Huddersfield Town 2-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • December 08, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton threw away more points from a winning position after being held to a 2-2 draw by Huddersfield Town at the John Smith's Stadium.

Trailing to an early own goal from Zat Knight, Wanderers turned the game around inside the final 20 minutes to lead 2-1.

Mark Davies pulled the visitors level, before Chris Eagles struck Wanderers into the lead with ten minutes to go, shortly after missing from the penalty spot.

Bolton looked set to claim a vital three points, only for James Vaughan to equalise with three minutes to go and ensure the game ended all square.

Dougie Freedman made three changes to the Wanderers side that lost at home to Ipswich Town last weekend, with Matt Mills, Stephen Warnock and Lee Chung-Yong taking the places of Tyrone Mears, Marcos Alonso and David Ngog.

Wanderers made a bright start at the John Smith's Stadium, with Warnock, Chung-Yong and Eagles all combining well to create a chance for Keith Andrews, who brought a comfortable stop out of Alex Smithies in the Huddersfield goal with just three minutes on the clock.

Smithies was in the thick of the action again two minutes later, this time saving from Eagles. The former Burnley midfielder latched on to a poor ball from Peter Clarke, before bringing a save out of Smithies with a shot from distance.

With ten minutes on the clock, Huddersfield would take the lead in somewhat bizarre circumstances.

Oliver Norwood's corner from the left appeared to flick the head of Kevin Davies, before hitting Anthony Gerrard on the elbow and eventually going in off Zat Knight via the inside of the post.

Wanderers responded brightly and came close to an immediate reply, with Andrews sending a half-volley over the bar, as he followed up on a blocked shot from Mark Davies.

The hosts continued to look dangerous on the break and after Adam Clayton had brought a smart save out of Adam Bogdan in the Bolton goal, Lee Novak smashed the rebound against the crossbar when it looked easier to score.

The tempo of the game settled down after Mark Davies received lengthly treatment for a shoulder injury on 20 minutes, with a half chance from Sam Ricketts the only talking point until the final five minutes of the half.

With 40 minutes gone, Chris Atkinson sent a half-volley over the top of Bogdan's bar, while Eagles saw a goalbound strike charged down at the other end.

Moments later, Jack Hunt twisted and turned his way beyond Warnock, before seeing a near post effort turned away by Knight.

Bogdan was booked for handling the ball outside his area as the first half drew to a close, but Huddersfield were unable to convert the resulting free-kick into a goal, as they went in at the break one goal to the good.

Much like the opening period of the first half, Bolton started well after the interval, with Knight glancing a free-kick narrowly wide within three minutes of the restart.

Moments later, Chung-Yong was put in the clear by Eagles. The South Korea winger had a tight angle to contend with, but almost managed to sneak his shot into the corner of Smithies' goal - missing the target by a matter of inches.

Kevin Davies went down inside the penalty area on 52 minutes, but the appeals were turned down by referee Eddie Ilderton, before a superb last ditch challenge from Hunt denied Eagles what looked like a certain equaliser.

Kevin Davies sliced a strike just wide of Smithies' left-hand post on the hour, while Ricketts curled an effort straight at the Terriers goalkeeper on 69 minutes, after cutting in from the left flank.

Wanderers' were rewarded for their pressure just 60 seconds later, though, as Mark Davies worked his way beyond a couple of defenders, before coolly bending the ball into the bottom corner from just inside the box and levelling the scores.

The visitors almost took the lead two minutes later, as a thunderbolt of a strike from Jay Spearing looked set to break the net, only for the timely intervention of a Town defender, who headed the ball behind for a corner.

With 74 minutes gone, Wanderers were awarded a penalty as Ricketts tumbled inside the area under a challenge from Dixon. Eagles stepped up to take the resulting spot kick, but, just like at Millwall earlier in the season, he failed to convert, with Smithies diving to his right to push away the midfielder's strike.

That miss seemed to knock the stuffing out of Bolton and they almost went behind with little over 10 minutes remaining, as a mix-up between Bogdan and Knight nearly resulted in the latter turning the ball into his own net for the second time in the game.

Nerves soon turned into delight for the visiting fans, however, as Bolton took the lead just moments later in front of the 2,000 travelling supporters.

A bursting run from Mark Davies carried time to the edge of the Huddersfield box, before a neat back-flick fell kindly into the path of Eagles, who made no mistake in smashing the ball past Smithies and into the net.

With five minutes to go, Matt Mills was forced off the field after stretching to clear a loose ball. Tim Ream was introduced as his replacement and he was at fault just seconds later, as he was outmuscled by Vaughan, who then raced into the box and beat Bogdan with a low strike across goal to bring the scores level.

Vaughan latched on to another slip from Ream in the fifth of six added minutes, but, this time, Bogdan denied the former Everton forward with a superb fingertip save, meaning the game ended 2-2.

The result means Bolton have now dropped 21 points from winning positions in the Championship this season. The highest total in the division.

They remain in 18th position in the table, ahead of next weekend's visit of Charlton Athletic to the Reebok Stadium.

Huddersfield Town: Smithies, Hunt, Clarke, Gerrard, Dixon, Clayton, Atkinson (Ward 80), Norwood, Novak (Lee 80), Church (Scannell 75), Vaughan
Subs Not Used: Bennett, Woods, Wallace, Arfield
Booked: Gerrard, Novak, Vaughan, Dixon, Clayton
Goals: Knight 9(og), Vaughan 87

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Mills (Ream 85), Knight, Ricketts, Warnock, Spearing, Andrews, Eagles, M Davies, Chung-Yong, K Davies
Subs Not Used: Lonergan, Ngog, Petrov, Afobe, Pratley, Butterfield
Booked: Bogdan
Goals: M Davies 70, Eagles 80

Referee: Eddie Ilderton
Attendance: 16,372

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
2 Peterborough United 4 9
3 Portsmouth 4 8
4 Bolton Wanderers 4 8
5 Exeter City 4 7
6 Charlton Athletic 4 7
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2021/22 Player of the Year?
32.58% Oladapo Afolayan
30.96% Gethin Jones
21.72% Ricardo Almeida Santos
5.51% Declan John
4.05% Kieran Lee
3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston