Watford 1 Nottingham Forest 1 match report: Forest return to summit despite stunning strike from McGugan

 

Vicarage Road

The curse of the ex-player came back to haunt Nottingham Forest at Watford, but it could not stop them reclaiming top spot.

Lewis McGugan left Billy Davies’ side in the summer on a free transfer to join Gianfranco Zola’s Hornets, having made a name for himself through a series of spectacular strikes. And he enhanced that reputation by curling a brilliant  20-yard effort around the wall and into the top corner, cancelling out Andy Reid’s early strike and ending his old club’s 100 per cent start to the season.

Despite the stunning finish though, Zola replaced McGugan, below, shortly after and warned him he needs to contribute more than just stunning goals.

“I was about to take him off before he scored as he looked tired,” he said. “I see a lot of potential in him, but I am expecting more than that. It is not just about scoring that goal, which I know he can do, it is about being more effective on the pitch, working going forward and defending as well.”

Defending proved a problem for both sides all afternoon as the two promotion hopefuls amassed 37 shots between them. “We have to defend better than we are doing at the moment,” added Zola.

Reid had given Forest the lead after only five minutes, rifling home from the edge of the box. Henri Lansbury was denied a second goal for Forest before the break when he hit the post and the visitors found home keeper Manuel Almunia in superb for after the interval.

He blocked one-on-ones from Greg Halford and Jamie Mackie and superbly turned Ishmael Miller’s injury-time shot on to the post. At the other end, Karl Darlow celebrated his new four-year contract by producing top-drawer saves from McGugan, Sean Murray and Ikechi Anya to move Forest to the summit.

“Karl played brilliantly, he is a super young goalkeeper destined for very good things,” said Forest’s assistant manager, David Kelly.

Elsewhere, Wigan needed a late free kick from Jordi Gomez to salvage a point against Middlesbrough at the DW Stadium. Grant Holt’s penalty gave the hosts the lead before Boro hit back through George Friend and Grant Leadbitter.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea