Report: Wanderers 1 Huddersfield 0
The winger hit the back of the net with a cool finish in the 59th minute after tenacious play from Marvin Sordell who won the ball back deep inside the Huddersfield half.
Wanderers made two changes from their last outing at Charlton Athletic, Danny Butterfield coming in for his first start in place of the suspended Sam Ricketts. Freedman’s second change saw winger Chris Eagles replace Medo Kamara.
A familiar face lined up for visitors Huddersfield Town, frontman Danny Ward, who started his career at the Whites before moving across the Pennies to Yorkshire.
The hosts made a promising start under the Reebok floodlights, showing signs they were capable of causing the Town defence problems on a cold April’s evening but Huddersfield looked equally as dangerous on the break.
In the 14th minute, Huddersfield boss Mark Robins was forced into making his first change. Full back Jack Hunt landed awkwardly after tackling South Korean international Chung Yong Lee, Callum Woods coming on in his place.
The game soon tightened up with the best opportunity inside the opening 25 minutes falling to Terriers substitute Woods who hit a thunderous right footed shot from 25-yards past the far post.
Four minutes later, Wanderers should have taken the lead when a superb switch from left to right was collected by wideman Eagles.
Beating Scottish full back Paul Dixon, Wanderers’ number seven pulled the ball back for an unmarked David Ngog inside the penalty area but the striker blazed his effort over the frame.
Eight minutes before the interval, Bolton had their second chance after tough first half against the battling Terriers.
Set piece specialist Marcos Alonso, who scored the winning goal against Brighton last month, curled a 25-yard free-kick wide of the mark.
With only one minute to play before the half time whistle, Huddersfield had three golden opportunities to get their noses in front.
First, former Bolton man Ward cut inside to hit a vicious left footed strike fractionally wide. Seconds later, goalkeeper Lonergan was called into action palming Zat Knight’s back pass out for a corner after the centre half put too much weight on the ball.
Huddersfield’s best chance was saved until last, from the resulting corner the ball was swung into the danger area with a Red shirt nodding against the bar before Wanderers could clear their lines.
After withstanding the late Huddersfield pressure in the first half, Wanderers made a quick start to the second period as Marvin Sordell flashing a shot wide 30 seconds after the restart.
Two minutes later, Bolton were back on the attack, Eagles beating Dixon once more on the right flank to send a cross to the back post for fellow wide man Lee.
Climbing above the Town defence, Lee headed the ball down for Ngog to hit a shot on the turn only to be denied by Smithies low down.
After a five minute spell of Huddersfield possession, Bolton took the lead in the 59th minute as winger Eagles scored his second goal in three matches at the Reebok Stadium.
The goal came courtesy of Sordell’s persistent tracking, with the striker putting Peter Clarke under pressure deep inside his own half, leading to the Huddersfield skipper slipping.
Collecting the loose ball, the England U21 international raced into the penalty area and squared possession to Eagles and first time the 27-year-old calmly side footed into the far corner.
But the game was far from over, and Huddersfield didn’t let their heads drop after falling behind and were soon testing the resilience of the Bolton backline with a succession of corners and crosses into Lonergan’s penalty area.
Not resting on their laurels, Bolton were targeting a second goal to give themselves some breathing room from the Terriers and hit the visitors on the counter attack but Alonso saw his close range effort bravely blocked by Clarke.
Soon after former Liverpool frontman Ngog skimmed a shot off the surface which had Smithies working, however the goalkeeper was equal to the effort.
With just under ten minutes to go, Freedman made his first change of the evening, Sordell replaced after a solid performance in attack with midfielder Kamara introduced.
In the final minute of normal time, Ward's deflected cross found the head of Hudderfield loan star James Vaughan but his header fortunately glanced wide of the mark.
With four minutes added on, Freedman made his second change deep into stoppage time, Matt Mills coming on in place of goal scorer Eagles.
Bolton professionally saw the game out to seal all three points ahead of their meeting with Wolves on Saturday.