London, May 30 (BNA): Nottingham Forest beat Huddersfield Town 1-0 in the final at Wembley Stadium to return to the English Premier League after an absence of 23 years.
The decisive goal came in the 43rd minute when Huddersfield defender Levi Colwell parried James Garner’s shot into his own net, Reuters reported.
Former European champion Forrest was relegated from the First Division in 1999 and joined Bournemouth and Fulham, who were automatically promoted to the Premier League.
Steve Cooper’s side deserved to win after dominating the first half and then hold their lead without really threatening Huddersfield.
“I am very proud of the players, the staff and the fans,” Forrest defender Joe Worrall said.
“We’ve been fantastic all season – we were really unlucky because we didn’t go up spontaneously,” he said. “We played honestly and play football the right way.”
The only fear came when Town’s Harry Tovolo fell in the penalty area under a challenge by Jack Colback but referee John Moss booked the Huddersfield linebacker to simulate.
Forrest had beaten Sheffield United to reach the play-off final, and he was the 1978 champions under Brian Clough and won the European Cup in 1979 and 1980.
The East Midlands side had a poor start to the season, sacking manager Chris Hughton when they were bottom in the league after taking just one point from their first seven games.
Cooper, the former manager of Swansea City, took charge and transformed the season, leading Forest to fourth, two points off third-placed Huddersfield.
Forrest struggled to find his way out of the championship and Cooper was the 14th manager they appointed in 10 years, since the departure of Billy Davis in the summer of 2011.
“Everyone associated with the football club today deserves it and we are now really looking forward to a positive future,” Cooper said.
“I love being in this football club, it has changed my life professionally,” he added.
Huddersfield were relegated from the Premier League in 2019 after two seasons in the First Division and had finished 18th and 20th in the past two seasons.