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Vicarage Road Stadium (ATT 17,086) 26th December 2009 - Kick off 12:00 Ref: A D'Urso

Watford Watford vs Nottingham Forest N Forest

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Forest draw Hornets' sting

Goalless stalemate at Vicarage Road

Last Updated: 26/12/09 4:05pm

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Cowie: Hit post

Cowie: Hit post

High-flying Nottingham Forest held Watford to a goalless stalemate at Vicarage Road to extend their unbeaten run to 15 games and claim another point in their push for promotion.

The home side dominated for long periods of the game and hit the post midway through the second half through Don Cowie.

Late on Forest substitute Dexter Blackstock was denied by an outstanding save from Scott Loach as Billy Davies' side held on for a point to preserve the country's only undefeated away record.

Paul Anderson's shot from inside the area forced Loach into a parrying save early on but Watford created the better first-half chances thereafter.

A goalline clearance from Chris Gunter spared Lee Camp's blushes after the Forest keeper was beaten by Adrian Mariappa's cross-shot from the right-hand side two minutes later.

Watford went close again in the 18th minute following neat link-up play between strike pairing Danny Graham and Heidar Helguson.

Scrambling

Graham held the ball up on the edge of the box before teeing up Helguson whose shot had Camp scrambling across his goal but the ball went past the far post.

Camp then tipped a 25-yard shot round a post from on-loan Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley on the half-hour mark.

Forest almost caught Watford cold immediately after the break. Kelvin Wilson met Chris Cohen's near-post corner but his header looped on to the roof of the net.

Dele Adebola also went close with a header three minutes into the second half while Lewis McGugan sent a low shot just wide after 59 minutes as Forest continued to improve.

At the other end, Cleverley immediately threatened again. His curling shot from the left side of the box looked destined for the far top corner but the ball sailed just past the angle of post and crossbar.

Cleverley was involved again midway through the second half as Watford reasserted their dominance.

He set Lloyd Doyley free but the defender resisted the temptation to shoot and passed to Graham who scuffed a good chance harmlessly wide.

Caught napping

A short corner from Cleverley then caught the Forest defence napping but Davies' side got away with it as Cowie's shot from the edge of the area struck a post.

Forest almost snatched victory with seven minutes remaining but Loach showed why he is a target for Premier League clubs next month with a superb save to claw Blackstock's header away from the top corner.

Watford also had a late chance to win the game but Henri Lansbury's shot went inches wide.

Watford felt they should have been awarded a penalty in injury time when another effort from the on-loan Arsenal midfielder appeared to be blocked on the line by Nicky Shorey's arm but referee Andy D'Urso waved away the appeals.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 46 90
2 Watford 46 89
3 Norwich City 46 86
4 Middlesbrough 46 85
5 Brentford 46 78
6 Ipswich Town 46 78
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 78
8 Derby County 46 77
9 Blackburn Rovers 46 67
10 Birmingham City 46 63
11 Cardiff City 46 62
12 Charlton Athletic 46 60
13 Sheffield Wednesday 46 60
14 Nottingham Forest 46 59
15 Leeds United 46 56
16 Huddersfield Town 46 55
17 Fulham 46 52
18 Bolton Wanderers 46 51
19 Reading 46 50
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 46 47
21 Rotherham United 46 46
22 Millwall 46 41
23 Wigan Athletic 46 39
24 Blackpool 46 26

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