Lansbury strike sinks Town
Town’s 2013/14 Championship campaign got off to the worst of starts with defeat at Nottingham Forest.
Henri Lansbury’s tap in during the opening stages of the second half earned Billy Davies’ men a deserved victory.
Town, who struggled in the final third, created two good chances of note, both of which fell to James Vaughan. A left footed strike in the 46th minute was smartly saved by Karl Darlow before the striker headed wide, when he maybe should have hit the target.
Mark Robins’ message ahead of the game was for his players to play attractive football and they couldn’t have asked for a better surface to do it on than at the City Ground.
One thing that certainly stood out as the teams lined up was the Terriers’ 2013/14 yellow and black third kit!
One man who was used to wearing yellow, though, was Town’s new signing from Watford Jonathan Hogg, who started alongside Oscar Gobern in the centre of midfield. Town’s other debutant was Martin Paterson who started behind the Terriers’ reigning Player of the Year James Vaughan.
It was the combination of the two debutants that created the first chance of the game in the tenth minute. Hogg did well to break up play and feed Paterson, who saw his shot deflect narrowly over Karl Darlow’s crossbar via Jack Hobbs.
Billy Davies’ men lined up in a diamond formation in the middle of the park with former West Bromwich Albion striker Simon Cox at the top of it. The Irishman was finding space well during the opening twenty minutes and should have done better with a volley on the edge of the area, which Alex Smithies gathered comfortably.
Neither team never really got going as the half wore on. Forest arguably had the better share of possession, but rarely called Smithies into action while at the other end a weak header from Paterson was all that Town had to shout about.
The same couldn’t be said about the second, however, with Town testing Darlow within a minute of the restart. Oscar Gobern’s low pass released Clayton through the middle who found Vaughan’s run into the box well. Town’s striker was being tracked closely by Hobbs, but he managed to get a shot away with his left, which Darlow turned around the post expertly.
Town’s attacking threat was short lived, though, as was their parity on the score line. Forest Captain Chris Cohen drove at Town’s defence, working his way to the by-line after a good one-two before sliding the ball across for Henri Lansbury to tap home unopposed.
Mark Robins’ reaction was to revert to 4-4-2 and introduce attacking options Danny Ward, Adam Hammill and debutant Cristian Lopez. The Terriers’ threat in the final third increased as a result and they should probably have been level on 67 minutes when Vaughan headed wide Paul Dixon’s superb cross.
Vaughan had Town’s only chance of the half when he headed over from Hammill’s cross; as Forest did a thoroughly professional job of seeing out victory on the opening day.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Alex Smithies; Paul Dixon, Joel Lynch, Peter Clarke (c), Jack Hunt; Jonathan Hogg, Oscar Gobern (Adam Hammill, 63); Sean Scannell (Danny Ward, 59), Martin Paterson (Cristian Lopez, 70), Adam Clayton; James Vaughan
Ian Bennett, Oliver Norwood, Jake Carroll, Anthony Gerrard
Bookings Town: Joel Lynch, 64; Adam Hammill 90+4