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Huddersfield to play Luton in play-offs after beating Bristol City

Harry Toffolo scored for Huddersfield (Tim Markland/PA)
Harry Toffolo scored for Huddersfield (Tim Markland/PA)

Huddersfield enjoyed the perfect preparation for their Championship play-off campaign with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Bristol City.

The Terriers, who moved up to third with victory, extended their unbeaten run to seven games thanks to two strikes before the interval.

Harry Toffolo opened the scoring after a smart solo run with Danny Ward doubling the hosts’ lead.

The visiting Robins – in a purple patch themselves after scoring eight goals in their last two games – could not continue their run of five matches without defeat.

Despite making six changes to his line-up, Carlos Corberan’s side started brightly and dictated the early stages.

However, it was free-scoring Bristol City – whose season tally of 62 goals is bettered only by the top six – that had the game’s first effort on target.

Chris Martin lifted a precise delivery to strike partner Antoine Semenyo, but the latter’s powerful strike from an acute angle was parried by Jamal Blackman.

City’s threat was soon extinguished though, with Huddersfield taking a lead that their play warranted.

Defender Toffolo skipped smartly past two challenges before firing low into the corner beyond an onrushing Daniel Bentley, igniting the game into life after the half-hour mark.

Forward Martin nearly found an immediate response if not for Blackman’s efforts, with the keeper impressing in his first league start since a January switch.

Huddersfield nearly doubled their advantage when an accurate Pipa cross was flicked on by Duane Holmes, only for Bentley to make a miraculous instinctive save.

However, the Robins’ resolve was soon broken when a dangerous Holmes delivery was bundled home by Ward – his 14th league strike of the season.

Huddersfield’s control was not hindered by the interval as they quickly returned to the ascendancy after the restart.

An influential Danel Sinani shrugged off the challenge of veteran defender Timm Klose before firing low to Bentley’s left, but the keeper did well to save.

Klose had a golden opportunity to then halve City’s arrears when the ball fell kindly at his feet in the area, but his strike whistled wide of the target.

Jonathan Hogg, Toffolo and Sinani were all withdrawn before the hour mark as Corberan switched his attention to their play-off endeavours.

But their absence for the final 30 minutes did not sway the hosts’ dominance with Ward – also a goalscorer in the reverse fixture in December – thwarted by Bentley from a one-on-one situation.

Huddersfield dictated the latter stages to keep a 19th clean sheet of the season and will now host Luton in the first leg of their play-off semi final on Friday.

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