A brace from Jamie Paterson set Nottingham Forest up for a 3-0 defeat of Huddersfield Town, as they continued their 16-game unbeaten run. Liam Harrison offers a fan’s eye view from the John Smith’s Stadium…
At the risk of sounding big-headed, or over confident, Huddersfield Town on paper are a game in which we should be targeting three points – if we’re aiming for promotion that is. However, this is Nottingham Forest and this is Billy Davies – nothing is as cut and dry as it seems.
Forest and an expectant fan base faced their third travel up North in just six days, and the general consensus was a win was vital; especially when you consider we dropped points late on at Blackpool, with Derby taking the spoils at the iPro on Monday night.
Moving on to the game, the attacking manner in which we set up left me positively surprised. Davies was left vindicated as Forest romped home after a purring second-half display, capped off by two goals from young starlet Jamie Paterson and a third when Darius Henderson rounded the ‘keeper to slot home with relative ease.
The first-half went off without particular note, the only real reason for fan reaction was when Darlow steamrolled through Hogg in a 50/50 judged, by a very inconsistent referee, to be fair. There were flashes of attacking intent; Lynch thwarted Forest’s advances from midfield on more than one occasion with comfort.
An inspired substitution, or maybe just an injury to Guy Moussi, meant the rejuvenated Frenchman was replaced during the interval with Jara Reyes. The introduction of Reyes proved pivotal as Forest turned defence to attack in the second-half only to be pulled back by on numerous occasions for questionable offside calls.
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Once Forest went ahead through a front post header from Paterson, that looked destined to hit the post, there only ever really looked like one winner. The Terriers nearly made life difficult for Forest with the introduction of Sean Scannell, who terrorised Halford on the right for all of five minutes, but he faded into the wilderness.
When Paterson found himself in an almost unmissable position, after great work from the midfield, he seemed to take an age to slot home but once the winger wrong-footed Smithies in the Terriers’ net it was game over.
As the crowd poured out of the home ends, Forest enjoyed a luxury of time on the ball, spreading passes with ease. And if things couldn’t get worse for the home side, when they did find themselves in possession, a misplaced ball left Mackie to rob a defender on the edge of the box before laying off to Henderson, who rounded the ‘keeper and grabbed a goal his hold up play deserved.
On reflection, the standout performers were once again Reid and Hobbs but Paterson will again take the plaudits, and rightly so. With the former Walsall player in sensational form, he may be the catalyst in Forest’s charge towards the automatic places.
Maybe Davies won’t sit back when we go 1-0 up now!
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