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Live Commentary: Watford 1-1 Nottingham Forest - as it happened

Relive a pulsating Championship affair between two of the division's unbeaten outfits, Watford and Forest.
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Two unbeaten sides clashed at Vicarage Road this afternoon as Watford welcomed Nottingham Forest in the Championship.

Both sides still have unbeaten records after a 1-1 draw, with Lewis McGugan curling home a free kick against his former club for the Hornets.

Read how a pulsating 90 minutes unfolded in our minute-by-minute updates below.


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Afternoon all! It's the headline match of the weekend in the Championship as Watford and Forest clash at Vicarage Road. Let's get straight to the teams...

WATFORD XI: Almunia; Doyley, Angella, Cassetti; Anya, McGugan, Iriney, Abdi, Pudil; Deeney, Fabbrini

FOREST XI: Darlow; Lichaj, Wilson, Hobbs, Cohen; Halford, Guedioura, Lansbury, Reid; Majewski; Mackie

SUBS! And the two substitute benches today:

Watford: Bond, Brown, Faraoni, Murray, Battocchio, Forestieri, Acuna
Forest: De Vries, Harding, Collins, Paterson, Miller, Derbyshire, Cox

There's absolutely no reason for Billy Davies to tinker with his winning side, that are also yet to concede a goal. He names the same XI that battered Bolton last time out.

Hornets manager Zola, meanwhile, does edit his starting XI, making three changes to the team that drew 3-3 at Reading last week, with Marco Cassetti, Daniel Pudil and Diego Fabbrini taking the places of Joel Ekstrand, Marco Faraoni and Fernando Forestieri.

REFEREE WATCH: The man in charge today is Oliver Langford.

Last season Watford did the double on Forest, with Matej Vydra scoring braces in both matches home and away. The Czech striker is no longer a Hornet though as he is on loan at West Brom in the Premier League.

PREDICTION TIME! Just 10 minutes until we get underway at Vicarage Road so it's time for my thoughts on the match ahead. Forest will have to do very well to maintain their 100% record and I think that it will go today. Watford will win for me and also go top of the table thanks to their better goal difference. 3-1 to the hosts.

As mentioned below, Forest are yet to concede a goal in the league after wins of 1-0, 1-0 and 3-0. You have to say that it will be a tough ask for them to shut out Watford today as they possess the division's joint top scorer in Troy Deeney. The Watford number nine was out in front on five goals on his own until yesterday when James Vaughan scored a hat-trick for Huddersfield to join Deeney on five. See the full list here.

Forest on Twitter: "The two teams take to the field at Vicarage Road amidst a cracking atmosphere. Kick-off is moments away..."

Many of the cameras are focussing on Deeney but perhaps the man who will feel the heat most today is Watford's Lewis McGugan. The goalscoring midfielder left Forest for Watford this summer and will want to perform against his former club today. Here we go!

KICKOFF! The red shirts, white shorts and red socks of Forest get us underway at a sun-soaked Vic.

Forest captain Cohen slides in to take out Anya inside the first 20 seconds. Watford free kick on the right wing...

Abdi swings it in and it's cleared out by Wilson. Really looking forward to this game. Should be a cracker!

GOAL! Watford 0-1 Forest (Reid)

Was just about to write that there had been no goalmouth action inside the first five minutes! It's a great hit from Reid as he fizzes Mackie's layoff into the top corner. The chance arose after Cassetti had carelessly given the ball away in the middle.

Forest's robust midfield duo of Lansbury and especially Guedioura are breaking up Watford's attacks very well at the moment. Electric start to the match.

Again it's Mackie who touches the ball off for Reid but this time there's two yellow shirts charging out to the portly winger and his shot is blocked.

The hosts race down the other end with Fabbrini who clips the ball up the line for McGugan. The former Forest man is looking to cross but just picks out Almunia with what could be construed as the hosts' first shot on target.

Pudil's cross is too low for Deeney to make a good connection with his head and the ball spins tamely across goal and wide. First glimpse for the free-scoring Hornet.

Darlow punches clear a Watford corner and Mackie outmuscles Iriney to set himself free against Doyley. The former QPR frontman's touch is too heavy though and Doyley intercepts.

Cohen is very lucky not to be cautioned as he takes out Anya for a second time this afternoon. Langford will bring out the yellow for the next one.

