Taylor sews up points as Forest dream on

Leicester City 0 - Nottingham Forest 1
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The Independent Football

Results elsewhere did not favour Forest's attempt to pull off a late escape from the bottom three, leaving the gap between Gary Megson's side and safety still an intimidating six points, but a first away win of the season keeps alive their hopes of retaining their Championship status.

Results elsewhere did not favour Forest's attempt to pull off a late escape from the bottom three, leaving the gap between Gary Megson's side and safety still an intimidating six points, but a first away win of the season keeps alive their hopes of retaining their Championship status.

It was a victory achieved through defensive tactics but which paid off thanks to a headed goal by Gareth Taylor after 40 minutes and which has the effect of dragging Leicester, who were as high as eighth in early December, into the upper fringes of the relegation dogfight after five matches without a win.

Leicester created chance after chance but through a combination of luck and tireless work Forest kept their lines intact to secure their fifth clean sheet in nine matches since Megson took charge. "It's not pretty but there are no apologies because we are right in the cart," he said. "I'd take another 10 like that if it achieves the end result required."

Forest had banked on the return of Kris Commons and David Friio to provide creativity and bite in midfield after a tepid display against Tottenham in last week's fifth-round FA Cup replay, when the London side could have almost managed without a goalkeeper.

But it was the visitors who had most need for a man between the posts - more than one, at times - as the opening half turned into a steady assault on their goal.

Paul Gerrard made his first save inside the second minute, getting down to his right to smother a Mark de Vries shot. Before half-time he had been helped out by a goal-line clearance by Alan Rogers from a Nikos Dabizas header as Forest were pushed deep into their own territory.

They were almost undone when Andy Melville's attempt to direct a header to Gerrard almost ended in an own goal and Leicester saw more chances lost when Danny Tiatto fired over the top and Gareth Williams and Keith Gillespie shot narrowly wide.

Then came Forest's goal, five minutes before the break. Scott Dobie released Rogers on the left, Taylor peeled off to beyond the far post to meet the full-back's deep cross and his towering header sailed over Ian Walker and into the Leicester net despite Tiatto's attempt to retrieve matters on the line.

The goal did nothing to alter the pattern of the game, which for long periods resembled a training-ground exercise in attack against defence. Megson's substitutions, replacing Friio with Paul Evans and Rogers with James Perch only fortified his defensive lines.

Even Dobie, the striker for whom Megson paid £500,000 only nine days ago, dropped back into midfield, leaving Taylor to plough a lone furrow up front.

Forest rode their luck. Only a fine save by Gerrard prevented Williams scoring with a header against his former club and when Lilian Nalis hit the foot of an upright, with the goalkeeper beaten, Williams should have followed in and scored but a moment's hesitation allowed a swarm of defenders to crowd him out.

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