Nottingham Forest fell to their third league defeat of the season as Huddersfield Town secured a 1-0 win on Friday night.
Frazier Campbell’s well-taken goal just after the interval was the difference between the two sides in an evenly-fought contest at the John Smith’s Stadium, with Forest creating chances but being denied by an in-form Ben Hamer in the Terriers’ goal.
Sabri Lamouchi made wholesale changes to the side which lost against Cardiff last weekend, with seven players coming into the side, including debutants Cyrus Christie, Loic Mbe Soh, Scott McKenna and Harry Arter.
Tyler Blackett returned to the side after injury, as did Samba Sow, while Lyle Taylor made his first start for the club.
Two of the debutants were involved early on, as Arter was on the receiving end of a strong challenge by Huddersfield captain Jonathan Hogg in the first minute, catching him on the shins which could have warranted a red card on another day, and Christie saw a low effort saved at the near post on eight minutes as he did well to work his way into the penalty area.
Forest were looking threatening going forward and were denied by a stunning save by Ben Hamer on 17 as he flung across his goal to keep out Sammy Ameobi’s curling effort which looked destined to nestle in the top corner.
Huddersfield worked their way into the game and were almost gifted the opener on 26 minutes as Brice Samba fumbled a shot by Josh Koroma, with the alert Frazier Campbell lurking, but the Forest stopper was on hand to keep out the loose ball.
Forest hit back and ended the first half strongly, with Luke Freeman seeing an effort saved as he cut inside from the right wing before Hamer was on hand to deny The Reds again with another fine stop, this time clawing out Mbe Soh’s powerful header from a corner in first-half injury time.
The breakthrough came 10 minutes into the second half and it went the way of the home side as Campbell broke the deadlock. Huddersfield worked the ball neatly down the left, with Harry Toffolo getting to the byline and floating a cross into the area for Campbell to volley expertly past Samba.
Lamouchi responded to going a goal down by introducing Alex Mighten and Lewis Grabban from the bench, and Grabban almost made an instant impact as he flashed a volley towards goal with his first touch, only to see it whistle just over the crossbar.
Forest continued to probe and search for the leveller, with Freeman drilling across the penalty area with no player in a red shirt able to get on the end of it but by pushing forward, it left gaps at the back and an outstanding double save by Samba on 87 kept the deficit to one.
Koroma squared the ball to former Forest loanee Adama Diakhaby who seemed like having the simple task of slotting home from inside the six-yard box but Samba kept him at bay, then from the follow-up Samba somehow diverted Koroma’s effort around the post.
Despite five minutes of added time, Forest couldn’t find a way through the Huddersfield rearguard and succumbed to their third defeat of the league season.
Forest: Samba; Christie, Mbe Soh, McKenna, Blackett; Colback (c), Sow (Mighten 57'), Arter; Ameobi, Taylor (Grabban 66'), Freeman (Lolley 76')
Subs: Smith, Dawson, Yates, Darikwa
Bookings: Sow 19’, Colback 29’, Ameobi 60', McKenna 81'
Huddersfield: Hamer; Pipa, Crichlow, Stearman, Toffolo; Hogg (c) (Eiting 43'), Bacuna; Campbell (Brown 81'), Pritchard, Mbenza (Diakhaby 66'); Koroma
Unused subs: Pereira, Duhaney, Daly, Olagunju
Goal: Campbell 54'
Bookings: Hogg 11’, Stearman 72'
Referee: Oliver Langford