clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Huddersfield 1-1 Forest

A game of fine margins and woodwork. Michael Shaw was there to witness it.

Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Last season the Reds made the trip to Huddersfield on two occasions: the first in the Capital One Cup came when Stuart Pearce's side were at the peak of their powers, 2-0 winners with Robert Tesche metronomic in midfield, it seemed that nothing could stop us, our legendary former captain at the helm with our sights set firmly on the Premier League.

Fast forward a matter of months and the league visit was the beginning of the end. A goal down within two minutes, having touched the ball once, drubbed 3-0 and with the kind of performance that made you worry just what was going on in training, it came during a wretched run that culminated, ultimately in the end of Pearce's era. That a side with a forward line of Michail Antonio, Britt Assombalonga and Thomas Ince could be so toothless was remarkable.

We spin on almost a year and here we are again, supping Thunderbridge Stout in the Head of Steam, making the short walk to the ground, getting irked by the fact it was £26 for away fans but only £15 for the home fans who appeared to be staging a tribute to Glastonbury in the stand alongside us and wondering if we could manage a third away win in a row.

The early signs suggested not, with the Terriers living up to that name, first to every ball and Dougie's side struggling to assert themselves. Elliott Ward rose six yards out but mistimed his header when completely unmarked and it seemed only a matter of time before they took the lead. Then from nowhere Chris O'Grady and the excellent Dani Pinillos swapped passes and the Spaniard whipped a cross over that was headed back across goal by Eric Lichaj. Time seemed to stand still and Ryan Mendes arrived to sweep the ball home.

We were winning. Somehow, we were winning!

The remainder of the first half slipped by. Jamie Ward was doing his best to be the little irritant we all remember from his days up at the A52, but both sides created precious little, which suited us to a tee.

Now I miss Michail Antonio, we all do. But without him there is a nice balance to the side - no longer do we look to work the ball to him and hope he can conjure something. We were patient rather than incisive in possession, but as the half wore on we dropped deeper and deeper. Dare I say it reminded me at times of the way another Scotsman used to set up his aides away from home. Although there is no chance that when Ward was replaced he would've been on the near side of the pitch. Time wasting lessons needed all round.

Then came the big moment, a fine Reds counter attack saw Chris Burke bend his run superbly to stay onside and race clear, his deft finish struck the base of the post and the tireless O'Grady saw his follow up shot diverted to safety by the knee of Town full back Martin Cranie. It sort of felt like it had to go in and at the time I wondered if we would live to rue that moment.

Sure enough as time ticked slowly down, Emyr Huws long range shot deflected off Jack Hobbs and in via the crossbar. Frustratingly we might've had a free kick in the build-up, when Tyler Walker's run was ended by a cluster of home defenders.

But more frustrating is the fact that for the second time this term we have let points slip late on away from home. Whether it is our 'game management' that needs to improve or whether we should be trying to kill teams off, which but for a post width, we might've done.

We have to realistic though, if we can improve our home form and keep picking up points on the road then we will be just fine, although the way we play is more suited to life on the road. We have assembled a very competitive squad on a very limited budget when some were genuinely predicting we would battle relegation.

If, and it is a big if, we can get a few of our long term absentees back, there is no reason we can't set our sights on the top six.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iZaV3TCgwLA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>