Huddersfield Town vs Nottingham Forest

Competition: EFL Championship Matchday 3

Date: 25/09/2020

Score: 1-0

Ground: John Smith Stadium

The game roared into life inside 47 seconds, when Jonathon Hogg took out Harry Arter with a big early challenge - which he was probably lucky to get away with. Town started well making three or four chances in the opening 10 minutes. Pipa showed off his attacking intentions when he weaved through in the box, then backheeling it through a Forest defenders legs, before being shoved to the floor. In the 17’ Ben Hamer was forced into an excellent save to deny Sammy Ameobi’s shot which looked all the world destined for the top left corner.
With Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa watching, Town should have been at least 1-0 by the half hour mark with Campbell nearly turning it in when Samba spilled it. Josh Koroma also nearly pounced onto the end of a loose pass which he really should have tucked away. The opening third of the game showed that Town were much more attacking – having had 6 attempts on the Forest goal. In first half injury time, Ben Hamer once again made a stunning save to stop former PSG defender Mbe Soh from a corner.
Town started the second half lively with Isaac Mbenza slipping Harry Toffolo the ball down the left wing before the ball was fired into the path of Fraizer Campbell who scored Town's first goal of the season with an excellent acrobatic finish. The game lulled until the 80’ when Hamer was again forced into a save which set off a counter attack. New signing Carel Eiting fired Koroma down the right wing who then passed the ball to Diakhaby whose shot was brilliantly saved by Samba, the ball then fell to Pipa who then laid it off to Koroma, whose shot was somehow again saved by the excellent Forest ‘kepper.
Town ended up winning the game 1-0 against a Forest side who have not won any of their last 8 Championship fixtures. The win extends Town’s 5 game unbeaten run at home against Forest.
Town's next game is matchday 4 in the EFL Championship a week on Saturday (03/10/2020) away at Rotherham United.

5 Conclusions from the Game

1. Ben Hamer deserves a lot of credit

Town were much better offensivly today but if it was not for some exceptional saves from Town's number 1 it could have been a completly different story. That was his first clean sheet in 12 starts and was my Man of the Match. I really hope Ben builds on this performance.

2. Koroma was class

Although he had a few moment where you thought, what are you doing! Josh had a really good game. He made 4 key passes - the most on the pitch, he had 48 touches which was nearly 4 times as many as he had last week. Defensively he was sound, he made 5 tackles - the most on the pitch, while also having 4 shots on target. I think if he can just improve his finishing he could be a really big player for us this season.

3. Don't sign players for the sake of it

Prior to this evening fans were complaining about the lack of additions to our squad. Forest made 8 changes to their starting line-up tonight and have made 12 summer signing to date, with them now sitting on 0 points after three games, without scoring a goal. If anything, the performance against Forest proved why we have been right to tread carefully in the transfer market.

4. Three points to build on

I think when people saw those opening three fixtures they thought we would struggle to get anything from them. So pressure would have been on the Rotherham game for the first points of the season, but this was not the case. I think we can now go into the game with the pressure off knowing we have already got three points. Although, let's not get ahead of ourselves, but 6 points from the opening 4 games certainly isn’t a bad start.

5. Fitness looked a lot better

During the opening two games of the season, Town looked tired, which had a big impact on their performances, but I think this was due to the ground work Corberan was implementing for his style of play. The best indicator of the improvement in fitness was that Fraizer Campbell usually last 70 minutes, but today he was subbed off at the 81'. I think the good fitness levels will prove very important when we get to the hectic fixture schedule in October and November where Town play 7 games in 21 days.

Town Team:

Starting 11: Ben Hamer, Pipa, Romoney Crichlow, Richard Stearman, Harry Toffolo, Jonathon Hogg (43' Carel Eiting), Juninho Bacuna, Alex Pritchard, Fraizer Campbell (81' Jaden Brown), Josh Koroma, Isaac Mbenza (66' Adama Diakhaby)
Subs: Joel Pereira, Demeaco Duhaney, Matty Daly, Mustapha Olagunju, Jaden Brown, Carel Eiting, Adama Diakhaby
Formation: 433

Match Statistics

Huddersfield Town: Nottingham Forest:
xG (Expected Goals): 2.84 0.87
Possession %: 44 56
Total Shots: 15 14
On Target: 7 4
Tackles: 19 16
Pass Accuracy %: 82 81
Fouls: 12 919/td>
Yellow Cards: 2 4
Red Cards: - -