Football: Stewart goal sets Terriers on way

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The Independent Online
Huddersfield Town 3 Bolton Wanderers 2

BOLTON'S DRIVE for automatic promotion took another dent as Huddersfield revived their hopes of a play-off place, but if there were points for excitement and entertainment, this pulsating match would have advanced both sides a giant stride towards the Premiership.

Bolton, beaten by bottom-of- the-table Crewe at the weekend, had dominated the early exchanges with the most dangerous attacks flowing down the left through their captain, Scott Sellars, whose deft touch and incisive passes sowed confusion in a Huddersfield back four in which their pounds 750,000 signing from Nottingham Forest, Craig Armstrong, was having an uncomfortable home debut.

Sellars had an early shot charged down by Chris Beech, but on 19 minutes he delivered the pass that launched Dean Holdsworth on a lateral run across the edge of the penalty area. A one-two with Claus Jensen set up the former Wimbledon striker for an angled drive into the far corner for his 11th goal of the season.

The Terriers' season has been built on the strength of their home performances, and in a three-minute burst at the end of the first half they had reversed the flow of the game and taken the lead themselves.

From only their second corner, Grant Johnson headed into the path of Marcus Stewart, whose left-foot drive was too powerful for Jussi Jaaskelainen in the Bolton goal. Then Stewart and fellow striker Wayne Allison set up Johnson for a fierce 20-yard drive which struck a post before flying into the opposite corner of the net.

Town went further ahead in an amazing opening to the second half. Goalkeeper Nico Vaesen's punted clearance bounced high over Jaaskelainen's head before being scrambled away for a corner. Ben Thornley took it, Beech's shot was blocked on the line and Armstrong thumped the rebound into the net.

Back came Bolton, Johansen netting a 20-yarder from Sellars' corner in the 50th minute, and they had chances to equalise on three occasions, Mike Whitlow pulling a chance across the face of goal, Jensen hitting a post and Holdsworth missing an open goal.

Huddersfield Town (4-4-2): Vaesen; Phillips, Armstrong, Gray, Cowan (Edmondson, 63); Beech, Hamilton, Johnsen (Facey, 81), Thornley; Stewart, Allison. Substitutes not used: Baldry.

Bolton Wanderers (4-4-2): Jaaskelainen; Cox, Fish, Elliott, Whitlow; Johansen, Frandsen, Jensen, Sellars; Holdsworth, Taylor (Hansen, 78). Substitutes not used: Gardner, Todd.

Referee: S Baines (Chesterfield).