 1 - 1 Crosby [64] 11,776
14 January 1997 Round 3 Replay Queens Park Rangers H 1 - 2 Edwards [7] 11,814

Coca-Cola CupEdit

Date Round Opponents Home/

Away

Result

F - A

Scorers Attendance
20 August 1996 Round 1 1st Leg Wrexham H 3 - 0 Stewart [12, 25, 53] 5,178
3 September 1996 Round 1 2nd Leg Wrexham A 2 - 1 Payton [10], Edwards [55] 1,776
  • Huddersfield won 5-1 on aggregate
17 September 1996 Round 2 1st Leg Colchester United H 1 - 1 Cowan [45] 5,094
24 September 1996 Round 2 2nd Leg Colchester United A 2 - 0 (aet: 90 mins: 0 - 0) Stewart [98], Simon Collins [110] 4,095
  • Huddersfield won 3-1 on aggregate
23 October 1996 Round 3 Middlesbrough A 1 - 5 Payton [87] 26,615

Appearances and goalsEdit

Name Nation Position League Apps League Goals FA Cup Apps FA Cup Goals League Cup Apps League Cup Goals Total Apps Total Goals
Simon Baldry   England MF 2 (5) 0 0 0 0 0 2 (5) 0
David Beresford   England MF 6 1 0 0 0 0 6 1
Marcus Browning   Wales MF 13 0 0 0 0 0 13 0
Darren Bullock   England MF 26 (1) 1 2 0 4 0 32 (1) 1
Wayne Burnett   England MF 33 (2) 0 1 (1) 0 3 0 37 (3) 0
Sam Collins   England DF 10 (6) 0 0 (2) 0 2 (2) 0 12 (10) 0
Simon Collins   England DF 3 (1) 0 0 0 1 (1) 1 4 (2) 1
Tom Cowan   Scotland DF 42 4 1 0 5 1 48 5
Gary Crosby   England MF 19 (5) 2 2 1 0 0 21 (5) 3
Paul Dalton   England MF 17 (12) 4 0 0 1 (2) 0 18 (14) 4
Simon Davies   Wales MF 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Iain Dunn   England FW 1 (4) 0 0 0 0 0 1 (4) 0
Jon Dyson   England DF 18 (5) 0 2 0 0 (2) 0 20 (7) 0
Darren Edmondson   England DF 10 0 0 0 0 0 10 0
Rob Edwards   England MF 24 (9) 3 2 1 4 (1) 1 30 (10) 5
Delroy Facey   Grenada FW 1 (2) 0 0 0 0 0 1 (2) 0
Steve Francis   England GK 42 0 1 0 5 0 48 0
Lee Glover   England MF 11 0 0 0 0 0 11 0
Kevin Gray   England DF 36 (3) 1 0 0 4 0 40 (3) 1
Thomas Heary   Republic of Ireland DF 2 (3) 0 1 0 0 0 3 (3) 0
Jeremy Illingworth   England MF 2 (1) 0 0 0 0 0 2 (1) 0
Steve Jenkins   Wales DF 33 0 2 0 5 0 40 0
Peter Kaye   England FW 0 (1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 (1) 0
Ian Lawson   England FW 8 (10) 3 1 (1) 0 1 (3) 0 10 (14) 3
Lee Makel   England MF 19 3 2 0 3 0 24 3
Andy Morrison   Scotland DF 9 (1) 1 0 0 2 0 11 (1) 1
Tony Norman   Wales GK 4 0 1 0 0 0 5 0
Andy Payton   England FW 38 17 2 0 5 2 45 19
Paul Reid   England MF 20 (2) 0 1 (1) 0 4 0 25 (3) 0
Rodney Rowe   England FW 1 (6) 0 0 0 0 (1) 0 1 (7) 0
Robbie Ryan   Republic of Ireland DF 2 (3) 0 0 0 0 0 2 (3) 0
Lee Sinnott   England DF 29 (1) 0 0 0 2 0 31 (1) 0
Marcus Stewart   England FW 19 (1) 7 1 0 4 4 24 (1) 11
Paul Tisdale   Malta DF 1 (1) 0 0 0 0 0 1 (1) 0
Mike Williams   England MF 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0

ReferencesEdit