League Insider - Terriers
James Pearson wonders if it will be third time lucky for Huddersfield?
Last Updated: October 31, 2011 11:19am
After making an impressive start to the League One season, one is left wondering whether lighting will strike three times for Huddersfield Town?
For the past two years the Terriers have unfortunately been the bridesmaids in the race to win promotion to the Championship.
In the 2009/10 campaign Huddersfield finished sixth in the table with 80 points, just six adrift of second-placed Leeds United.
However, promotion slipped through their fingers when they lost 2-0 on aggregate to Millwall in the play-off semi-finals after a goalless first-leg draw on home soil.
A year on and Lee Clark's men were undoubtedly one of the unluckiest Football League teams not to clinch automatic promotion with a massive 87-point haul.
This tally would have usurped Leeds the season before, but, once again, Huddersfield were forced to settle for a play-off spot, although this time they would at least reach the final.
The entertainment could not have been better in the second leg at The Galpharm as Huddersfield drew 3-3 with Bournemouth (4-4 on aggregate) meaning a penalty shoot-out was required
The West Yorkshire side avenged their semi-final exit by clinching a thrilling 4-2 success over the Cherries and sparking a mass pitch invasion.
Despite a season to remember Huddersfield fell at the final hurdle to Peterborough United and their misery was compounded over the summer when they lost talents Anthony Pilkington and Lee Peltier to Norwich and Leicester, respectively.
Anton Robinson and Oscar Gobern have proved astute signings, while Damien Johnson has done the business on loan from crisis club Plymouth.
Some wondered how Clark's troops would respond following more play-off disappointment and the loss of key personnel, but the answer has been positive.
Town may have drawn their opening three League One games of the season, but since then they have been irresistible.
Saturday's 3-1 home success over Preston was a fourth consecutive win for Huddersfield, a three-point haul that sees them second in the table with 30 points to their name from 14 games.
Town remain unbeaten in league action and have been crushing opposition on the road, including 4-0 wins at Exeter and Brentford along with a 3-0 triumph over fancied Sheffield United in their Yorkshire derby.
They say the Championship is one of the hardest leagues to win promotion from, but Huddersfield will testify that League One is equally as difficult following two years of play-off heartache.
It took Leeds three years to finally get back into the second tier of English football and Town will be desperate to finish inside the top two this time around, negating the worry of another play-off tilt.
If their form on the pitch is anything to go by then Huddersfield will be able to keep pace with leaders Charlton, if not go one better, and return to the Championship (then the old First Division) for the first time since the 2000/01 season.