Nahki’s last-gasp free-kick earns Ter­ri­ers draw to put them fourth

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Richard Laverty

HUD­DER­S­FIELD Town and Black­burn Rovers ended their re­spec­tive 2016s frus­trated af­ter late drama robbed both the chance of walk­ing away with three points at the John Smith’s Sta­dium.

Goals from Danny Gra­ham and Nahki Wells in the fi­nal ten min­utes en­sured the game ended 1-1, David Wag­ner’s side mov­ing above ri­vals Leeds into fourth whilst Black­burn still sit two points off safety at the bot­tom.

Town’s dom­i­na­tion of pos­ses­sion and gen­eral con­trol of the game didn’t war­rant the re­sult they de­served, but Wag­ner ad­mit­ted he was happy his team didn’t let their heads drop be­fore Wells curled home a stop­page time free-kick equaliser.

“I was happy about the re­ac­tion to their goal, not many teams will come back af­ter in­vest­ing so much in the game and then con­ced­ing a poor goal,” he said.

“It wasn’t the first time a team has come here and played with that style of foot­ball. It’s not a style I like but nev­er­the­less it’s a style I re­spect. They tried to get a point from the first minute, we did more than enough to de­serve our point and pos­si­bly more.”

Dis­cussing the scorer, Wag­ner added: “I’m very happy for Nahki, he’s worked very hard and ac­tu­ally scored prob­a­bly his hard­est chance of the game.”

Whilst Town had looked al­most cer­tain to win given the form of both sides since

their 1-1 draw at the start of the month, Black­burn did their best to frus­trate the hosts and took the lead in the 81st minute through Gra­ham with their first ef­fort on tar­get, the striker head­ing home Liam Feeney’s cross.

It was Black­burn’s first real open­ing of any sort, only a half chance for Sam Gal­lagher in the first half pro­vid­ing any respite for Owen Coyle’s side as they were pinned back.

Town pushed and pushed for a win­ner but were con­stantly thwarted by a com­bi­na­tion of Steele in goal and Black­burn’s rock-solid cen­tre-back duo Gor­don Greer and Char­lie Mul­grew.

“Some­times you play re­ally well and you get three points, some­times you play re­ally well and you get less than that,” said Wag­ner. “But I’m not too dis­ap­pointed be­cause like I said, we re­sponded re­ally well to their goal and we never stopped be­liev­ing we could get back in it.” Rovers boss Owen Coyle was more philo­soph­i­cal af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle. “In iso­la­tion, a point at Hud­der­s­field Town is a good re­sult, but we’re in need of the points and I thought we set our­selves up for that,” he said. “Hud­der­s­field are a very good side and for me they will def­i­nitely fin­ish in the top six. This is such an emo­tional game and some­times play­ers get caught up in the furore of the game.

“We have per­formed well in games without get­ting the points and when our per­for­mances are good we have to make sure we do ev­ery­thing we can to get us over the line.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

UP AND OVER: Nahki Wells floats his free­kick over the Black­burn wall to earn Hud­der­s­field a pre­cious point

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