Nahki Wells struck a dagger into the heart of former club Huddersfield with a stoppage-time penalty that earned Bristol City a 1-1 Championship draw at Ashton Gate.

When Josh Koroma fired the visitors in front in the 81st minute after a Jack Rudoni shot was deflected into his path, it seemed Huddersfield would lift themselves out of the relegation zone.

But deep into added time Terriers substitute Ollie Turton was judged to have handled a Cameron Pring cross from the right and Wells, formerly a hero with Town fans, sent a powerful spot-kick beyond the reach of goalkeeper Lee Nicholls.

It was rough justice on Huddersfield, who fought hard throughout and edged a forgettable contest.

Injuries to several central defenders, including normal pairing Rob Dickie and Zak Vyner, meant City fielded a makeshift back-three of Ross McCrorie, George Tanner and Pring. Huddersfield welcomed back midfielder Rudoni from injury.

Huddersfield made an encouraging start, but picked up two early bookings as referee Rebecca Welch showed yellow cards to Brodie Spencer and Alex Matos inside the first 12 minutes.

The visitors made all the early running, Rudoni shooting wide and Delano Burgzorg firing over from Sorba Thomas’ cross.

Spencer was also off target with a glancing header and City’s new-look back-line appeared vulnerable.

Having demolished Blackburn 5-0 in midweek, the home side were unable to mount any serious attacking threat and a Koroma shot was deflected behind for a corner as Huddersfield continued to bely their lowly league position.

The half-time whistle went without City having registered a goal attempt of any sort, but Huddersfield had failed to capitalise on their superiority.

The home side improved after the break and at last forced a save from Nicholls, who dived to smother a low 58th-minute drive from Matty James after a good run by Tommy Conway.

At the other end, Michal Helik sent a tame volley straight at goalkeeper Max O’Leary before City head coach Liam Manning made a change up front, sending on Wells for Conway.

Still Huddersfield looked the more likely scorers and Rudoni was narrowly wide with a low shot from inside the box after 68 minutes.

Koroma sent an acrobatic volley at O’Leary as Huddersfield struggled to find the finish to match their approach play, with O’Leary then having to make a smart save to keep out a Thomas shot.

City’s second substitute Anis Mehmeti shot over following a corner as both teams went all out for victory.

Koroma’s strike sent travelling supporters behind the goal into wild celebration and looked to have won it.

Substitute Rhys Healey almost made it 2-0 when heading over from a near post corner before the last-gasp penalty broke Huddersfield hearts.

Leicester missed the chance to go four points clear at the top of the Championship after a 1-0 loss at Millwall.

Ryan Longman’s brilliant top corner finish was the difference for the Lions, who climbed into 17th.

Leicester stayed one point clear at the summit after Leeds moved into second following a goalless draw against Sunderland.

Substitute Milutin Osmajic bagged a quickfire hat-trick as Preston completed an incredible second-half comeback to beat relegation-threatened Huddersfield 4-1.

Josh Koroma handed the Terriers the lead in the 42nd minute, but Preston equalised when Will Keane levelled from the penalty spot.

Osmajic starred from the bench in the final stages, striking twice in three minutes before completing his treble in the second minute of stoppage time to snatch three points and leave Town outside the bottom three on goal difference.

Sheffield Wednesday scored two late goals to salvage a crucial point in their relegation battle after a 2-2 draw against Norwich.

The visitors struck quickly in the opening stages with Josh Sargent putting the Canaries ahead in the 11th minute before Borja Sainz doubled the advantage five minutes later.

However, Wednesday turned the game around in the final 15 minutes with Michael Ihiekwe pulling one back before Michael Smith levelled in the 85th minute to leave them alongside Huddersfield.

Fourth-placed Southampton continued their play-off push with a 2-1 win against Coventry.

Haji Wright missed a penalty for the Sky Blues in the 10th minute and Southampton struck just eight minutes later through Kyle Walker-Peters.

Che Adams doubled the lead just before the break before Jake Bidwell pulled one back for Coventry, who remain just outside the play-off places.

Plymouth earned a valuable point after drawing 1-1 with QPR.

Sam Field put the visitors ahead from a corner, but Argyle are two points above the drop zone as Albert Adomah turned the ball into his own net.

Ryan Lowe said substitute Milutin Osmajic showed “pure class” as his eight-minute hat-trick completed Preston’s comeback in a 4-1 win over Huddersfield that keeps their Championship play-off hopes alive.

