Joel Lynch took just 43 seconds to score against his former club as Nottingham Forest slumped to a 3-0 Sky Bet Championship defeat against Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The centre-back, who moved to Huddersfield from the City Ground in the summer of 2012, got the ball rolling before Nakhi Wells and Grant Holt struck either side of half-time to give Chris Powell’s side a first win in three games in emphatic style.
The result was a dismal one for Stuart Pearce’s Forest outfit, however, with the one-time table toppers now without a victory in their last nine outings after failing to come to terms with the guile of veteran Holt and the raw pace of Wells and Sean Scannell throughout the afternoon.
“That was an outstanding display today,” said Town boss Chris Powell. “We made a perfect start obviously, but for us to play the way we did - I though our game management was superb.
“Some of our football, our wing play and our finishing was a real joy today and I was really proud of all the players because, even in the 93rd and 94th minute, we were putting our bodies on the line to try and keep a clean sheet and that’s the attitude that will take us forward.
“From afar I saw what was happening here - it was tough, you could see everyone in the football club and all the players were a bit disaffected by what had happened, and that’s understandable.
“Basically I’ve done my best to try and install confidence - of course results help.
The visitors got off to the worst possible start when Jack Robinson’s long throw in the first minute was glanced into the net by an unmarked Lynch for the Welsh defender’s first goal of the season.
The hosts continued to run havoc down the left flank, with Harry Bunn turning Eric Lichaj inside-out before firing a low eighth-minute cross which came to Scannell at the back post, only for the former Crystal Palace winger to see his low shot well blocked by Danny Fox.
At the other end keeper Alex Smithies was alert to tip over Henri Lansbury’s opportunistic 20-yard effort, but the home side continued to dominate the play.
Tommy Smith’s low cross narrowly evaded Bunn, Holt and Wells in the 17th minute, but three minutes later Town successfully doubled their advantage.
Ex-Norwich striker Holt delivered a telling cross from the left, and Wells ghosted into space before stooping to plant a diving header in the bottom corner.
Stuart Pearce had brought in Tom Ince on loan from Hull to try and revive his side’s fortunes, and the winger’s mazy run in the 28th minute was only halted by a last-ditch Lynch challenge.
The visitors should have pulled a goal back two minutes after the break when Michail Antonio was played through after a clever one-two with Britt Assombalonga, but the former Sheffield Wednesday forward shot straight at Smithies.
A minute later Scannell’s low cross narrowly evaded Holt, but the same combination teamed up to devastating effect shortly after.
Former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international Scannell went on a fine 54th-minute run down the right, laid the ball off for Holt, and the on-loan Wigan striker unleashed a left-footed screamer from 20 yards.
It could have got worse for Forest had Wells’ low effort shortly before the hour mark not flashed the wrong side of the post, while at the other end Lansbury’s incisive pass found Assombalonga in space in the box, but the Championship’s joint-leading goalscorer saw his powerful effort well stopped by Smithies.
Only visiting goalkeeper Karl Darlow kept the score down as the Terriers threatened to run riot - Fox’s woeful back pass being intercepted by Wells, with the ball eventually worked to Conor Coady, whose effort seemed destined for the top corner only to be tipped behind.
Even when Ince was presented with an open goal in the 74th minute there was no let-up for Forest - the ex-Blackpool winger firing wide from a tight angle after Smithies parried Antonio’s effort.
With three minutes to go Jacob Butterfield might have added a fourth, but he fired wide after leaving Jack Hunt trailing in his wake.
Huddersfield are now unbeaten in their last seven league games, with only goal difference keeping the Terriers out of the top half of the table.