Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Huddersfield Town

  • April 02, 2013 | By Chris Mann
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Chris Eagles scored the only goal as Bolton moved back into play-off contention with a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town.

Eagles' goal settled an otherwise even affair at the Reebok Stadium, with Wanderers capitalising on one mistake to claim the three points and put distance between themselves and the chasing pack of teams behind them.

Marvin Sordell hustled Peter Clarke into a mistake near the corner flag, stole possession from the Terriers defender and laid the ball off to Eagles, who made no mistake in placing his shot into the far corner of Alex Smithies' goal.

The win is Bolton's sixth in a row at the Reebok Stadium and represents their best run since December 2005. They have kept clean sheets in four of those games, which is their best record on home turf since September 2006.

Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman made two changes to the side that were beaten at Charlton Athletic on Saturday, with Danny Butterfield and Chris Eagles taking the places of Medo Kamara and the suspended Sam Ricketts.

Craig Davies was also missing through suspension, which opened the door for Matt Mills, Tim Ream and Josh Vela to take their places on the bench.

Bolton began the better of the two sides, with Marcos Alonso and David Ngog both having early attempts on goal. Alonso's strike was easily gathered by Smithies, while Ngog did well to beat a couple of defenders before dragging his shot wide of the target.

An injury to Huddersfield's Jack Hunt disrupted the early momentum and it wasn't until the half-hour that a chance of note arrived. Calum Woods, who had come on as a 16th minute substitute for Hunt, took aim at the Bolton goal, only to see his 35-yard strike fly just wide of Andy Lonergan's goal.

That seemed to spark Wanderers into action and they should have taken the lead just 60 seconds later. Eagles did well to muscle past the challenges of two defenders before cutting the ball back to Ngog, who fired way over the crossbar from just eight yards.

Sean Scannell fired the ball across the face of the Bolton goal on 33 minutes but Huddersfield were left to rue missed opportunities, with no forward willing to gamble and make contact for a certain goal.

A curling free-kick from Alonso bounced narrowly wide of Smithies' left-hand post with seven minutes of the first-half remaining. James Vaughan and Oliver Norwood both failed to test Lonergan at the other end, before former Wanderers winger Danny Ward struck a fierce low shot inches wide of the post.

The closest either side came to scoring arrived in first-half stoppage time. After Lonergan had parried a strike away from goal, Zat Knight put too much on his attempted back-pass and the Wanderers goalkeeper made a fine low save to prevent the Wanderers captain from netting a calamitous own goal on his 150th appearance for the club.

Bolton survived another major scare from the resulting corner as Neil Danns got in front of his marker and directed a header onto the crossbar before the ball was cleared to safety, ensuring the two sides went in goalless at the break.

There were no substitutions at the start of the second period, as Bolton came out looking the most likely to break the deadlock.

Sordell shot narrowly wide within moments of the restart, before Ngog latched on to a Lee Chung-Yong flick and brought a smart save out of Smithies with a shot on the turn.

Wanderers' perseverance finally paid off just before the hour, with Clarke guilty of a major error in the Huddersfield defence. With little danger around him, Clarke had the simple task of clearing the ball from the right-back position. Instead, he dallied in possession and was easily shrugged off the ball by Sordell. The England under-21 international cut inside and laid the ball off for Eagles, who struck a first time effort into the far corner for his ninth goal of the season.

Huddersfield had a total of 11 corners and looked dangerous on each occasion. Ward came close to equalising directly from the corner flag on 64 minutes, moments before a deflected cross from Scannell landed just wide of Lonergan's post.

Ward and Scannell both came close again as the game entered the final 20 minutes but Ward's shot deflected behind, while Scannell's 30-yard strike was beaten away by Lonergan before being cleared by Craig Dawson.

The Terriers introduced Jermaine Beckford for the final 15 minutes but he failed to have an impact on the game, with his only sight of goal seeing him shoot well over the bar from just inside the Wanderers box. Alonso saw a shot charged down by Clarke at the other end, but there would be no further goals as Bolton held on to claim a vital three points in their ambitious push for the play-offs.

The victory sees Freedman's side leapfrog Derby County into 8th place in the Championship. The Trotters sit two points behind Leicester City and four behind sixth-placed Brighton & Hove Albion, who play host to the Foxes on Saturday afternoon. Bolton return to action on the same day, when Wolverhampton Wanderers visit the Reebok Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, Butterfield, Knight, Dawson, Alonso, Chung-Yong, Spearing, Pratley, Eagles (Mills 90), Ngog, Sordell (Kamara 81)
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Ream, K Davies, Vela, Odelusi
Goals: Eagles 58

Huddersfield Town: Smithies, Hunt (Woods 15), Clarke (Novak 90), Gerrard, Dixon, Danns (Beckford 77), Norwood, Gobern, Ward, Scannell, Vaughan
Subs Not Used: Bennett, Wallace, Arfield, Robinson
Booked: Danns, Woods, Gobern

Referee: David Webb
Attendance: 17,891

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
13 Accrington Stanley 27 36
14 Charlton Athletic 27 33
15 Bolton Wanderers 26 32
16 Lincoln City 26 31
17 Cheltenham Town 27 31
View Full Standings >>


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