Huddersfield punish wasteful Forest

Huddersfield held out under a remarkable storm of pressure to claim a 1-0 win at the City Ground that left Nottingham Forest kicking themselves in frustration.

Steve Cooper’s side created chance after chance, either side of Duane Holmes’ 30th-minute strike for the visitors.

But goalkeeper Lee Nicholls made a string of saves and Forest spurned a host of opportunities as they somehow managed to emerge empty-handed from a game they could easily have won by a comfortable margin.

Sorba Thomas rattled the bar with a vicious, spectacular shot for Huddersfield within the first 20 seconds, having found space to let fly from 22 yards on the right side.

Forest responded with Brennan Johnson crossing for Lewis Grabban but, while the striker’s first touch was good, he could not make room for a shot. It was to set the tone for what was to follow.

Xande Silva almost marked his first start for Forest with a goal, as he twice saw shots desperately charged down.

Huddersfield had to make a change in the 15th minute as Danny Ward limped off to be replaced by Jordan Rhodes.

Philip Zinckernagel forced an awkward save from Nicholls with a shot that bounced just in front of the keeper. James Garner tried to catch Nicholls out with a clever free-kick but the Huddersfield man was equal to it. Johnson flashed a header wide.

Just as Forest began to look the more likely to score, Huddersfield took the lead.

Harry Toffolo conjured up his fourth assist in as many games as he picked out Holmes, who finished sharply, beating Brice Samba at his near post. Former Derby man Holmes celebrated by cupping his hands to his ears, in front of the home fans.

Forest responded as both Garner and Joe Worrall flashed shots inches the wrong side of the post.

But Zinckernagel came even closer as he hammered a rocket against the bar, which bounced down onto the turf and away.

Nicholls had to make one more outstanding save before the interval, this time to push away an instinctive strike from Silva.

Zinckernagel was denied by Nicholls again early in the second half but Forest had a major let off as well, as Danel Sinani fired over when a mistake from Worrall gave him a clear sight of goal.

Johnson spurned a good chance for Forest, while Samba had to make a sharp save to keep out Lewis O’Brien, amid an electric encounter. Nicholls kept out a low effort from Silva and Johnson should have netted the loose ball – but fired into the side netting.

Forest continued to pressure, creating a host of chances, without managing to make the breakthrough. Spence had an effort charged down, sub Cafu flicked a header wide. Johnson drove wide from the edge of the box.