Relegation-battling Huddersfield were the better side in the first half and led through Josh Koroma’s strike four minutes before the break, but Will Keane levelled from the penalty spot early in the second half before Osmajic’s stunning cameo.

The Montenegrin put Preston in front in the 84th minute before scoring again in the 87th minute and the first minute of stoppage time.

“It’s just pure class and he’s got that in him,” Lowe said of the summer signing from Cadiz. “It’s been tough for him, he’s been in and out of the team at certain times…That’s his real hunger and desire to perform for the football club and for his team-mates and he takes all the credit for that.”

There had been a very different mood at half-time, with boos greeting the referee’s whistle as Preston were in danger of letting a top-six finish get out of reach.

“The first half wasn’t us, we weren’t at the races,” Lowe said. “We got them in at half-time and told them they need to be better. I had faith the lads could come out and perform. We changed one or two things, gave them a bit of information and told them they needed to raise it 20 per cent.

“The penalty gave us a bit of a life line to get back in and then there was only one team going to win it.”

The win leaves Preston five points off sixth-placed Norwich, who visit Deepdale on Saturday.

“It’s massively important,” Lowe said of the game. “I’m not going to play it down. Who knows? It might be the biggest one so far. It’s out of our hands what other teams do points-wise. I just want us to stay in the mix. If we can keep climbing up, with five games to go, who knows?”

Huddersfield boss Andre Breitenreiter was left to rue the chances that got away in a strong first half, and said the way his side defended after the break was “not acceptable”.

“When you defend like we did in the second half you cannot get some points,” the German said. “It was terrible, it was poor, too many ball losses.

“We played a really good first half but we missed the final pass to score more goals, we had really good opportunities to score two or three goals and we didn’t do that…

“I cannot tell you my opinion (on the penalty decision) because I didn’t see the clip. But the goal changed everything. Then we have to speak about our own performance and the performance was not good enough.

“After 1-1 there were too many ball losses, we didn’t play as a team, we had bad body language. It was a different game and it was not acceptable for me.”

Milutin Osmajic came off the bench to score a hat-trick in the space of eight minutes as play-off chasing Preston came from behind to beat Huddersfield 4-1 in the Championship.

Josh Koroma fired the relegation-battling Terriers in front late in the first half but the tide turned after the break after as Will Keane levelled from the penalty spot in the 53rd minute.

Osmajic then entered the fray with a stunning cameo, putting Preston in front in the 84th minute before scoring two more, the last of them in the first minute of time added on.

The Montenegrin had only scored once since November coming into the night but his match-winning contribution helped keep alive Preston’s hopes of making the play-offs, with victory leaving them five points off sixth place with five games to play.

But for Huddersfield, defeat leaves them outside the bottom three on goal difference alone.

The Terriers had been the better side for much of the first half as Sorba Thomas and Delano Burgzorg provided a constant threat, with Preston struggling to get out of their own half.

Huddersfield’s industry was rewarded just before the break. Burgzorg ran on to a through ball from Ben Wiles, outmuscling Ali McCann to win possession and then keeping the ball in on the byline to pull it back.

Wiles’ shot was blocked but the ball fell for Koroma who took a touch before lashing a shot across goal.

There were boos from the home fans at the half-time whistle but it took only six minutes of the second half for the mood to change. Alex Matos took a loose touch in the Huddersfield box and, in his bid to make amends, the Chelsea loanee bundled into Keane.

Matos saw yellow, and Keane stepped up to send Lee Nicholls the wrong way.

Huddersfield boss Andre Breitenreiter replaced Matos with Rhys Healey – who got the stoppage-time winner against Millwall at the weekend – but Preston still looked the more likely scorers, with Duane Holmes wriggling through the box before testing Nicholls with a powerful shot.

Osmajic’s first contribution after coming on was to appeal for a penalty. He was initially slow to react to a through ball but then barged Brodie Spencer off it before dropping to the deck, with referee Lewis Smith unimpressed.

But five minutes later he was celebrating his first goal, meeting Thomas’ cross from the right at the near post.

The Preston fans had not returned to their seats before he got another, racing on to Alan Browne’s pass to slot the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.

And, as the game moved into six minutes of time added on, he added a final flourish, beating Spencer to get a toe on to Mads Frokjaer-Jensen’s low ball from the right.

