Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Huddersfield Town

  • December 03, 2013 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's hopes of closing in on the top half of the Championship took a maor blow on Tuesday night, as they lost 1-0 to Huddersfield Town.

Wanderers saw an eight-match unbeaten run come to an end with defeat at Middlesbrough on Saturday and a below-par performance meant Oliver Norwood's 71st minute wondergoal was enough for the Terriers to leave the Reebok Stadium with all three points.

Alex Smithies made two superb saves to deny Matt Mills and Andre Moritz, while Danny Ward hit a post for the visitors, as Dougie Freedman's side crashed to back-to-back defeats and could have little complaint in doing so.

Freedman made three changes to the side that was beaten at the Riverside Stadium at the weekend, with Zat Knight, Andre Moritz and Robert Hall taking the places of Alex Baptiste, Lee Chung-Yong and Darren Pratley. Tim Ream started at left-back, while Jay Spearing retained the captain's armband.

An early free-kick from Moritz gave Smithies his first save of the evening and he was called into action again on the 10 minute mark, this time to push away a dipping long-range strike from Hall.

Huddersfield's first chance came on the quarter-hour mark, courtesy of former Wanderers youngster Ward. The Terriers winger worked a yard of space on the edge of the box, before seeing his strike hit the outside of Andy Lonergan's right-hand post.

They came close again shortly afterwards, as Paul Dixon pounced on a poor clearance from Knight before sending his shot inches wide of the target.

Hall shot over the crossbar at the midway stage of the half, while Moritz saw a goalbound shot turned over the bar by Smithies.

Smithies pulled off a stunning save from the resulting corner. Mills' thumping header was destined for the net, but the Town goalkeeper flung out a fist to turn the ball behind - much to the delight of the travelling supporters behind the goal.

The next man to be denied was Jermaine Beckford, who was lining up against his former club for the first time, while a diving header from James Vaughan sailed inches wide of Lonergan's far post at the other end.

Lonergan saved from Ward in the latter stages of the opening period and Moritz was denied again by Smithies, as the two sides went in goalless at the break.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second half, although Ward was replaced in first-half stoppage time - with Sean Scannell coming on in his place.

The visitors were quickest out of the blocks after the restart, with Scannell dragging a shot wide just two minutes into the second period.

Knight and Mills were defending well against a number of dangerous crosses into the Wanderers box, while Moritz saw a shot blocked on the hour in a rare venture forward for the hosts.

The Brazilian playmaker was then replaced by David Ngog, but Huddersfield remained on top. Dixon's looping cross-cum-shot looked set to find the far corner of the Bolton goal, but the ball was somehow cleared off the line and turned behind by Lonergan.

Then, with 72 minutes played, the Terriers went ahead. Poor defensive play from the Trotters saw the ball given straight to Norwood. There appeared to be little on for the midfielder, who unleashed a stunning 35-yard strike which arrowed into the top corner of the net.

Chung-Yong headed over the bar, as Bolton went in search of an immediate response, before Joe Mason came on in place of Medo Kamara - who walked down the tunnel visibly upset at the decision.

An overhead kick from Vaughan failed to trouble Lonergan, as the game entered the final 10 minutes, before Beckford wasted a glorious opportunity to equalise against his former employers. A long-ball upfield put the forward through on goal, but he dragged his first-time shot well wide of the target with only Smithies left to beat.

Neil Danns, also playing against his former side, saw a free-kick blocked in the latter stages, while Adam Hammill came close to scoring a second for the visitors in stoppage time, as Town held on to claim a deserved three points on their travels.

Two defeats in the space of four days meant Bolton were booed off at the final whistle, with results elsewhere meaning Freedman's side now hover just four points above the relegation zone. They return to action on Saturday, when Paul Dickov's Doncaster Rovers are the visitors to the Reebok Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, McNaughton, Mills, Knight, Ream, Hall (Chung-Yong 56), Kamara (Mason 75), Moritz (Ngog 60), Spearing, Danns, Beckford
Subs Not Used: Baptiste, Pratley, Wheater, Lee-Barrett
Booked: Mills

Huddersfield Town: Smithies, Smith, Gerrard, Lynch, Dixon, Southern (Gobern 62), Hogg, Hammill, Norwood, Ward (Scannell 45), Vaughan
Subs Not Used: Woods, Bennett, Stead, Wallace, Holmes
Booked: Smith, Norwood
Goals: Norwood 71

Referee: Geoff Eltringham
Attendance: 15,452

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
View Full Standings >>


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