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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...