Report: Huddersfield 2-2 Wanderers
James Vaughan’s late strike denied Dougie Freedman’s side a deserved three points against Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Second-half goals from Mark Davies and Chris Eagles, who also missed a penalty, had given the Whites a lead, after the Terriers had gone into the break in the lead following a Zat Knight own goal.
But Vaughan would snatch a point for Town in the closing stages, as Wanderers were forced to settle for a point in West Yorkshire.
Wanderers made three changes following last weekend’s defeat to Ipswich Town. Stephen Warnock, Matt Mills and Chung-Yong Lee all return to Freedman’s starting line-up, while the suspended Tyrone Mears, as well as Marcos Alonso and David Ngog making way.
The 2,000 traveling Wanderers fans were in good voice from the kick-off, and they were almost celebrating an early Bolton goal after just two minutes. Stephen Warnock’s long run forward would find its way through to Keith Andrews, but his low drive was well saved by Alex Smithies.
The Trotters continued their lively start to the game as Eagles latched on to a wayward Peter Clarke pass to fire a powerful effort towards goal, but the Whites were again thwarted by the Town stopper.
But it would be the Terriers who would take the lead after nine minutes, against the run of play. Norwood’s corner was initially met by Anthony Gerrard, but the ball would ricochet of Zat Knight and into the Bolton net.
The early setback didn’t deter Dougie Freedman’s men, who enjoyed the best of the early chances, and another Warnock run forward would find Andrews on the edge of the area, but his powerful volley flew narrowly over the bar.
A quick breakaway almost resulted in a second goal for the home side on 17 minutes. Adam Clayton’s 20-yard strike was pushed away by Adam Bogdan, but only to Simon Church who navigated a ball across the box to Lee Novak who could only find the crossbar from six yards.
Wanderers continued to enjoy the large share of possession, and Sam Ricketts was inches away from heading an Eagles corner past the scrambling Smithies.
However, it was Huddersfield who ended the first half brightly, as first Jack Hunt forced Bogdan into a good save, before the Hungarian keeper handled the ball outside the area, but Norwood’s free kick would go past his far post.
The Whites came out for the second period with a spring in their step, and should have been level inside a minute, but Ricketts couldn’t guide his header from an Eagles corner towards goal.
Wanderers continued their assault on the Terriers’ goal as Kevin Davies’ clever ball put Eagles through on goal, but the midfielder would be denied by a last-ditch tackle from Hunt.
The Trotters’ pressure didn’t relent, and Kevin Davies’ 20-yard strike went narrowly wide before Eagles, who was a constant threat throughout the 90 minutes, supplied Ricketts but his curling effort was repelled by Smithies.
The Whites’ constant pressure finally told after 69 minutes. Mark Davies made his way into the Huddersfield area after more good work from Eagles and Chung-Yong, and the central midfielder opened up his body and slotted the ball into the far corner.
The Trotters would be awarded a penalty soon after. Ricketts, who enjoyed plenty of success going forward, was brought down inside the box, but Eagles’ spot kick was superbly turned onto the post the in-form Huddersfield keeper.
But the Bolton number seven would soon make amends. Mark Davies latched onto a Kevin Davies through ball, and his clever back heel fell to the feet of Eagles who fired the ball into the same corner to give the Trotters the lead their overall play deserved.
Despite their second-half dominance, the Whites would have to settle for a point as James Vaughan superbly finished from an acute angle.
And Vaughan almost snatched victory for Simon Grayson’s side, but his 20-yard strike was acrobatically saved by Bogdan as the scores finished level.
Wanderers: Bogdan, Ricketts, Knight, Mills (Ream 86), Warnock, Spearing, Andrews, Chung-Yong, Eagles, M Davies, K Davies (Unused subs: Lonergan, Pratley, Petrov, Ngog, Butterfield, Afobe)
Huddersfield: Smithies, Dixon, Norwood, Clarke, Gerrard, Clayton, Novak (Lee 80), Vaughan, Atkinson, Church (Scannell 74) , Hunt (Unused subs: Bennett, Woods, Ward, Wallace, Arfield)