Huddersfield Town 2 Nottingham Forest 1: Two own goals give Terriers fourth straight win

Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner
Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner
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HUDDERSFIELD TOWN were the beneficiaries of two big second-half moments of festive fortune to keep their play-off bandwagon firmly on course against Nottingham Forest.

Trailing to Hildeberto Pereira's deft 25th-minute opener, Town turned the tables with two goals in the space of six second-half minutes, with Forest dramatically conceding two own goals.

Town's leveller was credited to Kasey Palmer, but replays appeared to show that his header hit the woodwork and was diverted over the line on the way back out by unfortunate Forest keeper Vladimir Stojkovic on 53 minutes.

Just before the hour, lady luck also smiled on the hosts when Michael Mancienne diverted Rajiv Van La Parra's cross past Stojkovic.

Despite two moments of fortune, Town fully deserved victory after dominating much of the game.

It proved a first half of frustration in a gusty wind for Town, compounded by the sight of Forest making the breakthrough on 25 minutes, which owed plenty to an initial slice of luck.

An attempted crossfield pass from Nicklas Bendtner took a big riccochet off Chris Schlindler, with Pereira seizing onto the loose ball in a flash and surging clear and showing strength to hold off Michael Hefele before composing himself to dink a delightful chip over the onrushing Joel Coleman - handed a surprise debut with Danny Ward reporting ill in the morning.

It was the prelude to Forest sitting back and defending in numbers in their quest to protect their lead and despite the hosts having plenty of the goal and attempting to prise open the door with Aaron Mooy at the hub of proceedings they could not find a way through.

The closest Town came was when excellent play from Palmer and Elias Kachunga dissected Forest's back four with Nahki Wells inches away from diverting home Kachunga's low cross, with Matty Cash clearing on the goalline.

Just before the break, excellent defending from Jack Hobbs then denied Mooy after he was momentarily sent clear by Kachunga.

Town dug deep in the second half as Forest struggled to cope with a fierce wind in their faces.

Parity was restored when Tareiq Holmes-Dennis corner found Mooy, whose miscued shot diverted towards Palmer, whose looping header hit the bar and then went over the line after hitting the back of Stojkovic.

Then, Mancienne - under pressure from Nakhi Wells - steered Van La Parra's low cross into his own net - in which proved a game-breaking moment, with sub Jack Payne going close to a late third.

Mancienne's woes intensified when he was sent off for a second yellow card near the end.

Huddersfield Town: Coleman; Smith, Hefele, Schindler, Holmes-Dennis (Lowe 60); Hogg, Mooy; Kachunga, Palmer (Payne 61), Van La Parra (Cranie 88); Wells. Substitutes unused: Coddington, Billing, Bunn, Stankovic.

Nottingham Forest: Stojkovic; Mills, Hobbs, Worrall; Cash, Osborn (Lam 78), Mancienne, Vaughan, Lichaj; Pereira (Assombalonga 63); Bendtner. Substitutes unused: Henderson, Dumitru-Cardoso, Carayol, Grant, Vellios.

Referee: C Kavanagh (Lancashire).