Good full-back play from Lichaj as he charges forward and interchanges with Majewski before playing in Mackie. The Scot is offside though and the chance is gone.

JUST WIDE! Forest gift Deeney the ball down the right and he manages to dig out a cross that is partially cleared to Abdi. The number 22 sets himself before half-volleying a low shot that is deflected just wide.

WHOOSH! Guedioura finds himself in a bit of space on the right edge of the area and simply unleashes a thunderbolt that flies across goal and wide. Almunia barely saw it.

Plenty of room for Anya down the right but he overshoots with a cross under no pressure at all. Disappointing from the Scotland international.

Fabbrini's step-over completely does Guedioura but his one-two with Deeney doesn't come off and Forest clear. Davies will be delighted with the opening half-hour from his men.

WELL HELD! It's Fabbrini again for Watford who creates an opening by spinning away from Guedioura before shooting with his left. It's not the best strike though and Darlow holds on to it well low to his left.

Fabbrini is seeing so much of the ball! He's dropping into the little pockets of space in the middle and giving Forest's midfield plenty to think about. Reid is lucky to escape a booking for sliding in to bring down the number 21.

Huge jeer from the Forest end as Doyley carelessly strokes a pass out of play with Anya only a few yards away. Perhaps a bit of frustration creeping into the Watford ranks. Forest's defence looks ever so solid.

OFF THE POST! Oh so close to a second for the visitors. Lansbury skips past his man on the right of the area and lets fly across goal. It's a great hit from the number 10 that comes back off the bottom of the right-hand post.

WHAT A MISS! Down the other end and Deeney has just missed a sitter! The prolific frontman is found unmarked at the back post but somehow he heads wide from six yards.

Fabbrini's dinked cross goes over everyone in the middle but makes its way to Anya arriving on the edge. The right wing-back hits it well on the half-volley but it doesn't make it to goal as a red shirt blocks.

Just the one minute of time added at the end of the first period.

HALF-TIME: Watford 0-1 Forest

So, as it stands, Forest are heading back to the top of the Championship thanks to an excellent first-half display. Reid with the fine goal after just five minutes.

Only just joining us and want a quick recap of the opening 45? I've got just the thing for you, our half-time report courtesy of Jack Prescott.

There's also another match in the Championship at 3pm between Wigan and Middlesbrough. We'll have team news, live scores and half-time and full-time reports from the action at the DW.

STAT ATTACK! Both sides got off seven shots in the opening 45, with Watford getting one on target and Forest two. Apart from the goal, the two best chances came in the final moments when, first, Lansbury crashed his low shot into the post before Deeney somehow headed wide.

As is expected at home, Watford have controlled the ball with 57% possession. I mentioned earlier that Forest's dogged midfield was breaking up the play well and that's evident by looking at the tackles. Watford have made five, Forest? 20.

The two sides are back out in the Vicarage Road sunshine. No half-time changes from either gaffer.

KICKOFF! The Hornets get the second 45 underway! Can they turn this around and be the first side to score against Forest this season?

Majewski with a clever reverse pass for Mackie who tries to shoot early but it's blocked by Angella.

IMAGE! Here's Halford and Anya battling for the ball in the first half:

Watford's Ikechi Anya and Forest's Greg Halford battle for the ball on August 25, 2013© Getty Images

Fabbrini nudges the ball on for Anya running behind him and wing-back's left-foot hit is a good one but a good height for Darlow, who just about holds on.

Guedioura bundles into Fabbrini and Watford have a free kick about 25 yards out, right of centre. Moments ago down the other end Halford had a chance but was thwarted by Almunia.

GOAL! WATFORD 1-1 FOREST (MCGUGAN)

What a goal this is from the former Forest man. He lines up the free kick and gets it almost perfect into the top corner. Brilliant stuff. He refuses to celebrate with his teammates because of his history with Forest. It's a first goal conceded by Forest this season and some goal too.

GREAT SAVE! McGugan almost with another! He exchanges passes with Fabbrini before opening his body and curling for the far corner a la Thierry Henry. It looks destined for the net until Darlow, at full stretch, pushes it around the post.

YELLOW! Cohen is finally booked for tugging down Anya, his third yellow-worthy challenge on the wing-back this afternoon.

FOREST SUB: A first change of the afternoon sees Matt Derbyshire come on for Halford. A clear sign of attacking intent from Davies.

