Nottingham Forest slump to fourth straight defeat without scoring as poor start to the season continues

Nottingham Forest slumped to a fourth successive defeat without scoring as their miserable start to the new season continued.

By Jon Ball
Friday, 25th September 2020, 9:49 pm
Updated Friday, 25th September 2020, 9:53 pm

Frazier Campbell’s excellent second-half volley was enough to separate the sides – and indeed Forest were indebted to the home side’s poor finishing and Brice Samba’s excellent goalkeeping that the score was only 1-0.

Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi had rung the changes before the game, with seven alterations to the team which had lost to Cardiff a week beforehand, including eight of his new signings, four of them for the first time – three of them in a completely new-look back four featuring teenager Loic Mbe Soh and Scottish international Scott McKenna – as he looked to arrest Forest’s run of poor form.

And a Friday night trip to West Yorkshire in front of the TV cameras looked the ideal opportunity for Forest as they faced a team with an identical record of three defeats and no goals scored from their opening three games of the season.

Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba

The game exploded to life inside the first 40 seconds when Huddersfield captain Jonathan Hogg went in high on Harry Arter, leaving Arter in a heap. WIth no video assistant referee in the Championship – and referee Oliver Langford’s view of the incident blocked – Hogg escaped punishment, even after Arter showed Langford the stud marks halfway up his shin.

Hogg was booked 10 minutes later though, for a late challenge on Sammy Ameobi, just after the influential Alex Pritchard had missed a great change to put the home side ahead, just failing to connect with the ball at the bak post as it bouncedhigh off the turnf,

Sammy Ameobi was impressing for Forest and was denied by en excellent save from Ben Hamer in the Town goal, diving to his right to turn Ameobi’s shot over the bar after the winger had done well to work himself some space on the edge of the area.

Town should have been ahead after 29 minutes, when Josh Koroma robbed Forest captain Jack Colback from Brice Samba’s short throw-out but shot straight at Mbe Soh, with Samba stranded.

Nottingham Forest head coach Sabri Lamouchi

But it was Forest who finished the half strongest and Mbe Soh probably should have put the Reds ahead in first-half injury time, planting his unmarked header from Luke Freeman’s left-wing corner too close to Hamer who was able to dive and push the ball to safety as the half ended goalless.

Forest started the second half brightly, but it was the Terriers who took the lead after 54 minutes, Campbell volleying home with style after a neat cut back by Harry Toffolo.

Lamouchi threw on wingers Alex Mighten and Joe Lolley and striker Lewis Grabban in a bid to get something from the game, but apart from a snap shot from Grabban just over the bar, the Reds struggled to break through a resolute Huddersfield side, increasingly becoming more desperate as time ticked down.

Indeed Huddersfield should have made it 2-0 with 10 minutes to play as they broke quickly from a Forest free-kick, but former Forest loanee Adama Diakhaby could only scuff his shot at the retreating Colback.

Samba then kept Forest in the game, saving with his feet from an unmarked Diakhaby and then an unmarked Koroma even closer in – both times when it looked easier to score - after Huddersfield had again broken clear on the Forest goal as the Terriers saw the game out comfortably.

Forest: Samba; Christie, Blackett, Mbe Soh, McKennal Colback, Sow (Mighten, 57), Arter; Ameobi, L Taylor (Grabban, 65), Freeman (Lolley, 76). Subs not used: Smith, Darikwa, Dawson, Yates.