Two goals from set-pieces ensured Nottingham Forest's December woes continued with defeat at Huddersfield Town.
Goals in each half from Christopher Schindler and Steve Mounie ensured another disappointing away day for the Reds, despite Joe Worrall giving the Reds some hope with 15 minutes to play.
It’s fair to say December has not been a good month for Forest in recent years.
No wins so far in December 2019 and just one in six matches of each of the previous three years – but 11 defeats in the 18 games played.
Four games without a win, including a 4-0 home drubbing from Sheffield Wednesday last time out had seen gloom begin to descend at the City Ground.
But a relatively short trip up the M1 to struggling Huddersfield offered a change for Forest to turn things around.
Coach Sabri Lamouchi sprung the changes after the Wednesday debacle, with captain Michael Dawson, Jack Robinson, Joao Carvalho and Ryan Yates dropped to the bench, while Samba Sow’s return to the starting line-up after injury was a welcome one for Forest fans.
And the Reds started well, enjoying the bulk of the attacking play.
Sow looked strong in midfield in a running battle with Huddersfield’s Trevoh Chalobah, while Joe Lolley, Matty Cash and Sammy Ameobi were getting some joy down the wings, although the final ball was lacking as the Reds failed to test home goalkeeper Kamil Grabara.
However, it all changed after half an hour when the home side took the lead.
Mounie rose above three Forest defenders to head Karlan Grant’s corner back across the goal. Chalobah’s goalbound volley struck Ben Watson, but Terriers captain Schindler reacted first to smash the loose ball into the top corner.
The rest of the first half became a stop-start, niggly game with challenges began to fly in, Sow was booked for a late challenge on Mounie, while Forest coach and Sabri Lamouchi and Huddersfield boss Danny Cowley had words with each other and referee Andy Davies as the players went down the tunnel at the end of the first-half.
And Forest were given a mountain to climb within four minutes of the restart as £11.5 million forward Mounie held off Joe Worrall to head another corner in at the back post and make it 2-0 to Huddersfield.
Buoyed by the two-goal advantage, the Terriers were rampant, with Mounie and Grant enjoying loads of space – one attack crudely ended by Tobias Figueireo, earning him a deserved booking, another by a super stop from Reds goalkeeper Brice Samba.
The yellow cards were coming as quickly as the Terriers’ chances as Ben Watson, Chalobah and Jonathan Hogg were booked for fouls on Florent Hadergjonaj, Tiago SIlva and Alfa Semedo respectively.
Semedo did have the ball in the net after 70 minutes after Terriers keeper Kamil Grabara tipped Lewis Grabban’s shot into his path, but the offside flag had long been raised.
Forest did give themselves some hope with 15 minutes to play, as Worrall headed in Lolley’s right-wing corner at the near post.
However, despite dominating possession for the last quarter of the an hour, they struggled to break through a resolute home defence. And when they did get though, they found Grabara in fine frm as he denied Lolley, twice, Joao Carvalho and Cash as Huddersfield held on for the win.
Forest: Samba; Cash, Rodriguez, Worrall, Figueiredo; Watson (Yates, 85), Sow (Semedo, 68) Silva; Lolley, Ameobi (Carvalho, 75), Grabban. Subs not used: Muric, Robinson, Dawson, Adomah.