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Forest 2-0 Huddersfield

8 April 2017

Nottingham Forest put in a fantastic performance to seal a vital three points with a 2-0 win against Huddersfield Town this afternoon.

Goals from Eric Lichaj and Jamie Ward helped The Reds to a deserved win in a great performance which moved them further away from the Championship relegation zone.

Mark Warburton made three changes to the side which lost to Wolves in midweek, with Lichaj, Joe Worrall and Jamie Ward all coming into the side for Michael Mancienne, Dany Fox and Britt Assombalonga. The changes also saw The Reds revert to a back three of Armand Traore, Matt Mills and Worrall.

Forest started with a high tempo, snapping into challenges in the midfield to get the crowd going. David Vaughan won a couple of meaty challenges in the opening minutes and Ward was putting himself about in a more central role alongside Ben Brereton.

Ward was terrorising The Terriers' defence and was first to the ball on 18 minutes following Zach Clough's through-ball, beating Huddersfield goalkeeper Danny Ward to the ball but the stopper recovered to parry his cross with Brereton waiting in the middle.

From the resulting corner Worrall almost found his first goal in the Garibaldi. Ward nodded a header back across goal and Worrall looped a header over Danny Ward but Tareiq Holmes-Dennis was there on the line to clear. 

Brereton almost diverted Ward's low cross into the net on 22 and Huddersfield had the ball in the net through Nahki Wells a minute later, only to see the linesman's flag raised for offside, but it was Forest who took the lead on 32 minutes.

Great build-up play down the left flank got The Reds in and, inevitably, Jamie Ward was involved as he freed Brereton who got to the byline, suckered Danny Ward in close before squaring for the unlikely figure of Lichaj who had time and space to tap into an empty net. 

Town tried to come back into the game straight away as Rajiv van La Parra tested Smith from 25 yards and Elias Kachunga prodded wide when well placed in the area on 39 but The Reds pressed forward again and could have buried the game before half time with three clear chances. 

Firstly the two Ward's continued their feud as Jamie's low, left-footed effort was kept out by a strong hand by Danny, and from the resulting corner Worrall had another great headed opportunity as he arrived unmarked but couldn't hit the target.

Right on the stroke of half time Danny Ward pulled off a great save to keep the scoreline at 1-0. Brereton broke forward down the left and played an inch-perfect cross for Jamie Ward to arrive and plant a header towards the corner but the stopper clawed it away and ensured Town were still in the game.

David Wagner made a double change at half time to try and match Forest's 3-5-2 formation but The Reds came straight out of the blocks. Ward fired wide when well placed on 47 and ten minutes later he found the crucial second goal. 

A misplaced header by substitute Dean Whitehead at the heart of The Terriers' defence allowed Ward to pick up the loose ball. He charged past one defender then held off the challenge of another to fire low past Danny Ward for a goal which his performance deserved. 

Huddersfield tried to get back into the match but couldn't break through the solid Reds rearguard. Aaron Mooy fizzed an effort just over the bar on the hour mark and everything the visitors tried was met with a member of the Red wall.

It was almost three on 71 minutes as Lichaj's surging run through the middle was found by the excellent Chris Cohen. The American controlled and poked at goal but Ward kept the ball out with his legs. 

Forest were content to soak up the Huddersfield pressure on their goal and never looked like conceding. Crosses came into the box and shots were fired at goal but a resolute defence kept the visitors at arms length to seal a vital three points in their quest for Championship survival.

Forest: Smith, Lichaj, Worrall, Mills, Traore (Mancienne 59'), Cohen, Vaughan, Ward (Assombalonga 72'), Osborn, Clough (Tshibola 58'), Brereton

Unused subs: Evtimov, Vellios, Carayol, Cash

Goal: Lichaj 32', Ward 57'

Booking: Lichaj 31'

Huddersfield: Ward, Smith, Hogg (Quaner 77'), Billing, Kachunga, Mooy, Holmes-Dennis (Lolley 46'), van La Parra (Whitehead 46'), Wells, Schindler, Hefele 

Unused subs: Coleman, Hudson, Cranie, Payne 

Booking: Wells 44', Whitehead 78'

Attendance: 20,411 (Away 1,950)

Referee: Tim Robinson

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