Watford 1-0 Nottingham Forest (EFL Championship) 06.03.21
It was a second successive single goal defeat for Forest who were beaten by an early Watford goal at Vicarage Road. Adam Masina proving the difference with a contentious opener whilst the Reds never really had enough to get back into the game against promotion fodder opponents.
Watford, who are gunning for an immediate Premier League return after relegation last year, started quickly and pushed with attacking intent from the off with Andre Gray heading straight at Samba within four minutes whilst Knockaert flashed wide from long range at the other end the first of the chances for either side.
That ambitious and unsuccessful attempt by the Frenchman at least encouraged more ball retention from Forest who started to look more comfortable but the Reds were soon behind on 17 minutes when Sarr robbed Bong to cross low and as the ball deflected away from goal, Adam Masina fired through the legs of Samba to put the Hornets one up. Reds complaints that Samba had been held back during the move falling on deaf ears.
The goal lead to improvement by Watford whilst Forest couldn’t really raise their own tempo in the first half, but Chris Hughton’s side did improve during a spell in the second half which might have produced a leveller.
Knockaert drove from range a shot well saved by Bachmann on 65 before Bong headed wide on 71 minutes and substitute Cafu was next to try his luck with a shot from the edge of the area deflected over the bar as the Hornets threw bodies in front of the ball to deal with some sustained pressure from the away side.
That soon waned however as the Reds couldn’t break the door down and Watford looked again more likely to increase their lead, Zinckernargal fired over the bar after an effort by Sema was blocked before Hungbo crossed low and hard which evaded Sarr on 85 minutes.
With three minutes of normal time remaining Forest thought they had a the match all square as Murray prodded through to Taylor who smashed home with authority but the flag was raised rightly for offiside.
The later minutes saw Watford deal quite comfortably with Forest as the Hornets win takes them to second in the table, the defeat means the Reds are now still eight points clear of the drop zone but having played three more games than Rotherham United in 22nd.
A bridge to far today, Watford always looked comfortable and had too much for Forest who again worryingly drew a blank in front of goal, only four teams in the division have scored less, surely something Manager Chris Hughton will be looking to improve on over the next few weeks.
Watford: Bachmann, Kiko, Troost-Ekong, Sierralta, Masina, Pedro (Success 88), Hughes, Zinckernagel (Hungbo 80), Sarr, Gray (Sanchez 66), Sema.
Nottingham Forest: Samba, Christie, Figueiredo, Worrall, Bong (Blackett 81), Garner, Yates (Cafu 57), Knockaert, Krovinovic (Taylor 81), Freeman (Lolley 57), Murray.
Venue: Vicarage Road
*Main image @NFFC action Anthony Knockaert takes aim as he fires high and wide early doors.