HUDDERSFIELD TOWN’s hopes of a top-two finish in the Championship were derailed when strugglers Bristol City thumped them at Ashton Gate.
The hosts led 2-0 at the break thanks to Lee Tomlin’s effort and Tammy Abraham’s strike in the 14th minute of added time at the end of the first half, played due to a serious-looking head injury suffered by Huddersfield defender Jonathan Hogg.
He went down in a collision with team-mate Mark Hudson in the seventh minute and the game was held up for almost a quarter-hour while Hogg was placed in a neck brace before being carried off the field on a stretcher, but later reports said he was up and about and talking.
Things only got worse for the visitors as late efforts from Aden Flint and David Cotterill with a penalty sealed an emphatic City win at Ashton Gate.
The home side made the better start and went in front on the half hour when Hudson lost the ball under pressure from Abraham and Tomlin rounded goalkeeper David Ward.
City goalkeeper Frank Fielding had to make just one first-half save, diving to palm away a low drive from Rajiv van La Parra before Abraham doubled the advantage at the end of first-half stoppage-time, meeting Cotterill’s low cross from the right with an expert low first-time finish.
Huddersfield began the second half brightly and Isaiah Brown’s shot worked Fielding.
But moments later City almost went three up as Callum O’Dowda’s downward header from Abraham’s cross was superbly tipped on to the crossbar by Ward.
From then on the visitors became increasingly frustrated as City defended for their lives and broke threateningly.
The result was put beyond doubt after 79 minutes when City centre-back Flint netted with an audacious flick from Gary O’Neil’s low ball into the box.
Four minutes later Joe Bryan’s run into the area was halted unfairly by Huddersfield substitute Phil Billing, allowing Cotterill to make it 4-0 with a perfectly-struck penalty.
The visitors had a chance to grab a consolation at the end, but Fielding produced a brilliant diving save to deny Van La Parra to complete a miserable night for David Wagner’s men.
Bristol City: Fielding, Smith, Flint, Wright, Bryan, O’Neil (Hegeler 86), Pack, Cotterill, Tomlin (Brownhill 81), O’Dowda, Abraham (Wilbraham 86). Unused substitutes: Taylor, Reid, Magnusson, Giefer.
Huddersfield Town: Ward, Smith, Hudson, Schindler, Lowe, Hogg (Billing 22),Mooy,Kachunga (Lolley 46),Brown (Quaner 67), van La Parra, Wells. Unused substitutes: Holmes-Dennis, Coleman, Cranie, Payne.
Referee: D Coote (Nottinghamshire).