Nottingham Forest 2-1 Huddersfield Town (FA Cup Round Five) 07.03.22
Nottingham Forest are through to the quarter finals of the FA Cup for the first time this millennium after beating Huddersfield Town at the City Ground to set up a cracking looking KO tie at home against Liverpool.
As 2-1’s go this was probably as comfortable as it could get, Forest starting well against a side unbeaten in 2022 in League and Cup matches, Huddersfield had recently gone second in the Championship after winning their last four games.
On a cold and calm Monday night Trentside in front of a packed and hotly anticipating home crowd, Sam Surridge thought he had opened the scoring for Forest after good work from Brennan Johnson down the right but after blasting home the Welshman’s low centre the linesman raised his flag, replays shown that Surridge was onside.
That goal ruled out on eleven, was soon punished during the away sides first attack, a couple of corners swung in dangerously, the second straight to the head of Tom Lees who powerfully headed from close range on thirteen.
Forest pressed back though in an entertaining first half which they dominated in possession, the Terriers looking best on the break, but in an open game of football Ryan Yates found space as he raced into the box to be denied by the tackling back defender Sarr, the ball falling kindly to Surridge who curled home brilliantly to level things up on 29.
As half time approached Forest had the ascendancy in attack but Thomas went close for Huddersfield, shooting low from outside the area with Horvath sprawling to his right to save, it might even have clipped the post? A free kick on 37 minutes played in by Garner was headed home by Yates though to send the City Ground crowd into raptures, the midfielder netting his second headed goal in as many games.
That gave Forest a lead going into the break which they protected sublimely in the second half, as the Reds tactics changed, they defended everything Town threw at them and themselves became more of a threat on the break to increase their own lead, Worrall, Cook and McKenna heading everything back which came at them, the dangerous Brennan Johnson a threat out wide, late on, substitute Keinan Davis broke free to pull back to Djed Spence who blasted over when he should have wrapped things up.
But for a few scary moments the Reds held out solid and tirelessly but we’ll organised without Horvath having to do too much, in the end the Reds comfortably saw out the game to start the celebrations, a first quarter final since 1996, when Forest lost 1-0 at home to a Franz Carr goal against Aston Villa.
This time it’ll be Liverpool who come to town. Memories of those epic encounters in the 70’s and 80’s, European nights and great league and cup clashes, Clough verses Paisley, Birtles and Barrett against Kennedy and Dalglish, Pearce & Webb against Nicol & Barnes, it’s been a long time coming to have Liverpool back at the City Ground, an even longer time since the Anfield side last won (38 years) at the world famous, an intriguing battle lies ahead against an auld near forgotten enemy, but Nottingham Forest can finally now go toe-to-toe with one of the genuine best teams in the world, it’s time to show the planet what we can do.
Nottingham Forest: Horvath, McKenna, Cook, Worrall, Spence, Yates, Garner, Lowe, Zinckernagel (Colback 64), Johnson, Surridge (Davis 68).
Huddersfield Town: Blackman, Pearson, Lees, Sarr (Ward 55), Pipa, Eiting, Hogg, Ruffels (Toffolo 55), Holmes (Rhodes 67), Sinani (Anjorin 69), Thomas.
Venue: City Ground (27,411)
*Main image @NFFC Sam Surridge scores his first Forest goal.