Report by Trent End Trickey
A beautiful afternoon saw us making the customary last minute dash from the depths of Nottingham to Huddersfield. Just a quick comment on night games - I hate them. Let me qualify that. I'm not a fan, I always thought that Saturday afternoon was the perfect time for football, either to play or to watch. As it is with the recent proliferation, of both the number and scheduling, of games it's hard to hold down a job, a relationship, and support for ones team. In recent years it's away games that have increasingly been less religiously followed, at least by me!
I was looking forward to the Huddersfield game though. For personal reasons. It's a return to the area of my formative youth, though I was a Leeds fan until their supporters disgraced the club in Europe. I hadn't seen the reportedly fabulous McAlpine stadium. To top it all I was to be entertained in style, for the duration of the game, by some family friends who, naturally, are Huddersfield through and through.
I truly pity those people who only see hatred in football. I have had the great fortune to make many friendships through the game amongst fellow trickies, and those of other traditions. It means just as much to me as the next man, but it's a sporting battle exemplified by the fun and camaraderie of the Internet football often played against opposition fans on the morning of a game.
I could see this game as being pivotal in my support of the current incumbent in the managers chair as well. I'm always one to swing behind the manager, hence my reputation as the leader of the "Bassett poodles", when no one had a good word to say about Harry (I bet some of you wish he was still here!). I still support David, and believe he will go on to be an excellent manager. It might not be here though. The fare served up to our fans, used to a "footballing" tradition, in the last two months has been truly appalling. The aforementioned Harry wouldn't have lasted very long if he'd presented us with that trash. It has been telling, as well, to hear previously patient people forming the opinion that enough was enough.
I travelled expecting to see us lose, but hoping for a glimmer of hope that we know where the corner is (there's a lot of work to do to turn it!).
I'm not statistically minded and never listen to gossip on team selection and tactics. I was hoping for Marlon to start though. I like Marlon. I think in a few years, with the right coaching (and patience!) he could be a fine player. He's the only one at the club who can dribble past a defender from a standing start and on top of that he's pure entertainment - right until the sending off!
So it was with hope, anticipation, excitement, and trepidation that I approached the game. Ah - football, nothing like it.
The game kicked off and early on Martin Smith was showing his tricks with lovely flicks and good interplay with Winjard. Not until the fourth minute did Dougie and Marlon link up with each other, and then Dougies poor touch allowed Winjard a chance on the break but he strayed offside. After twelve minutes I saw the worst decision this season (in a season of personal lows). The linesman giving Huddersfield's attackers offside. Laughable as Rogers and Beasant were on the line! On fourteen minutes Donis, for Huddersfield, had a shot blocked and Forest went on to defend well against considerable pressure.
In the twenty-first minute a break from Forest left Rogers AND Marlon clear after a ball over the top from Johnson. Rogers stung the keepers hands and Marlon rolled the ball into the empty net.
On 23 Smith came off to be replaced Ngonge.
Shortly after (26) Donis roasted Brennan down Huddersfield's right and an attempted one-two cannoned of Calderwood and and Beech calmly equalised from twelve yards.
For a while Forest looked at sixes and seven, but they steadied the ship and looked to be finishing the stronger.
Just as the game entered first half injury time Marlon hopefully charged down a clearance from the Huddersfield keeper and was unlucky to see the ball ricochet wide.
Forest, after a good first half, looked to start the second where they finished the first with Brennan setting up Rogers with a great chance well saved by the keeper as early as the second minute.
Sandwiched between that and a great move engineered by Marlon's half Cruyff turn, setting up a Rogers cross turned onto the far post by Dougie, Calderwood was once again embarrassed on the turn by the movement of the Huddersfield front line.
Forest now had the best of the play, and sure enough after eleven minutes of the second half, Calderwood appeared to be fouled on the edge of his box, Forest seemed to stop, and Holland buried the ball in the near corner of Beasants net, from 25 yards.
After the goal Forest continued to press and look good, and despite a bizarre incident that left Dave Beasant clutching his privates, even after treatment, only Forest were going to score.
Harewod continued to roast Huddersfield on both sides of the pitch and almost put forward a mature performance. Dougie, however, faded and on 66 minutes was replaced by the mercifully returning Stern John. The unlucky Ngonge was replaced by Baldrey after picking up an injury.
On 75 minutes Woan made another welcome return, but didn't impress as much as on Saturday, and three minutes later Louis- Jean picked up a worrying looking knock and was replaced by Gray.
The shape still stayed good, and despite excellent pressure the game ran out without a deserved Forest equaliser.
The match officials were hapless, and I won't embarrass them by mentioning them here.
We didn't turn the corner tonight, but I definitely saw a bend.
Huddersfield Town 2 - 1 Nottingham Forest
Forest man of the match: Marlon Harewood
Report courtesy of Trent End Tricky