Forest 0-1 HuddersfieldNottingham Forest were beaten 1-0 by Huddersfield Town at The City Ground this afternoon.
Sean Scannell’s neat first-half finish was enough to see off a Forest side who were left frustrated by an excellent goalkeeping display by the Terriers’ Alex Smithies.
Dougie Freedman named the same starting line-up to the one he selected at Brentford on Monday.
That meant Michail Antonio and Chuba Akpom, who both suffered rib injuries at Griffin Park, were deemed fit enough to play while Danny Fox, David Vaughan and Jack Hobbs also held on to their places.
Youngsters Tyler Walker and Oliver Burke was named among Forest’s substitutes, while former Red Joel Lynch started the match for Huddersfield. Ishmael Miller was on the Terriers’ bench.
Forest made a bright start to the match but it was Huddersfield who first came close to breaking the deadlock, James Vaughan stooping to meet Jacob Butterfield’s cross and heading the ball just over the angle of Karl Darlow’s post and crossbar.
Butterfield was the next man to have a go, sending the ball harmlessly wide with a 25-yard shot on 14 minutes, before David Vaughan and Henri Lansbury saw shots blocked in Huddersfield’s area.
A minute later, Vaughan sent a tantalising cross into the middle and Antonio leapt impressively but not quite high enough to meet the ball, which was claimed by Town goalkeeper Smithies.
Smithies’ opposite number was called into action for the first time moments later when Nahki Wells’ dipping effort made life awkward for Darlow. The keeper held on to the ball comfortably, however, and was also equal to Butterfield’s low, well-struck effort from similar range shortly afterwards.
Two chances for Forest followed as Michael Mancienne sent the ball over the crossbar from a Chris Burke lay-off, before Akpom dragged the ball wide with a tame effort from the edge of the area after he ghosted past Mark Hudson.
Huddersfield had a good opportunity to take the lead on the half-hour when Oscar Gobern latched on to Wells’ cut back but couldn’t beat Darlow from eight yards.
The sides then exchanged half-chances as Antonio curled the ball over the bar from the corner of the area before James Vaughan came within inches of connecting with Wells’ teasing cross to the back post.
Burke had shown promising glimpses in the first half and forced a save from Smithies three minutes before the break as he twisted and turned on the edge of the area before seeing his shot deflect goalwards off a Terriers defender.
But it was the visitors who went into the break ahead. Butterfield, an impressive performer in Town’s midfield, played an inch-perfect ball into the area for Scannell to latch on to. He did well to hold off Fox before squeezing the ball past Darlow and into the far corner.
Butterfield then had two chances in quick succession to make it 2-0 but saw his shots blocked by Forest defenders in the area.
Neither manager opted for changes at half-time and it was Forest who began the second period on the front foot, with Burke continuing to be pivotal to their endeavours. On 50 minutes the Scotsman did brilliantly to wriggle away from two men and cut into the area from the right before curling the ball over the bar, and four minutes later he latched on to a quick throw from Darlow, shifted on to his left again and flashed his shot just wide of the far post.
Walker, who scored his first senior goal at Brentford, replaced Vaughan and joined Akpom up front as The Reds upped their search for an equaliser.
And the young striker played a big part as Forest put the ball in the net - only for the goal to be ruled offside after Akpom tapped it home from Walker’s cut back.
Lansbury was the next Forest player to depart, handing the captain’s armband to Kelvin Wilson and making way for Ben Osborn.
Clear-cut opportunities were proving hard to come by for Forest, but Antonio’s pace provided one with 20 minutes to go. He burst away from his full back down the right before cutting the ball back into the middle for Walker. Smithies produced an outstanding save to deny the striker.
The Terriers responded with a chance of their own, and it could have been a second for Scannell after the ball dropped to him in the area after a corner. Lynch was in the way of his shot and was unable to direct the ball goalwards.
Moments later, James Vaughan volleyed the ball wide from Wells’ cross before The Reds worked the ball to Burke in the left-hand side of the area, where he could only curl it across goal and wide.
Forest’s final change saw Oliver Burke make his first senior appearance at The City Ground, replacing Antonio.
Both keepers were then called into action to deal with long-range efforts from James Vaughan and Chris Burke as the clocked ticked down.
And Smithies was refusing to be beaten. He made another excellent save when Mancienne powered a header at goal from Chris Burke’s corner with four minutes to play.
Three minutes were added on at the end of the match but Forest were unable to equalise.
Forest: Darlow, Lichaj, Wilson, Hobbs, Fox, Mancienne, Vaughan (Walker 55'), Lansbury (Osborn 64'), Burke, Antonio (O.Burke 75'), Akpom
Subs not used: Evtimov, Lascelles, Kane, Paterson
: HuddersfieldSmithies, James, Hudson, Scannell, Butterfield (Wallace 90'), Vaughan (Miller 88'), Coady, Wells (Hogg 78'), Smith, Gobern, Lynch
Subs not used: Murphy, Edgar, Lolley, Carroll
Goal: Scannell 43'
Booking: Gobern 51'
Referee: Darren Deadman
Attendance: 21,572 (837 away)