Huddersfield Town 2-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • December 28, 2014 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/3302e

Bolton's eight-match unbeaten run came to an end on Sunday, after Huddersfield Town came from behind to beat Wanderers 2-1 at the John Smith's Stadium.

Neil Lennon's side made the best possible start, as Darren Pratley volleyed past Alex Smithies inside the opening 60 seconds, but the Terriers turned the game around with goals either side of the break from Jacob Butterfield and substitute Nahki Wells.

Emile Heskey had the ball in the net with the game level at 1-1, but his strike was ruled out by the assistant referee as Wanderers end the calendar year with a defeat that sees them drop to 15th in the Championship table.

Bolton started the game by making one change to the side that began against Blackburn Rovers on Boxing Day, with Liam Trotter taking the place of Robert Hall in midfield.

Bouyed by their comeback victory against Rovers, Wanderers' confidence was obviously high going into the fixture and they had the ball in the Huddersfield net with less than a minute on the clock.

Town failed to deal with an inswinging free-kick from Liam Feeney, with a headed clearance falling straight to Pratley. He took the ball down on his chest, before firing an unstoppable half-volley beyond Smithies and in off the underside of the crossbar.

Huddersfield responded immediately, with former Bolton loanee Butterfield bringing Andy Lonergan into action for the first time.

Eidur Gudjohnsen was inches away from connecting with a through ball from Trotter on the quarter-hour, before Butterfield again tried his luck for the hosts with a shot that deflected narrowly wide of the target.

Sean Scannell was denied a clean run on goal from the next attack, before the same player forced Lonergan into a low stop that he gathered at the second attempt.

Harry Bunn was next to be denied by the Wanderers goalkeeper, moments before Bolton were denied a second goal as Smithies got down well to parry Gudjohnsen's goalbound strike away.

That save proved to be a pivotal moment of the game, as Huddersfield got themselves back on level terms just two minutes before the break.

Butterfield, who spent time on loan at Bolton two seasons ago, was granted too much time on the edge of the Wanderers box. He took aim at goal and found the corner of Lonergan's net, leaving the 'keeper with little chance as the two sides went in level at the interval.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, which began with Butterfield forcing Lonergan into a smart save with a looping effort.

A dangerous ball across the face of goal from Feeney was just too far ahead of Gudjohnsen, who was a little slow to react in the 51st minute, while the former Barcelona forward struck a free-kick straight into the Huddersfield wall after he was fouled on the edge of the box minutes later.

Smithies raced off his line to deny Pratley a second of the afternoon just after the hour, before his afternoon came to an end as he was replaced by Heskey midway through the half.

Superb defending from Dorian Dervite prevented Butterfield from putting the hosts ahead with 20 minutes to go, before Wanderers were denied by an offside flag when Heskey turned the ball beyond Smithies with his first effort after coming on.

Determined not to let the game slip away from them, Huddersfield introduced Wells for the final 14 minutes in a substitution that paid dividends.

Shortly after Lonergan had tipped over Jack Robinson's long-range attempt, Wells raced clear of the Bolton defence and slotted the ball under the goalkeeper to complete the turnaround for Chris Powell's side.

A number of late changes caused play to break up, but there was one final chance for Wanderers to take something out of the game after they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Town box. The delivery caused havoc in the penalty area, but Huddersfield managed to clear their lines and condemn Lennon's team to their first defeat since October 31.

Bolton take a break from league action next weekend, when they return to action with an FA Cup third round tie against Wigan Athletic at Macron Stadium. That game will take place next Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm.

Huddersfield Town: Smithies, Smith, Hudson, Wallace, Robinson, Hogg, Coady, Butterfield (Gerrard 90), Scannell, Vaughan (Hammill 84), Bunn (Wells 76)
Subs Not Used: Lolley, Gobern, Allinson, Peltier
Booked: Smith
Goals: Butterfield 43, Wells 85

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, Vela, Mills, Dervite, Ream, Trotter (Wheater 88), Danns, Feeney, Chung-Yong, Pratley (Heskey 68), Gudjohnsen (Hall 80)
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Moxey, Spearing, Clough
Booked: Chung-Yong, Danns
Goals: Pratley 1

Referee: Trevor Kettle
Attendance: 15,773

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