The unbeaten run had to end eventually and, unfortunately, it came at the hands of Huddersfield Town this afternoon at a freezing John Smiths/Galpharm/McAlpine/whatever its called these days Stadium.
Bolton Wanderers got away to the perfect start as Darren Pratley crashed a shot in off the crossbar after less than a minute. That was to be as good as it got for Bolton as goals from Jacob Butterfield, just before half time, and then Nakhi Wells, just before full time, stole the points for Huddersfield.
Having gone ahead early in the game the whites then spent the remainder of the first half on the back foot. On a rare counter attack Eidur Gudjohnsen wasted a great chance to make it 2-0 as he drew an impressive save from Alex Smithies, at his sharpest Gudjohnsen would normally bury that chance.
As Bolton defended deeply Huddersfield forced a couple of routine saves out of Andy Lonergan and continued to shoot wastefully from the edge of the area. However with a couple of minutes left in the half Liam Trotter, not for the first time, surrendered possession and the ball was worked to former Bolton loanee Jacob Butterfield who slammed a shot across Lonergan high into the goal.
The second half was mostly a non event but turned on two crucial decisions late in the half. Firstly, Emile Heskey who had been introduced as a 68th minute sub was incorrectly ruled offside before rolling the ball into the net. Then followed the much debated handball in the build up to the winning goal as Bolton's luck finally ran out. Having seen the replay it is still inconclusive as to whether the ball struck Jonathan Hogg on the arm or knee. Anyway the referee didn't give the decision the ball fell perfectly for Hogg to slide it through for Nakhi Wells who smashed it past Lonergan.
Bolton desperately chased an equaliser and threw Matt Mills up front but as was the case for the majority of the match the service was poor and Huddersfield comfortably saw out the remaining minutes.
With options limited Neil Lennon made just one change to the starting 11 that saw off T'Rovers on Boxing Day, Liam Trotter was handed a rare start and a chance to impress as Rob Hall dropped to the bench. Trotter did not take his chance. Its fair to say he was at fault for both the Huddersfield goals, caught on the ball for the first and for the second it was his pass that was intercepted. The rest of the game he was a complete passenger, Jay Spearing is certainly not flavour of the month but I find it hard to see how he could have been any worse than Trotter was today.
The January transfer window cannot come quick enough it seems to freshen up what now looks a tired group of players and provide Lennon with some different options throughout the squad.
With the Championship off the agenda for a couple of weeks the FA cup game against Wigan on Saturday takes priority and gives Bolton the perfect opportunity to bounce back.
Lonergan, Vela, Ream, Mills, Dervite, Danns, Trotter (Wheater, 88), Pratley (Heskey, 68), CYL, Feeney, Gudjohnsen (Hall, 80).
Smithies, Smith, Hudson, Wallace, Robinson, Hogg, Coady, Butterfield (Gerrard, 90), Scannell, Vaughan (Hammill, 84), Bunn (Wells, 76).