Two goals and another clean sheet saw Nottingham Forest through to the third round of the Capital One Cup as Stuart Pearce’s side beat Huddersfield Town 2-0. Michael Shaw offers a fan’s eye view from the John Smith’s Stadium…

Father, I have sinned. It’s been six months since my last Forest away game. Forgive me.

The last time I watched us away from home, in that altogether unfriendlier corner of Yorkshire, we were dumped out the cup at Bramall Lane as the sun began to go down on Billy’s reign. Even given some of our past failings, it was a dreadful day to be a Forest fan.

A new season has brought new signings and most importantly new hope. There is an optimism, albeit a cautious one on my part — we’ve been here before plenty of times — but it was enough to tempt me to make the short trip from Manchester to see Psycho’s Red Army for the first time.


Out of the office at 5:30pm sharp, a jog to the tram stop where it arrives on time. A sprint from tram to Piccadilly platform two where I nip between the closing doors of the Huddersfield bound train like Jamie Paterson tricking his way between defenders and a little over half an hour later I’m sat in the Head of Steam pub by the station.

My luck seemed to be in and Forest’s was too, early on Jon Stead snaked a shot around Michael Mancienne and against the face of Karl Darlow’s post. It was a rare bright spot for the Terriers, now shorn of the guile of Adam Clayton and the creativity of Oliver Norwood in midfield and, barring a deflected cross that Darlow turned over the bar backpeddling, it was one-way traffic.

Paterson forced a stop from Joe Murphy. “Always plays well against us,” muttered the chap in front of me. Even when Murphy was beaten by Michail Antonio’s looping header, he was saved by his defender on the post. The home side would be the happier to take nil-nil into the break.

The second-half continued with more of the same, Lars Veldwijk had the ball in the net but was denied by the linesman’s flag, before both managers elected to deploy their number nines from the bench. James Vaughan’s introduction could hardly have worked better for the Reds as he inexplicably rose to head powerfully past his own goalkeeper from eight yards.

Mark Lillis’s side struggled manfully to get back into the game but a second always looked likely. Ten minutes from time Henri Lansbury, who had enjoyed a fine game supporting the lone frontman, provided it, stabbing a low finish past Murphy before running to celebrate with the Forest faithful, badge in mouth. His new deal may be the best move we make all summer.

There was almost time for a third, Robert Tesche, neat and tidy on his first start, saw a fierce drive turned to safety by Murphy before the final whistle brought the result the 1,500 travelling fans wanted. We’re unbeaten, we’re in the hat for round three and we’ve got a squad as good and as deep as I can remember for a long time.

It’s alright this away lark. It won’t be six months again.

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