Huddersfield boss Andre Breitenreiter was delighted to have secured a “dirty” win after his side sealed a dramatic 1-0 success against fellow strugglers Millwall.

Substitute Rhys Healey pounced for the Terriers’ late, late winner in added time, one which handed his side a first win in seven games and lifted them out of the Championship drop zone.

A clearly relieved Breitenreiter said: “It’s an absolutely massive win for us, of course.

“It was not easy for us, especially in the first half, after the first 25 minutes or so we created a number of chances, but we just didn’t score.

“When it got so late into the game we still had the team’s belief and that of the supporters, and in the end we got the goal right at the end.

“We said in the pre-match press conference that sometimes you need that dirty win, and we’ve got a dirty win today.

“Now we need some more wins in these last few games.

“I definitely wasn’t satisfied with the first-half performance, and so I spoke to the players at half-time about being brave and maintaining that belief.”

Both teams created decent opportunities in what proved to be an entertaining goalless opening 45 minutes at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Delano Burgzorg and Josh Koroma went closest for the Terriers, while Jake Cooper somehow headed over the top from close range for Millwall.

As the second half progressed and further chances were missed at both ends, it was looking odds-on this one was going to end goalless, until sub Healey finally broke Millwall’s resistance in such dramatic fashion.

It was a cruel blow for Lions boss Neil Harris, whose side have now lost three of their last four games.

They are now just two points clear of the Championship relegation zone and are clearly being dragged into the scrap.

Harris said: “Obviously to lose a game like that so late is a huge disappointment for everyone.

“I thought the players responded quite well to the late defeat at Rotherham the other night.

“There was no lack of application or desire out there I thought.

“But having said that, I do expect to see much more quality from a team at Championship level.

“We know where we are, both on and off the pitch, but overall we need a stronger mentality, particularly late in games like we saw today.

“We had chances, but we can’t just keep giving them up.

“We need to make improvements to the team in the transfer window, clearly.

“Too many times we missed those chances I mention, some of them nigh-on open goals.

“We can control things like that away from a match day, but again today we just didn’t show enough quality and in the end it’s proved costly for us.”

Huddersfield interim boss Jon Worthington insists his side’s “committed performance” earned the Terriers a 1-0 victory over Sunderland at the John Smith’s Stadium.

The all-important moment came in the 38th minute when Jack Rudoni’s free-kick was beaten away by Anthony Patterson, only for Matty Pearson to bundle in the rebound to make it 1-0.

Huddersfield had chances to put the game to bed when Josh Koroma hit the near post from a free-kick before Rudoni’s glancing header was cleared off the line by Jobe Bellingham.

The Terriers were almost punished for those missed chances, but goalkeeper Lee Nicholls fantastically denied Trai Hume at the death before stopping Tom Lees’ from putting into his own net.

Worthington thought his side backed up a good performance in their 5-3 defeat to Southampton at the weekend with all three points.

He said: “Another game I really enjoyed – a committed performance from the lads. We had to go again from Saturday’s performance, in terms of the result, and I was happy with the desire the lads showed.

“I think it was a real squad effort to make sure we all dug in together to get over the line and the result.

“From the first minute we were on the front foot, wanting to run forward and support each other. ”

Pearson, operating at right-back instead of his usual position in central defence, scored his third goal of the season with the winner in the 38th minute.

It was his second goal in the last three games to help Huddersfield move five points away from the relegation zone.

And Worthington was quick to praise the all-round performance of the match-winner.

He added: “I know he will definitely run for me and do anything I ask of him. I was delighted for him today, that was an individual duel I was talking about.

“He puts his head and body in where others probably don’t and that’s a rarity when you’re brave like, and that brings you goals.”

Sunderland slipped to their seventh away league defeat of the season and missed the chance to climb back into the play-off places.

Boss Michael Beale thought his side wasted opportunities to claim points from the game and was unhappy to see his side lose from a set-piece.

He said: “To concede off a set-piece away from home is not good enough is it?

“It’s a pretty standard set-piece we’ve conceded from before half-time. We had our moments, but it’s a bad night.

“It’s a disappointing night. I thought Huddersfield made it a physical game and there was a point in the first half when we needed to roll our sleeves up and give a bit back, and I’m not sure we did that.

“On our best day we are slightly better than teams in this league, but I don’t think we are going to blow anyone away. We don’t score enough goals to blow teams away.”

