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Huddersfield 2 Wolves 1 - match report

Sport | Published:

Wolves lost out on a club record as Huddersfield frontmen James Vaughan and Jermaine Beckford terrorised them at the John Smith's Stadium.

Vaughan's far-post header put the Terriers ahead in the 11th minute and the impressive Beckford doubled their lead on 27 with a spectacular overhead kick with his 100th League goal to leave Wolves, who were chasing a fourth successive away win without conceding for the first time in their history, shellshocked.

Half-time substitute Dave Edwards helped orchestrate an improvement after the break and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake's fifth goal of the season in the 63rd minute sparked a late flurry of pressure from the visitors.

Edwards headed against the post from Jermaine Pennant's 78th-minute corner.

But there was to be no grandstand finish from Stale Solbakken's side and Huddersfield deserved their victory.

Solbakken made two changes from the side that won 1-0 at Blackburn two weeks ago before the international break.

On-loan Stoke winger Pennant came in for his debut on the right side of midfield, and striker Kevin Doyle returned after recovering from a thigh injury up front alongside Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, and as captain.

Making way were Richard Stearman, who dropped to the bench, and captain Karl Henry, who served a one-match ban for five bookings.

Wolves were second best from the start as the Terriers lived up to their name, snapping away at the visitors and not allowing them to settle into their passing game.

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Just as at Leeds on the opening day of the season and at Cardiff in their previous away defeat, Wolves were bullied and couldn't work out a response.

Beckford should have given Town the lead in the third minute after Adam Clayton's long ball over the top caused Roger Johnson all sorts of problems.

But the former Leeds and Everton striker could only scuff his volley harmlessly at Carl Ikeme.

Huddersfield, with strikers Beckford and James Vaughan causing all sorts of problems with their movement, continued to probe and took the lead in the 11th minute.

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Vaughan nodded them in front at the far post with a classic downward header ahead of Kevin Foley from Jack Hunt's superb cross.

Wolves couldn't get hold of the ball, or if they did, they quickly gave it away again to leave themselves under pressure.

But there wasn't enough movement from the front players, or it has to be said, from Pennant early on as he struggled to get into the game.

The first threat from the visitors came soon after the first goal when Tongo Doumbia let fly from 30 yards but with keeper Alex Smithies at full stretch, the ball sailed narrowly wide.

Wolves were at sixes and sevens defensively and Beckford should have made it 2-0 in the 18th minute but missed his connection from two yards out sliding in for Vaughan's cross.

Bakary Sako curled a free kick on top of the net in a rare effort from Wolves as he was fouled 25 yards out by Danny Ward.

But it turned out to be an isolated threat as Huddersfield returned to the attack.

Hunt cut inside Sako and drilled wide from 22 yards before Huddersfield doubled their lead with a superb goal in the 27th minute.

Stephen Ward's pass was cut out inside the home half and they immediately launched a counter attack into the left-back position he would have been occupying.

Sako sprinted back to cover but couldn't make a challenge to prevent Clayton's cross, which was swept home majestically by an overhead kick from Beckford.

It was no more than Huddersfield deserved in a dominant display from Simon Grayson's hardworking outfit.

Sako curled inches wide after cutting inside from the right when he and Pennant swapped wings following Wolves' first corner.

But again the visitors couldn't sustain any momentum as Huddersfield pushed them back, this time Beckford seeing a snapshot palmed wide by Ikeme before the clean-through Vaughan curled just wide after Keith Southern was allowed to run from deep.

Solbakken made a change at half-time in a bid to drag EWolves back into a game which appeared to have slipped beyond them as Dave Edwards replaced David Davis as he looked to ask more questions in midfield.

But Huddersfield continued to look the better side after the break and they threatened when Oliver Norwood's chip floated over after a clever dummy by Clayton on the edge of the box from the excellent Vaughan's cut back.

Norwood got his sights better aligned soon afterwards when his free kick forced a diving save from Ikeme after a flare-up between Johnson and Vaughan saw both players booked.

Wolves pulled a goal back out of nothing when Ebanks-Blake diverted home Sako's low left-wing cross after Stephen Ward's floated centre from the same flank had been cleared.

And it signalled a much-needed if belated improvement from the visitors.

Sako cut inside and saw a right-footed effort drift wide before Edwards headed against the post from Pennant's corner.

Wolves enjoyed far more possession after their goal but they couldn't turn it into clear-cut chances.

And although Sako smacked a fierce shot straight at Smithies at the death, there was no doubting Huddersfield deserved their win.

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