Town defeated by last gasp Joe Mason strike
Bolton Wanderers striker Joe Mason earned his side three points with virtually the last kick of the game at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The on loan Cardiff man connected cleanly with a stoppage time corner to win the game for the visitors.
Both teams had hit the woodwork and forced both stoppers into good saves during an entertaining 90 minutes.
Danny Ward clipped Adam Bogdan’s crossbar and then found the stopper in excellent form when he denied his header and close range efforts.
Chung-Yong Lee spurned Bolton’s best chance in the first half when he saw a low effort rebound off the post, however Mason’s low effort in the final moments of the game earned Wanderers the win.
Town kept the same starting line-up for the third consecutive game, whilst 17 year-old Danish midfielder Philip Billing was named on the bench for the first time, alongside the returning Joel Lynch who hadn’t featured in the squad for eight games.
With the Terriers winless in their last six games, they flew out of the blocks and some good work from Adam Hammill on the left almost found Nahki Wells, but the ball struck his hand and Wanderers were able to clear.
Ex-Bolton man Danny Ward tried his luck from the edge of the area on three minutes, but his deflected shot went just over the bar.
Ward then went within a whisker with his next effort; his rasping shot from the edge of the area cannoning off the upright and out for a goal kick.
Bolton came closest to breaking the deadlock during the first half in the 15th minute; Alan Hutton’s cross finding Chung-Yong Lee who caressed the ball towards the corner of the goal, but it struck the bottom of the post and Town cleared the danger.
Oliver Norwood’s corner then found Oscar Gobern’s head which was cleared off the line, before Nahki Wells twisted on the edge of the area, but his shot went tamely into the hands of Adam Bogdan in the Bolton goal.
Both sides were struggling to break down the opposition defence and Ward and Adam Hammill tried from distance for Town as the game drew closer to half-time.
On the stroke of half time, Hammill’s corner towards the back post was met again by the head of Gobern, but his effort was well saved by Adam Bogdan at the far post.
Like the first, the Terriers started the half the better of the two sides, with Hammill and Ward both looking dangerous from the wide positions.
However, Bolton midfielder Liam Trotter twice came close on the hour mark. First Alan Hutton’s cross from the right finding him unmarked, but his header didn’t have enough power to beat Smithies. The Millwall loanee then cut into the box from the right-hand side and fired a low shot at goal, but again Smithies was equal to it.
Ward was looking the most likely to break the deadlock for the Terriers; Tommy Smith’s cross first found him unmarked in the area, but the frontman headed just over. Wells then slipped Ward in for a chance but he fired straight at the goalkeeper, who showed superb reactions to push the ball to safety.
Bolton then had a spell on top, Lukas Jutkiewicz breaking clear of Gerrard’s challenge and firing towards goal but Smithies put out a strong arm to prevent the former Town loanee.
Town were inches away from breaking the deadlock on 76 minutes when Gobern’s flick found Wells six yards out, but his header was cleared off the line by Jay Spearing.
Ward came close again two minutes later, his header this time tipped over by Bogdan from close range.
Bolton replaced Jutkiewicz with top scorer and former Town loanee Jermaine Beckford on 83 minutes and he was nearly in when Smithies slipped, but he could only get a toe to the ball as it went out for a goal kick.
The visitors won it from a corner as the game ticked over to stoppage time, Joe Mason converting from a corner.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Alex Smithies; Paul Dixon, Peter Clarke (c), Anthony Gerrard, Tommy Smith; Adam Clayton, Oliver Norwood; Danny Ward, Oscar Gobern (Duane Holmes, 76), Adam Hammill; Nahki Wells
Ian Bennett, Calum Woods, Joel Lynch, Jonathan Hogg, Philip Billing, Sean Scannell
Bookings Town: Oscar Gobern 15
Bookings Bolton: Medo Kamara 84