Nottingham Forest’s Under 21s were beaten 2-0 by Huddersfield Town at The City Ground this afternoon.Daniel Ayala, Simon Gillett, Guy Moussi and Jamaal Lascelles all played 90 minutes for The Reds but goals either side of the break, in the form of a Dale Hopson tap-in and a Chris Atkinson deflected strike, condemned the hosts to defeat.
Forest, who earlier had Kieran Fenton to thank for a superb last-ditch tackle on Godwin Abdaki, had to wait until the 21st minute for their first shot on target.
Ben Osborn was tripped by Tommy Smith two yards outside the ‘D’ and Jack Blake curled the subsequent free-kick over the wall and straight at experienced ‘keeper Ian Bennett.
Eight minutes later, Fenton took the ball on a marauding run from left back but he could only fire wide on the stretch.
On 36 minutes, Morgan Ferrier used his strength to roll his defender and he shot just wide from the edge of the area. Huddersfield went straight down the other end and Atkinson hit the side netting after breaking into the box.
But three minutes later the visitors had the lead. Scott Arfield’s low drive from the edge of the area was parried by Jordan Smith and Hopson reacted quickest to tap home the opener.
Forest went looking for an immediate response but Blake’s 25-yarder went wide and The Reds headed into the break a goal down.
Both sides had chances in the opening minute of the second half. Lee Novak stung Smith’s hands with a half-volley from outside the area before Ferrier came within inches of latching on to Jamaal Lascelles’ long ball over the top.
But on 49 minutes the visitors doubled their lead. Atkinson burst into the area and his shot deflected off Lawrence Gorman and crawled over the line.
The hosts were struggling to carve out any clear cut opportunities and on 68 minutes Smith had to produce a good save to deny Arfield.
Two minutes later, Adam N’Kusu Landu found himself at the byline. He cut it back for Ferrier but the striker blasted wide.
With just over ten minutes to go, Ferrier scrambled away from Will Boyle in the area. His shot was turned behind by Bennett. A succession of corners followed and Gorman sent a header a couple of yards wide of the post.
Gillett saw his low 30-yard drive go wide on 86 minutes but that was to be the final act of note on a chilly afternoon at The City Ground.
Forest: Smith, Gorman, Fenton, Gillett, Lascelles, Ayala, Blake (Wallace 79'), Moussi, N'Kusu Landu (Palmer-Samuels 72'), Ferrier, Osborn (Grant 57')
Subs not used: Regan, Durrant
Huddersfield: Bennett, Sinnott, Boyle, Smith, Clarke, Hopson (Johnson), Atkinson, Arfield, Abdaki (Leonard 79'), Novak (Wilkinson), Crooks
Subs not used: Allinson
Scorers: Hopson 39', Atkinson 49'