Written by Morgan Lecomber
Huddersfield clinched their 8th home victory of the season with a 2-1 win over Championship strugglers Nottingham Forest.
22,100 fans packed into the John Smith’s Stadium to watch Huddersfield edge past Forest on Boxing Day.
Town were looking to make it 4 wins on the spin against Forest – something they hadn’t managed in David Wagner’s time at the club. Town started on the front foot, once again dominating possession and making the Forest back line work.
The first real chance of the match came when Rajiv Van La Parra was fouled, Aaron Mooy whipped the free-kick into the area and picked out Christopher Schindler who flicked his header wide of the target.
Shortly afterwards, the dangerous Van La Parra was causing havoc down the left, the Dutchman weaved his way past three Nottingham defenders before curling his shot wide of the right post.
Huddersfield had found their rhythm and you felt it wouldn’t be too long before they broke the deadlock, but despite the total domination, they were behind in the 25th minute when Bendtner’s pass deflected off a Town shirt towards goal, Hildeberto Pereira darted through and shrugged off Micheal Hefele before expertly chipping the ball over helpless Joel Coleman.
Town could’ve been level almost immediately when Nahki Wells missed the target from inside the box. The whistle blew and Town were bizarrely a goal down at the break after a dominant display.
But it wasn’t long before Forest’s defence were breached. In the 53rd minute, Tareiq Holmes-Dennis fired a corner to unmarked Aaron Mooy on the edge of the box, he completely miscued his effort but it fell straight onto Kasey Palmer’s head whose effort came off the bar.
Forest keeper Stojkovic was too slow to react as the ball seemed to hit him before ending up in the net, it appeared that the final touch was off the Forest man although the goal was credited to Palmer.
The game was turned on its head 6 minutes later, Mooy and Van La Parra once more at the heart of the attack. Van La Parra’s attempted cross caught Mancienne in two minds, he swung his right foot at it to clear but could only watch on as he sliced the ball and it deflected into the net.
Forest tried to find an equaliser as they threw on Britt Assombalonga, but Huddersfield were solid in defence and shutdown any arising opportunities.
Matters were only made worse for Forest in the 89th minute, when Mancienne blocked a throw-in and threw the ball down in frustration. Referee Chris Kavanagh gave Mancienne his marching orders with a second yellow card, and Town held out for their fourth victory in a row.
Huddersfield’s tremendous season goes on, as they remain fourth in the Championship and target another three points against relegation threatened Blackburn Rovers on New Years Eve.
Forest on the other hand, are without a win in four and sit 18th, six points above the drop zone.
Huddersfield Town: Joel Coleman 8, Tommy Smith 8, Christopher Schindler 8, Micheal Hefele 7, Tareiq Holmes-Dennis 7, Jonathan Hogg 7, Aaron Mooy 9, Elias Kachunga 8, Kasey Palmer 8, Rajiv Van La Parra 8, Nahki Wells 7.
Substitutes: Jack Payne 7, Chris Löwe 7, Martin Cranie N/A.
Nottingham Forest: Vladimir Stojkovic 5, Matt Mills 6, Jack Hobbs 6, Joe Worrall 6, Matty Cash 6, Ben Osborn 6, Micheal Mancienne 4, David Vaughan 6, Eric Lichaj 6, Hildeberto Pereira 7, Nicklas Bendtner 5.
Substitutes: Britt Assombalonga 6, Thomas Lam 6, Mustapha Carayol 6.
Do you agree with the ratings? Let us know in the comments below!