Beckford belter rocks Wolves
Jermaine Beckford scored the 100th league goal of his career as Huddersfield beat Wolves 2-1 at the John Smith's Stadium on Saturday. In what amounts to Simon Grayson's side's biggest scalp since their promotion to the Championship in the summer, the Town forwards produced a brilliant first-half performance as they scored a goal each to put Huddersfield in command. And even though their impact lessened as the game went on, the Terriers had enough of a start to hold on and move back into the play-off positions, despite Sylvan Ebanks-Blake's 63rd-minute goal for Wolves, whose three-game winning streak on the road came to an end. The showings of Norwich man James Vaughan and Leicester's Beckford were the reason for that, with both strengthening their case to earn a permanent deal, especially the latter - who enjoyed a landmark afternoon. Having opened his account for them in their last game - a 1-0 win at Birmingham - his pace kept Wolves penned back for large parts of the game, allowing Huddersfield to dominate the play in front of them. That he also produced a stunning 27th-minute scissor-kick volley to score merely topped off his performance. For as good as Beckford was, Vaughan was every bit as impressive. The former Everton striker was strong and clever in his hold-up play, while his back-post header following a brilliant Jack Hunt cross was in keeping with Beckford's clinical finish. The duo had served Wolves enough warning inside the first 10 minutes, with Beckford getting in behind but scuffing a volley into the ground, and with Wanderers failing to push their defensive line up, they slipped behind 11 minutes in. Hunt advanced down the right, Stephen Ward refused to come towards him and backed off, allowing Hunt to place a hanging cross to the back post where Vaughan was waiting and headed the ball back in the direction from which it came, leaving Carl Ikeme grasping the air. Beckford would have doubled the lead in the 18th minute had his leg been an inch longer, allowing him to connect with Vaughan's brilliant cross, and it briefly looked like being a costly miss as Wolves got into the game, with Bakary Sako clipping the bar with a long-range free-kick. But former Chelsea trainee Beckford would find the net shortly after, peeling off his marker to track the flight of Adam Clayton's cross before powering a quite brilliant right-footed volley beyond Ikeme from 12 yards. Wolves were desperate for the half-time whistle to come and by the time it did they should have been further behind as Beckford worked Ikeme from the edge of the box and Vaughan twice fizzed shots wide - the latter a sitter after some neat play from Keith Southern. The one-way traffic would continue after the break as Danny Ward failed to find an open goal following Ikeme's failure to take a ball on the edge of his box, with Wolves relying on hopeful punts forward which were regularly eaten up by Town defender Peter Clarke. Back at the other end Ikeme shoved away Olly Norwood's free-kick and also smothered a Vaughan header before Wolves gave themselves a lifeline out of keeping with the game. Sako worked his way down the left and squirmed a cross past the defences of Hunt and found Ebanks-Blake waiting at the near post, and he poked an effort under Alex Smithies. Stake Solbakken's men suddenly had a purpose and Sako wasted a fine chance after cutting in and beating Hunt on the inside, while Ebanks-Blake had a shot deflected just over and Dave Edwards headed against the post from the subsequent corner, but beyond that they mustered little and Huddersfield held on.
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