Huddersfield boss Darren Moore insisted he did not feel under increasing pressure after his side were held 1-1 at home by relegation rivals Plymouth.

The Terriers salvaged a hard-earned point after Josh Koroma’s first goal since September cancelled out Morgan Whittaker’s 15th of the season in all competitions for Plymouth.

Some Town fans booed at the final whistle and the club’s American owner Kevin Nagle, watching from the stands, posted on X at the final whistle: “NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!”

The Terriers have won three of their 21 Sky Bet Championship matches since Moore replaced Neil Warnock in September and sit four points above the relegation zone.

When asked to comment on Nagle’s post, Moore said: “I think we’ve all agreed in here that we’ve just dropped two points, so I think it’s fair to agree with that.

“I can only express that even further. We’re on the same page because that’s the high standards that we set here.”

When asked if he thought Nagle’s message was aimed at him, Moore added: “Not at all. We’ve all got the Huddersfield badge on and we all share the same views, so not at all.

“I really don’t mind. Looking at the team, everything he tweets I endorse because the chairman is showing a passion and commitment.

“So really, honestly, I don’t mind. Today the performance was good, but it’s two points dropped.”

The Terriers have won only one of their last nine league games – and two of their last 15 – and failed to win at the John Smith’s Stadium for the 11th time this season, but Moore said he does not feel under pressure.

“No. For me it’s about making sure you put all your energies into the game, to keep the positives going,” he added.

“Of course we want to win games, that’s the business, the industry, it won’t ever change and the next opportunity we get is the next one.

“We all know we’re trying extremely hard to do that. Hopefully, from my positivity and my determination, the boys can continue to do that.”

Plymouth head coach Ian Foster was pleased with his players after his first league game in charge.

Argyle remain winless in the league on the road this season, but the former England Under-20s boss focused on the positives.

He said: “We’ve had four or five days on the grass and I’ve given them an awful lot of tactical and principle information and what was pleasing today was you could see it. They implemented our ideas well.

“The difficulty we’ve got is we’re clearly struggling away from home. We needed a platform to build from and a structure to do that.

“But we’ve also got to find the balance between structurally sound and difficult to beat to having that attacking potency.

“Although the goal was magnificent, I thought that was probably the part of our game that we lacked.”

Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick hailed the “unbelievable” spirit of his players after the 2-1 victory over Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Both sides missed easy chances in the first period, with Boro’s Isaiah Jones miskicking the ball two yards in front of an open net before Town’s Josh Koroma crashed off the crossbar after rounding the goalkeeper.

Second-half substitute Josh Coburn lifted over Jacob Chapman to put Boro in front but the home side were not behind for long as Michal Helik’s strike from the edge of the box made it 1-1.

Boro had the chance to win it late on from the penalty spot but Jonny Howson saw it saved by Chapman only for him to redeem himself and net the winner moments later.

Carrick said: “It’s not the perfect way or ideal way to go about it but sometimes you have got to find a way.

“The spirit is unbelievable in the group with the staff and backroom staff. It’s an effort from everywhere, a lot of clubs have injuries as well, it’s something you have to deal with and accept to a point.

“As we are in the league now, come the end of the year with everything to play for in the cup so there is a lot to be pleased about but still a lot of work to do for sure.”

Carrick was happy to see Howson net the winner just a minute after his spot-kick was saved.

He added: “It was a hell of a save to be fair from the goalkeeper, sometimes there are good penalties and bad penalties but it’s a hell of a save.

“You can see the emotion on Jonny’s face, what it meant to him and to everyone and celebrations were ramped up by the fact he missed the penalty.

“Sometimes it’s quite nice to win like that, really digging and fighting and Jonny showed that moment. It was one of those games that didn’t really come easy for us really.

“It was a slog, a grind, bit chaotic with chances at both ends and I said at half-time ‘if it is going to be one of them games then make sure we win the battle’.

“To be fair to the boys they all chipped in in different ways and I’m delighted with the result.”

Huddersfield boss Darren Moore felt his side did not deserve to lose.

He said: “I said to the boys to keep their heads up really because what’s doing Huddersfield is small lapses of concentration but credit to the players for the performance.

“It’s fine margins that split the difference and that’s what’s done us in the end tonight really. I’m encouraged because the performances are there so the results won’t be too far away.

“It’s a hard one to take but we have to take the positives from the game and take it forward.”

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