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Wednesday, 24 October, 2001, 07:40 GMT 08:40 UK
Watford 1-2 Nottm Forest
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Nottingham Forest ended Watford's recent good run, moving up to eighth in Division One after their win at Vicarage Road.

But the visitors accepted their victory courtesy of some defensive errors by a Watford side coming off the back of three successive victories.

Stern John, who Watford tried to sign two years ago, played a part in Forest's victory.

I am absolutely delighted and I thought we thoroughly deserved this victory
Forest manager Paul Hart

John turned on a cross from the right to lose his marker Neil Cox and send a deflected shot into the net nine minutes from time to win Forest the points.

Watford had started the brighter of the two sides with Tommy Smith and Gifton Noel-Williams going close.

Forest keeper Darren Ward produced a superb save to deny Stephen Glass when he volleyed goalwards from a cross by Smith.

Having weathered Watford's early storm Forest settled and it was Watford keeper Espen Baardsen's turn to pull off a one-handed save to tip wide from David Johnson.

Sucker punch

Johnson went close twice more before the break and then forced Baardsen to a blocking save when he broke clear of the defence early in the second half.

Watford took the lead after 53 minutes when Stephen Hughes broke against a retreating defence to set up Noel-Williams.

Our confidence has improved but it is not strong enough and nor is our mental strength
Watford boss Gianluca Vialli
The striker fired straight at Ward, the keeper parried and Noel-Williams was first to the rebound clipping the ball low inside the post.

Seven minutes later a mistake by Cox saw him try to pass inside.

The ball hit John and rebounded into the path of the unmarked Johnson, who lashed the ball straight into the net.

Watford pressed to regain the lead, going close through Smith on two occasions.

But they were caught by a sucker punch after failing to clear their lines on the right.

Watford: Baardsen, Robinson, Galli, Cox, Blondeau, Noble, Hyde, Hughes, Glass, Smith, Noel-Williams. Subs: Vega, Wooter, Chamberlain, Helguson, Issa.

Nottm Forest: Ward, Louis-Jean, Scimeca, Hjelde, Brennan, Prutton, Bart-Williams, Williams, Jenas, John, Johnson. Subs: Roche, Reid, Edwards, Westcarr, Bopp.

Referee: A Bates (Stoke on Trent)

BBC Sport's David Oates
"Forest always looked sharp up front"
Links to more Eng Div 1 stories are at the foot of the page.


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