Huddersfield Town started their 2013/14 Championship season with a narrow defeat at Nottingham Forest in a game of few chances.
Forest midfielder Henri Lansbury capitalised on some slack defending to tap in the only goal of the game at the City Ground.
Both teams created little in the final third perhaps Town more so than Forest as the home side did look mostly likely to score out of the two teams. The Terriers will take some positives from the match though having been beaten 6-1 at the same ground back in February.
It leaves Town with no wins in their last five visits to the City Ground and in those last five visits they have conceded 16 goals only scoring 4. The last time The Terriers came away with any points was a 3-1 win in December 2000.
Huddersfield boss Mark Robins gave new recruits Jonathan Hogg and Martin Paterson their debuts with James Vaughan, having made his loan move permanent in the summer, leading the line as a lone striker. Adam Hammill was on the bench along with the latest recruit for The Terriers the Spanish striker Cristian Lopez.
Forest gave debuts to their new signings in Eric Lichaj, Jamie Mackie and Jack Hobbs. Jamie Paterson, a Town target during the summer, was on the bench having made a move from Walsall for a reported six-figure fee. Matt Derbyshire was given a rare start after impressing during pre-season the former Blackburn striker was loaned out for the majority of last season.
The game started at a slow pace but it was Town who had the first attempt with 10 minutes gone. Hogg broke down a Forest attack in midfield and fed Paterson, who saw his shot from the edge of the penalty area deflect over the bar after Jack Hobbs threw his body in the way.
Simon Cox should have done better with a volley as he found space on the edge of the Town box but his shot was a comfortable save for Terriers goalkeeper Alex Smithies.
Adam Clayton raced with the ball from deep and looked about to burst into the penalty area to fire a shot but Lichaj denied the midfielder with a smart tackle.
Neither goalkeeper had anything to do as the half wore on. Just before the break Paterson should have done better with a header from a Jack Hunt cross but the ball fizzed away for a goal kick.
Within a minute of the restart Oscar Gobern’s low pass found Clayton in space in the Forest half and the midfielder’s pass released Vaughan into the box who tested Karl Darlow with a low shot which the goalkeeper had to parry away for a corner.
On 53 minutes Lansbury scored what proved to be the only goal of the game. Chris Cohen drove at the Town defence, unchallenged he played a one-two with Andy Reid and with Smithies in no mans land Cohen slid the ball across the goal for Lansbury to have the simple task of tapping into an empty net.
Vaughan had Town’s best chance of finding an equalizer on 67 minutes when he headed wide from Paul Dixon’s cross. The Terriers switched to a standard 4-4-2 after Forest scored bringing on two wingers in Danny Ward and Adam Hammill as well as striker Cristian Lopez to try salvage something from the game.
Vaughan had another chance as he headed over from Hammill’s right wing cross whilst at the other end Dixon denied Derbyshire and sub Ishmael Miller with chances at goal.
Derbyshire failed to make contact at the far post late on from Hobbs’s flick from a Reid free kick but one goal was enough to give Forest all three points.
Forest: Darlow, Lichaj, Collins, Hobbs, Cohen, Lansbury, Reid, Guedioura, Cox (Paterson 68), Mackie (Henderson 75), Derbyshire (Miller 83).
Subs not used: De Vries, Harding, Halford, Majewski.
Town: Smithies, Hunt, Clarke, Lynch, Dixon, Hogg, Gobern (Hammill 63), Scannell (Ward 59), Clayton, Paterson (Lopez 70), Vaughan.
Subs not used: Bennett, Norwood, Carroll, Gerrard.
Referee: Graham Salisbury