Scannell’s first of the season is the difference
Sean Scannell scored his first goal of the season as Town returned to winning ways at home to Bristol City on Saturday afternoon.
In an uneventful first half Scannell’s back post tap in was the difference after excellent play from Adam Clayton and Lee Novak had set the winger up. City will feel slightly hard done by having enjoyed a lot of possession, but found Alex Smithies in inspired form with the ‘keeper denying both Sam Baldock and Stephen McManus.
With injuries and suspensions mounting up, Simon Grayson made four changes to the side that lost heavily at Millwall last time out.
Calum Woods, Paul Dixon, Oliver Norwood and Sean Scannell were drafted in with Jack Hunt (suspended), Danny Ward, Jermaine Beckford (injured) and James Vaughan (injured) all missing out.
A poor first half of football from both teams was lit up by one piece of slick passing which saw the Terriers open the scoring in the 43rd minute courtesy of Sean Scannell’s first of the season.
The move, architected by Clayton and Novak, was Town’s only really foray on Dean Gerken’s goal in the first half, which was dominated by the visitors.
Despite City’s control in the first 45 they very rarely threatened Alex Smithies’. Albert Adomah fired wide from a well-placed free-kick before former Town man Jon Stead flashed a header wide from Richard Foster’s cross.
Sean Scannell had been causing the City defence problems all half and deserved his goal when he stole in at the back post to tap home Novak’s low cross.
Cole Skuse almost responded immediately for the visitor’s, but his shot from the edge of the box was deflected wide by Keith Southern.
There were more chances in the first 15 minutes of the second half than in the entire first and it was the home side that almost took advantage of the first when Calum Woods’ marauding run was found by Clayton, but the right-back failed to beat Dean Gerken from the angle.
City hit back with Stead shooting wide after Keith Southern had been caught in possession before midfielder Marvin Elliot headed over. At the over end Clayton drove over after skipping past McManus while Adam Hammill – wearing luminous green boots – sold Matthew Briggs with a step-over before curling wide.
Alex Smithies then came to Town’s rescue in the 63rd minute producing a brilliant reaction save to deny Sam Baldock from six yards after Skuse had skewed his shot.
With ten minutes remaining Simon Grayson handed Anton Robinson his first appearance of the season as the Terriers aimed to hold what they had and record back to back home victories.
The Terriers wasted a glorious chance to end the game as a contest in the 87th minute when Novak broke clear and slid the ball across to the unmarked Scannell who dithered for too long and was eventually crowded out by the retreating City defence.
It was scary at the back for Town in the closing stages as the visitors flashed a number of balls across the box as they went in search of an equaliser. Alex Smithies again had to be at his very best to deny McManus’ header in the final minute of injury time as the Terriers held on firm to return to winning ways.
Alex Smithies; Paul Dixon, Joel Lynch, Peter Clarke (c), Calum Woods; Adam Hammill (Danny Ward, 73), Keith Southern, Adam Clayton, Oliver Norwood (Anton Robinson, 80), Sean Scannell (Anthony Gerrard 89); Lee Novak
Ian Bennett, Murray Wallace, Scott Arfield, Alan Lee
Bookings Town: Calum Woods 28,
Bookings Bristol City: Albert Adomah 33, Liam Fontaine 4,