Huddersfield Town returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
The Terriers ensured that all three Sky Bet Championship points would be coming back to West Yorkshire following goals either side of half-time from Aaron Rowe and Juninho Bacuna in Nottingham.
Carlos Corberán made two changes to the XI from the game against Bournemouth in midweek with both switches coming in the full-back positions.
Pipa returned to the side on the right while Harry Toffolo made his return from a back injury that had kept him on the sidelines since February to start on the opposing side. Josh Koroma was also named in the match day squad for the first time in the calendar year having recovered from a hamstring problem.
When the game got underway under glorious early-afternoon sunshine in the East Midlands, it was Town who had the bulk of the defending to do it following a quick start from the hosts.
After Alex Mighten had fired the game’s first attempt over from a free-kick, Filip Krovinović tried to make his mark on the game in the opening stages, striking two of his three quickfire efforts over while the other one took a good low stop from Ryan Schofield to keep it out.
Following a slower start, the Terriers began to kick into gear in the second half of the opening period with Jonathan Hogg having Town’s first real chance.
Fresh from his first goal in over four-and-a-half-years in midweek, the skipper flicked Duane Holmes’ free-kick, from a deep area on the left, wide of the goal.
Aaron Rowe, playing on the right-wing, was then denied by Brice Samba in the Forest goal. The ‘keeper did well to stop the winger’s fierce goal-bound strike.
Moments later, it was Holmes that Samba was keeping from opening the scoring. The Town midfielder cut in from the left and drilled a reverse shot at goal, but the Forest goalkeeper got down to gather it.
On the stroke of half-time, the Terriers got the opener that the momentum suggested would come. Having been denied in the minutes earlier, he couldn’t be this time, pouncing on a loose back-pass before taking his time and slotting home his first Sky Bet Championship goal to give Town the lead.
After the break, Town nearly made it two inside the opening five minutes of the second half. Having had his through-ball intended for substitute Danny Ward, it came back to him with the midfielder firing a speculative effort just wide from range.
It looked an ambitious attempt from Bacuna until he pulled off his next effort from a similar range to double Town’s lead at the City Ground on the hour.
Ward laid the ball of to the Terriers’ no.7 who squared up his man before picking out the top corner with a superb driven effort to make it 2-0.
It was nearly three soon after following some neat footwork from Holmes who found Ward on the edge of the area. Having been playmaker for the second, the forward tried his own luck this time but sliced his shot wide of the target.
Richard Keogh then met Holmes’ free-kick from the right and went close before Scott McKenna did the same at the other end but saw his effort well kept out by Schofield in the Town goal.
McKenna’s effort was the last of the home side’s openings in search of a goal to get back into the game, as the Terriers held firm to see the encounter out and pick up a big three points on the road.
Next up for Town is the visit of Barnsley to the John Smith’s Stadium for a Yorkshire derby in the Sky Bet Championship on Wednesday 21 April 2021; 19:45 BST kick-off.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST (4-2-3-1)
Brice Samba; Tyler Blackett, Scott McKenna, Joe Worrall, Cyrus Christie; James Garner, Ryan Yates (Cafú, 63’); Alex Mighten, Filip Krovinović (Lyle Taylor, 63’), Anthony Knockaert (Luke Freeman, 80’); Lewis Grabban (Glenn Murray, 80’)
Jordan Smith; Yuri Ribeiro, Loic Mbe Soh, Jack Colback, Carl Jenkinson
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (4-3-3)
Ryan Schofield; Harry Toffolo (Rarmani Edmonds-Green, 66’), Naby Sarr, Richard Keogh, Pipa (Jaden Brown, 83’); Jonathan Hogg (c), Lewis O’Brien, Juninho Bacuna; Aaron Rowe, Fraizer Campbell (Danny Ward, 42’), Duane Holmes (Scott High, 83’)
Joel Pereira; Richard Stearman, Rolando Aarons, Josh Koroma, Sorba Thomas