Megson buoyed by the Commons touch

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The Independent Football

Kris Commons took his season's tally to five goals with two at Vicarage Road on Tuesday night as Nottingham Forest recorded only their second away win of the season - four days after their first.

Kris Commons took his season's tally to five goals with two at Vicarage Road on Tuesday night as Nottingham Forest recorded only their second away win of the season - four days after their first.

The 2-0 success, Forest's sixth Coca-Cola Championship game without defeat, moves Gary Megson's side to within three points of safety.

"I don't know that there has been a turning point - but when we were nine points behind I stressed the need to light a fire under the backsides of the teams above us," Megson said. "The good thing is we have now started recording clean sheets which means we don't have to score three goals in order to be in with a chance of winning.

"This was always going to be a difficult week with three successive away games, particularly after not having won away from home this season. But it's still a hard week and now we have to get ourselves up for the game against Ipswich at the weekend."

His Watford counterpart, Ray Lewington, was far from happy with the performance of his own players. "There is no point ranting and raving at the players - it was there for all to see," Lewington said. "They have lost confidence at home in front of their own crowd. Players were doing things out there which they do not normally do.

"We had a disappointing defeat on Saturday and you could see they were nervous tonight. For Forest's second goal one of the players kicked the ball right up in the air and a fan behind me shouted: 'Why did he do that Lewington?'. The fact is I was wondering just the same but that is what lost confidence does to you."

The Watford manager stressed that his side had had a magnificent run in the Carling Cup and had done well earlier in the season. And he warned: "It will be a tragedy if at the end of the season we had finished poorly and people would have forgotten how well these players had done."

Watford's woes and Forest's joys hinged around a 45th-minute shot by Commons. John Curtis made a good run to take a marker away from the Forest striker who then unleashed a shot from 25 yards which swerved significantly to fool Watford's young goalkeeper Richard Lee.

Forest had enjoyed the better possession in the first half although Neil Cox and Chris Eagles had gone close with two headers. An untidy, scrappy game with little incident was wrapped up in the 79th minute when Scott Dobie won the ball after the defender James Chambers had lofted it high in the air. Darryl Powell then broke down the left and played the ball across the goalmouth for Commons to hit his second.

Elsewhere in the Championship, Steven Kabba's return to fitness helped to inspire Sheffield United to a comfortable 4-0 win over Crewe on Tuesday.

The Blades manager, Neil Warnock, has struggled to bring another forward to Bramall Lane, with Andy Gray often toiling as a lone striker. The 27-year-old Scotland international had not scored a goal from open play in 2005 until Kabba came back into the side against Crewe. The attacking pair both scored twice as the Blades romped to victory.

Although Kabba is still recovering and could be used sparingly, Gray was delighted with his combination with the injury-prone striker.

Gray said: "It made a massive difference playing two up front. They were a little scared of Kabbs' pace and dropped quite deep. We've not had that in a while. With me up there on my own, it's difficult to get space.

"But you can see the benefit of having someone quick playing up alongside me. It gave us a lot of space and time."

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