Late Rhodes penalty hands Town share of the spoils
Town were on the right end of a late strike this evening as Jordan Rhodes coolly earned a point from the spot in the 94th minute.
The Terriers were on the wrong end of late strike against Cardiff last time out but after Jack Hunt had been felled, Rhodes did the business.
Nottingham Forest opened the scoring through Simon Cox and had earlier missed a host of chances to put Town out of sight. The Terriers had chances of their own but had never really tested Lee Camp before Rhodes’ leveller.
Town were handed a big boost ahead of kick-off as Simon Grayson named Jordan Rhodes amongst his starters after the striker shrugged off the hamstring strain which kept him out of the Cardiff game.
Rhodes replaced Scott Arfield in Town’s only change as they reverted to a 4-4-2 formation with Adam Clayton on the right of midfield and Lee Novak in his favoured position up top supporting the Scottish international.
It was Novak who had the first effort of the game on the stroke of the second minute when he met Oliver Norwood’s near post corner and flicked over under pressure.
The Championship side’s class was clear to see during the opening stages of the game with Lewis McGugan, playing at the head of diamond in midfield, looking particularly lively. The midfielder looked purposeful on the ball and very nearly silenced the home crowd in the fourth minute when his long range effort rebounded off the post.
Blackstock then tested Alex Smithies twice within a minute, the second chance coming from a poor error from left-back Paul Dixon. Going forward for Town Sean Scannell picked up from where he left off against Barcelona B and was terrorising Forest right-back Brendan Moloney at every opportunity.
Scannell tired again for Town before Adam Clayton created the best chance of the game so far in the 21st minute. The midfielder, playing in a slightly wider role, chipped perfectly over Moloney to release Novak through on goal who after a brilliant first touch finished horribly with his left.
O’Driscoll’s men reacted well to Novak’s missed chance and missed a glorious chance of their own when a poor clearance from Scannell found its way to Simon Cox, but he failed to beat Smithies from five yards out. Algerian midfielder Adlene Guedioura almost posted an early contender for goal of the season a few minutes later when he turned and volleyed in one motion from 30 yards forcing Smithies to acrobatically tip over.
It was all Forest as the half ticked past the 30 minute mark and Dextor Blackstock will wonder how he failed to score in the 33rd minute when firstly he saw Peter Clarke clear his goal bound shot off the line and then from the rebound Clayton diverted the his shot onto the bar and over.
HALF-TIME – HUDDDERSFIELD TOWN 0 0 NOTTINGHAM FOREST
Forest started the second half where they finished the first and may have opened the scoring in the 51st minute had it not been for Clarke’s timely block to deny another Blackstock effort.
Town’s chances were coming mainly on the break or from set-pieces and in the 52nd minute Keith Southern spurned an excellent chance to break the deadlock when Norwood’s corner found its way to the midfielder but his left footed stab from six yards ballooned over Lee Camp’s crossbar.
The Terriers continued to have the better of the play as the half neared the hour mark and both Jordan Rhodes and Oliver Norwood may have felt they could have done better with efforts from in and around the Forest penalty area.
McGugan, who had been a passenger for most of the second 45, sparked to life in the 69th minute and it proved to be Town’s undoing as the playmaker broke from midfield before sliding Simon Cox clear who finished with aplomb to send the Forest faithful into raptures.
Simon Grayson attempted to change the flow of the game late on with a double substitution bringing on Scott Arfield and Danny Ward but neither managed to get into the game as Forest calmly and professional tried to see out the game.
Forest tried to calm the storm but they couldn’t stop the wave after wave of Town attack on their goal and eventually the pressure paid when Jack Hunt did superbly to draw a foul inside the box from Dan Harding. Jordan Rhodes shouldered the responsibility and coolly played the ball off the inside of the post and home!
FULL-TIME – HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1 1 NOTTINGHAM FOREST
Town’s team (4-4-2):
Alex Smithies; Paul Dixon (Scott Arfield, 81), Joel Lynch, Peter Clarke (c), Jack Hunt; Sean Scannell, Keith Southern (Anthony Gerrard 86), Oliver Norwood, Adam Clayton; Jordan Rhodes, Lee Novak (Danny Ward 81)
Ian Bennett, Calum Woods, Alan Lee, Jimmy Spencer
Bookings Town: Ward 87,
Bookings Forest: Halford 51, Gillet 52,