Huddersfield Town 2 - 1 Nottingham Forest

Huddersfield Town story posted by Neil Armstead on 26/11/2005
An enthralling game at the Galpharm this afternoon saw Town pick up three points against an ill disciplined Nottingham Forest side. Town's first half performance was excellent, but in the second half the Terriers only just managed to hang on against Forest who were reduced to nine men and threw everything at the Town goal in the closing moments. Peter Jackson's men had opened up a two goal lead through Danny Schofield and Andy Booth, before Jack Lester pulled one back for the visitors.Huddersfield Town 2 - 1 Nottingham Forest

Town started with only one change to the starting line-up from last weeks draw against Bradford, with Pawel Abbott dropping out of the squad altogether due to an injury he picked up during the local derby, for which he required twelve stitches. In place of the Pole was Mark Hudson, returning from suspension, with Gary Taylor-Fletcher moved into an attacking role.

Forest came out the more postive of the two teams, and after looking dangerous won the first corner of the match. The corner was swung in by Southall and goalkeeper Rachubka did well to clear the ball with his fist. This resulted in a freekick for Forest, which thankfully came to nothing. Forest kept their early momentum going, and on 12 minutes a deep cross from Curtis saw Southall head wide from around 12 yards out.

As Town began to work their way into the rhythm of the game a chance fell to Nathan Clarke following a crossed freekick. The central defender found himself in unfamiliar territory and blasted his effort well over the bar from 20 yards out. On 19 minutes Town made their first real oppourtunity of the afternoon, as an outswinging Clarke cross was met in the area by Brandon who's looping header was expertly tipped over by Gerrard. From the subsequent set piece Mark Hudson was unlucky not to score with a crisply struck volley which flew past the left hand post.

Two minutes later Town were in the lead. Adams collected the ball just inside Town's half down the left wing and lofted it over the defence into the path of the onrushing Schofield, who's first touch was brilliant in controlling the ball, and who's second touch was even better, perfectly lobbing the ball over the stranded Gerrard from the apex of the penalty area. A finish that anyone would have been proud of. Only four minutes later it got better for the Town faithful, as Andy Booth doubled the advantage. Andy Holdsworth played the ball into Chris Brandon's feet in the area, and the tricky winger spun the defence and hit a low cross which bobbled up off the keeper into the path of Andy Booth, who did well to dive into the ball and direct it towards goal from close range.

With the confidence flowing through the Town side the domination continued. Town's passing was inspired with Mark Hudson at the heart of it, spraying balls left and right and switching the play intelligently. As the cheers rang out with each pass, the ball found it's way to Danny Schofield who, from 20 yards out, had time to pick his spot and place the ball. His shot skimmed off the surface past the hopeless Gerrard only to find the base of the left hand upright and rebound back into play.

Follwing a tactical change by Megson, introducing Jack Lester, the game took on a more competetive edge as tempers began to fray. The situation escalated when substitute Lester dived in studs first at Paul Rachubka who had already collected the ball. After referee Mike Dean and diffused the resulting scuffle, Lester recieved a yellow card to the anger of the Town followers, who all felt the challenge deserved nothing less than a red.

Half Time
Huddersfield Town 2 - 0 Nottingham Forest
Town had dominated the first half with one of the best performances of the season so far. However, as anyone who has followed Town this season will know, a 2-0 lead at half time can be easily attacked in the second half.

With only 19 seconds of the half gone Forest had pulled a goal back through Jack Lester. Forest had collected the ball from Town's kickoff, and a ball over the top resulted in a race between the striker and David Mirfin to the ball. Lester got there first and lobbed the ball over the stranded Rachubka into the empty net, but only after fouling Mirfin on his way through, sending the defender tumbling to the ground. The visitors were gaining confidence, and moments later Rachubka did well to parry and collect a long range effort from Taylor.

Forest were beginning to pick up bookings, and were inevitably reduced to 10 men after 56 minutes. Andy Booth did well to flick on into the path of Taylor-Fletcher while being fouled. As the referee played advantage GTF appeared to have a clear run at goal, until his run was illegally ended by Breckin. The referee had no hesitation in dismissing the Forest captain with a straight red. Town responded by launching their first real attack of the half, with Danny Schofield doing well to get to the byline and drive in a low cross which was cleared off the line and out of play.

With the game becoming a little scrappy and Forest showing no intention of letting their one man deficit show, that deficit controversially doubled. As Jack Lester advanced into the area he appeared to be tripped by Holdsworth, ans as the referee put his whistle to his lips Town fans could have been forgiven for fearing the worst, as it looked a stonewall penalty. However, Lester was dismissed for a second bookable after presumably diving over Holdsworths challenge with the intention of winning a penalty.

Town soaked up the pressure that the 9 men threw at them, and should have restored the two goal advantage when Schofield broke forward following a set piece for which the goalkeeper had come up. Instead of shooting, he unselfishly tried to set up Brandon who was in an offside position.

Full Time
Huddersfield Town 2 - 1 Nottingham Forest

I'd have to give Man of the Match to Mark Hudson, who's array of passing continues to impress me, just as it did today. I think that we missed his presence in midfield last week and our midfield looked distinctly better with Hudson alongside Worthington. Also a special mention of Andy Booth who was a man mountain today, both up front and at the back when needed.

Just a comment on the second dismissal, I was sat on row C only yards from the incident, and if it was a dive, it certainly had me fooled. Definitely a debatable decision. On the whole, a solid performance by Town who are now second only on goal difference following Swansea's draw with Tranmere.

Huddersfield Town
P Rachubka, A Holdsworth, N Clarke, D Mirfin, D Adams, C Brandon (90 T Carss) , J Worthington, M Hudson, D Schofield, G Taylor-Fletcher, A Booth
Subs: P Senior, M Collins, T Clarke, T Carss, A Ahmed

Nottingham Forest
P Gerrard, W Morgan (31 J Lester) , D Cullip, I Breckin, N Eaden (73 G Holt) , N Southall, J Thompson, J Perch (52 F Bastians) , J Curtis, N Tyson, G Taylor
Subs: G Holt, R Gardner, J Lester, R Pedersen, F Bastians

Ref: M Dean
Att: 17370


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