Huddsf’ld 0 – 0 Bristol C
Huddersfield failed to score for a third successive game but a 0-0 draw against Bristol City lifted Neil Warnock’s side off the bottom of the Sky Bet Championship.
Town remain six points from safety and have won just once since Warnock took charge, but after back-to-back 4-0 defeats, this was a more encouraging outcome for the Terriers, whose late surge almost turned the single point into three.
The Robins have lost just one league game since December 29, but boss Nigel Pearson will wonder how his side failed to return to winning ways after defeat to Cardiff.
Huddersfield’s Czech international goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik produced three vital saves, though opposite number Max O’Leary denied Jack Rudoni a stoppage-time winner.
City substitute Andreas Weimann also cleared off the line from Martyn Waghorn as Huddersfield came to life in a frantic finale.
Town made four changes to the side sent packing by Coventry but were fortunate to remain in contention during a one-sided first half.
City could have been out of sight by but were not as clinical as the Sky Blues or previous Huddersfield opponents, Burnley.
Sam Bell failed to force a save from Vaclik after George Tanner’s 24th-minute delivery.
But he was soon called into action, snatching the ball off the toes of Mark Sykes and then beating away a header from the same player.
The former Sevilla and Olympiakos keeper also kept out Cameron Pring’s close-range header from Alex Scott’s inswinging corner.
Town’s best moments were penalty shouts at the start and end of the opening period.
Danny Ward needed treatment, clattered by O’Leary after the keeper punched the ball away from the striker.
Manager Warnock and assistant Ronnie Jepson were even more incensed when Jay Dasilva slid in on Brahima Diarra without touching the ball.
Given his sluggish side’s lack of chances, Warnock instigated a double interval switch, introducing Josh Koroma and Waghorn for Ward and Joseph Hungbo.
But it was City who created and wasted another opportunity. Sykes ran through unchallenged but his eventual left-foot attempt was tame.
At least Town fans were spared the possibility of Nahki Wells pushing his old club closer to the second-tier trap door.
Wells could not add to his 12-goal tally for the season before being substituted after 64 minutes.
Town fashioned their best chance three minutes later. Rudoni found Koroma in space but the substitute’s low right-foot effort slipped past a post.
Vaclik saved a goalbound effort from skipper Jonathan Hogg. But Huddersfield, level on points with third-bottom Blackpool, grew in confidence and might have snatched victory through Waghorn and Rudoni.
Huddersfield’s Neil Warnock:
“If we play like that we can give teams a hard game. I couldn’t ask for any more other than a goal. The referee said he thought Diarra kicked the air. But when you look at it he (Dasilva) took all his legs. I will get a phone call this week apologising no doubt.
“I thought we were a bit apprehensive in the first half hour because last Saturday was a major shock to us with the goals we conceded. But we had a chat at half-time and told them to get on the front foot and be more positive with early passes. There was no lack of effort. We wanted three points, but if you can’t get three we’ve got to chip away. It might give one or two lads a bit more belief that they can do it if they stick together and don’t make stupid mistakes.”
Bristol City’s Nigel Pearson:
“It was frustrating officiating again. If that was outside the box, it would have been given as a free-kick. But because it’s in the box, it doesn’t happen. Neil will talk about their shout for a penalty. It just bemuses me. I don’t want to waste too much energy talking about them. Ours was an honest performance. They (Town) showed some fight after some difficult results. Huddersfield were very committed and put us under pressure towards the end.
“We stood up to it but we made some naive decisions which, as the away side, we should have controlled the tempo a bit better. I thought we had decent control in the first half and created decent opportunities. We were a bit careless late in the game but they had to approach the game in a more positive way in the second half.”