Report: Huddersfield 0-1 Bolton
Joe Mason struck late in stoppage time to complete a smash and grab victory at Huddersfield Town.
In what was a thoroughly workmanlike performance in blustery playing conditions, Wanderers defended well throughout, limiting the hosts to few clear chances.
And late on, on-loan striker Mason, who had been on the fringes of the game following his introduction as a sub in the 70th minute, was alive in the penalty area to volley home Chung-Yong Lee’s corner and send the travelling Bolton fans into delirium and home with all three points.
The Bolton team showed one change following the previous week’s dramatic 1-1 draw with Wigan Athletic at the Reebok.
Robert Hall dropped to the bench, with Neil Danns in from the off.
The hosts started the game the livelier. On 11 minutes, one-time Wanderer Danny Ward cracked 30-yard drive against the corner of bar and post.
Up the other end the woodwork would then come to the rescue of Mark Robins’ men.
A wonderful team move set in motion by some superb back-to-goal play by Lukas Jutkiewicz culminated in Chung-Yong Lee thudding Alan Hutton’s low right-wing cross off the foot of the post.
As the half wore on there really was little between the two sides.
Huddersfield probably looked the more likely going forward, though Bolton controlled possession for large spells.
That was bore out in the 23rd minute in a flurry of chances for the hosts on the break.
First, Oscar Gobern’s header from a corner kick was cleared off the line by a combination of Jay Spearing and Jutkiewicz.
Then, moments later, Adam Hammill danced in from the left flank, around Hutton before clipping a deft effort within inches of the far post.
On 33 minutes Wanderers were denied a penalty kick, when Neil Danns stole in front of a hesitant Peter Clarke and stumbled in a tangle of legs. Referee Mr J Simpson waved away the appeals.
Hammill’s delivery from set pieces was a threat throughout. Towards the end of the half yet another one of his corners was headed goalwards by Gobern, with Adam Bogdan reacting well to block at the base of his post.
The second half resumed in a similar pattern to which the first had ended.
Huddersfield made much of the running going forward, very much penning Wanderers inside their own half, but on the hour mark the tide began to turn.
Hutton galloped down the right and crossed for Liam Trotter, who failed to generate significant purchase on a head that was easy for Alex Smithies.
Trotter was once again involved minutes later, latching onto a flighted Zat Knight free-kick before reaching the byline. His low cross was gathered at the second attempt by Smithies with Jutkiewicz in close proximity.
Joe Mason was then thrown on in place of Trotter as Bolton continued to look more potent going forward.
Huddersfield still carved out opportunities of their own. On 74 minutes Nahki Wells was denied by a ruck a Bolton defenders and goalkeeper Bogdan, who seconds later reacted well to tip over Ward’s glancing header.
The game became somewhat stretched late on, as both sides committed bodies forward in search of a winner – it was Bolton who came up trumps as Mason smashed home front of the away supporters to seal victory.