The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Richard Latham

MARK Robins claimed James Vaughan and Hud­der­s­field were a mar­riage made in heaven af­ter the on-loan striker’s hat-trick vir­tu­ally se­cured Cham­pi­onship sur­vival at Bris­tol City.

The Ter­ri­ers headed into the game still sweat­ing on their safety but Vaughan’s tre­ble left 1,500 trav­el­ling fans at Ash­ton Gate in lit­tle doubt that their team would be stay­ing up.

With Peter­bor­ough beat­ing Sh­effield Wed­nes­day the day ended with Hud­der­s­field in 18th, three points clear of the drop.

And while Robins re­fused to spec­u­late on the fu­ture of the Nor­wich front-man, he made no se­cret of his ad­mi­ra­tion for the player.

Robins said: “James showed how much he cares about our club with the way he cel­e­brated his goals. That isn’t al­ways the case with loan sign­ings.

“He has been good for us and I think we have been good for him.What the fu­ture holds I can’t say, but he was ter­rific here.

“But for a cou­ple of great saves he would have had five. Lee No­vak was great along­side him and the team per­for­mance was full of de­ter­mi­na­tion from the start.

“The sup­port from our fans was mag­nif­i­cent and we now have the op­por­tu­nity to fin­ish our sea­son with a good home dis­play against Barns­ley on Satur­day.”

Vaughan’s sec­ond minute tap-in from an un­selfish pass by No­vak set the tone for a con­vinc­ing Ter­ri­ers dis­play.

And 11 min­utes later Oliver Nor­wood’s free-kick found Vaughan, who di­rected his glanc­ing header be­yond Tom Heaton from 12 yards.

The tre­ble was com­pleted on 64 min­utes when Vaughan headed in a No­vak cross and Lewin Ny­atanga’s headed in­jury­time con­so­la­tion from a Greg Cunningham cross did lit­tle to im­prove the mood of Bris­tol City head coach Sean O’Driscoll.

He said: “That per­for­mance was the worst since I came here and to­tally un­ac­cept­able. “We played with­out pride and I can as­sure sup­port­ers that won’t hap­pen again.

“We owe them an apol­ogy. In our last game at Hull we looked as though we shouldn’t be rel­e­gated, but here we showed why we are go­ing down.

“Ba­si­cally we are not good enough. Home per­for­mances since I took over have been con­sis­tently en­cour­ag­ing, even when we have been beaten.

“Losses are in­evitable at times and it is how you lose that counts.

“We have a lot of work to do dur­ing the sum­mer and need to man up.

“I pick the team so re­spon­si­bil­ity for that per­for­mance ul­ti­mately rests with me. It hurt to see us play that poorly.”

Vaughan should have com­pleted his hat-trick on 20 min­utes when clean through, but Heaton made a fine save to de­flect the shot for a cor­ner.

Nor­wood went close with an early free-kick and from the open­ing min­utes it was just a case of how many Hud­der­s­field would win by.

Bris­tol were all over the place and roundly booed by their own fans, while the large con­tin­gent of trav­el­ling Ter­ri­ers fans were in cel­e­bra­tion mood.

For Hud­der­s­field boss Robins, who nar­rowly missed out when Derek McInnes was ap­pointed Bris­tol City man­ager, it was a day to re­mem­ber.

But O'Driscoll faces a mas­sive job in the close sea­son to turn City’s for­tunes around.

PIC­TURES: Joe Mered­ith

CEL­E­BRA­TION TIME: Hud­der­s­field Town cheer on James Vaughan’s third goal

TUS­SLE: Bris­tol City’s Liam Kelly and Lee No­vak bat­tle

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