I LOVE happy endings!
For once the M62 was clear for our short drive over the Pennines.
Both sets of fans mixed happily in the Yorkshire Rose.
Hopes were high for a result as we devoured our Barnsley chops and quaffed a couple of pints of real ale.
Our optimism was matched by the locals’ pessimism.
It was a short walk to Huddersfield’s yet again renamed ground, the John Smith’s stadium.
The home fans knew all about Lukas Jutkiewicz and Neil Danns as they have both been on loan with Huddersfield previously. Of course, we knew all about Danny Ward.
Danns was the only change for us, coming in for the unfortunate Robert Hall, who suffered from the drop-the-man-of-the-match policy Freedman seems to follow.
The match had an end-of-season feel to it as the Bolton fans sang: “We’re not going down, we’re not going up.”
Neither team played particularly well as defences were on top and what few chances were created were well dealt with by both goalkeepers.
But as the match wore on, Huddersfield seemed content to settle for a point and we sensed our chance to win as we piled on the pressure in the last quarter of the game.
Joe Mason replaced Liam Trotter, who had his best game so far.
Jermaine Beckford replaced the exhausted Jutkiewicz. Then just as we thought it was all over, Mason brilliantly turned Lee’s low corner into the net to send most of the massed Bolton fans into ecstasy and the rest to their mobile phone media accounts.
We’re now on a similar run to the end of last season, which generated such high hopes.
The close season is going to be critical as Freedman has to make the decisions to further his plan and to avoid a repeat of this disappointing season.