WATFORD SUB: Odd sub from Zola as he takes off goalscorer McGugan for Sean Murray. Perhaps the number 10 has picked up a knock. He gets a warm ovation from all corners of the ground.

CHANCE! Some introduction this would have been from Murray. Pudil is played in down the left and his cutback reaches the sub coming in on the edge of the area. His shot is low and hard but kept out by the legs of Darlow, who had dived the other way.

YELLOW! Lansbury is booked for mouthing off after Lichaj was penalised for a careless challenge on Pudil.

YELLOW! Another booking dished out by Langford as the impressive Fabbrini tugs on Reid's shoulders as Forest looked to start a counter.

FOREST SUB: Davies makes his second change, bringing on Jamie Paterson for Majewski.

BIG CHANCE, BIG MISS! Doyley completely misses a clearling volley and all of a sudden Mackie is in on goal. The Scot side-foots low but it's straight at Almunia. Not a great one-on-one effort.

Watford go down the other end and pile pressure on the Forest defence but can't quite create a clear opening. We're in for a cracking final quarter of an hour! Total attempts: Watford 11-11 Forest.

Reid hangs up a cross that Derbyshire meets with a looping header. No power on the ball and that's easy for Almunia.

WATFORD SUBS: A pair of changes from Zola as he goes for the win by bringing on Fernando Forestieri and Marco Faraoni for Iriney and Pudil.

FOREST SUB: Davies also makes his final sub by taking off Mackie for Ismael Miller.

Doyley with a rare burst forward and you can see why it's rare as he shoots well over.

YELLOW! Miller's first action of the match is to get booked as he leaves his shoulder in on Abdi.

YELLOW! Another card comes out for Wilson who blatantly tugged back Forestieri trying to bear down on goal.

YELLOW! And another card! It's a fifth Forest name into the book as Lichaj has his name taken.

TIPPED WIDE! Anya has switched wings and is now operating from the left. He cuts in onto his right foot and fires towards the near post where Darlow tips it wide.

SELFISH! This is truly awful from Miller. He leads the Forest break and just has one yellow shirt in front of him and Cohen, completely untracked, to his right. Instead of feeding his captain for an easy shot he goes alone and has his effort deflected behind.

More quick feet from Fabbrini as he beats Hobbs inside the area before seeing his cross from the by-line loop away from danger.

OFF THE POST! Again it's Miller who just has a man to beat on the break for Forest. This time there isn't an obvious pass on so he's right in shifting to his favoured left foot and curling for the corner. Almunia makes a wonderful fingertip save to push it onto the post. The second time Forest have hit it this afternoon.

Just after FIVE minutes of added time are signalled Forestieri lets fly with his left from outside the box and watches his effort curl away from goal and fly just past the post. Great effort. Fantastic end to the game!

Fabbrini works a yard of space by dropping his shoulder on the edge of the box before lashing goalwards but slicing his effort well wide. That could be the last chance.

Paterson's barely been in the game since coming on but he shows a turn of pace before shooting well wide from the edge of the box.

FULL-TIME: Watford 1-1 Forest

I said before the game that I was looking forward to this one and it certainly didn't disappoint. A barnstorming affair between two very attack-minded sides. Very enjoyable.

Thanks for joining Sports Mole this afternoon. I'll leave you with Liam Apicella's match report and the latest Championship table, where Forest regain top spot because of goal difference.

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Marco Faraoni of Watford celebrates after scoring the teams first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Reading v Watford at The Madejski Stadium on August 17, 2013
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CNorwich CityNorwich462910775363997
4Swansea CitySwansea4623111256391780
5Barnsley46239145850878
6Bournemouth4622111373462777
7Reading461913146254870
8Cardiff CityCardiff4618141466491768
9Queens Park RangersQPR461911165755268
10Middlesbrough461810185553264
11Millwall461517144752-562
12Luton TownLuton461711184152-1162
13Preston North EndPreston46187214956-761
14Stoke CityStoke461515165052-260
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn4615121965541157
16Coventry CityCoventry461413194961-1255
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest461216183745-852
18Birmingham CityBirmingham461313203761-2452
19Bristol City46156254668-2251
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield461213215071-2149
21Derby CountyDerby461111243658-2244
RWycombe WanderersWycombe461110253969-3043
RRotherham UnitedRotherham46119264460-1642
RSheffield WednesdaySheff Weds461211234061-2141

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