Championship
WatfordWatford2Nottm ForestNottingham Forest2

Watford 2-2 Nottingham Forest

By Chris OsborneBBC Sport at Vicarage Road
Michail Antonio celebrates
Watford began the day top of the table, with Nottingham Forest fifth

Michail Antonio's double saw Nottingham Forest secure a draw at Watford, who fell from the top of the Championship.

Odion Ighalo put the hosts in front from close range, only for Antonio to level with a solo effort moments later.

Matej Vydra restored the Hornets' lead from the spot after he was brought down by Kelvin Wilson.

But Antonio levelled again, heading in Chris Burke's cross to leave new Watford boss Slavisa Jokanovic with four points from his first two games.

Watford are now on an unbeaten run of seven games, which has been overseen by three different head coaches, with Oscar Garcia leaving at the end of September and his replacement Billy McKinlay making way for Jokanovic two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Stuart Pearce's Forest have fallen away from the top two to sixth, with their last league victory coming at home to Fulham on 17 September, and they started slowly as Fernando Forestieri and Vydra both forced saves from Karl Darlow.

A David Vaughan free-kick that was deflected narrowly wide was Forest's only response before Ighalo had the Hornets in front - and his third goal in his last three games - by poking in Gianni Munari's superb back-flick from Almen Abdi's cross.

The lead lasted just two minutes though, as Abdi gave the ball away to Antonio who strode forward and finished from a tight angle, before Michael Mancienne seemed to be fortunate to get just a booking for bringing down Vydra when he was through on goal.

Shortly after the break Vydra was brought down by Wilson and the Czech calmly rolled in from 12 yards to restore the lead.

And the Hornets looked relatively comfortable afterwards, moving the ball around with confidence, until Burke did well to find space down the right and swung in a hanging cross that Antonio powered in at the back post for his eighth of the season.

Vydra's shot straight at Darlow was as close as Watford came to a late winner, and they drop down to second after Derby's win at Blackpool.

Watford head coach Slavisa Jokanovic:

"I think we played very well in the first 60 minutes. The last 30 minutes we lost a bit of tactical order and tried to win the game with hearts and not minds.

"For me [the Mancienne foul] was 100% a sending off. It's the same with the penalty. For me both situations are sendings off."

Forest assistant manager Steve Wigley:

"It was a good point. We knew we were coming to a team that was in the best form they've been in this season.

"We knew we would have to play well and resolute is a good word to describe us. We showed a lot of character. We more than deserved a point.

"Karl Darlow put in a good performance and away from home your keeper is going to have to play well."

On Mancienne's foul on Vydra: "Your heart is in your mouth when something like that happens. We're at ground level so can't see if somebody is coming around. One ref will give you a yellow, another a red. But I was delighted it was yellow."

Line-ups

Watford

  • 1Gomes
  • 14Paredes
  • 6Ekstrand
  • 39Bassong NguenaSubstituted forHobanat 84'minutes
  • 18Pudil
  • 22AbdiSubstituted forMurrayat 50'minutes
  • 8Tozser
  • 3Munari
  • 20Vydra
  • 11Forestieri
  • 24IghaloSubstituted forDeeneyat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Deeney
  • 12Doyley
  • 16Murray
  • 21Anya
  • 23Dyer
  • 30Bond
  • 31Hoban

Nottm Forest

  • 1Darlow
  • 2Lichaj
  • 4MancienneBooked at 42mins
  • 6Wilson
  • 3Harding
  • 24Vaughan
  • 32Tesche
  • 38Osborn
  • 27Burke
  • 9AssombalongaSubstituted forFryattat 90+1'minutes
  • 18Antonio

Substitutes

  • 7Fryatt
  • 13Fox
  • 16Lascelles
  • 17Hunt
  • 21Paterson
  • 23Blackstock
  • 29de Vries
Referee:
Dean Whitestone
Attendance:
16,095

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway TeamNottm Forest
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home23
Away10
Shots on Target
Home8
Away2
Corners
Home14
Away6
Fouls
Home9
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Watford 2, Nottingham Forest 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Watford 2, Nottingham Forest 2.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Matty Fryatt replaces Britt Assombalonga.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Daniel Tözsér (Watford).

  5. Post update

    Chris Burke (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Matej Vydra (Watford) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Daniel Tözsér.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Karl Darlow.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Britt Assombalonga (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Eric Lichaj.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Watford. Tommy Hoban replaces Sebastien Bassong.

  11. Post update

    Sean Murray (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by David Vaughan (Nottingham Forest).

  13. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Kelvin Wilson.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Sebastien Bassong.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Michael Mancienne (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Vaughan with a cross.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Daniel Pudil.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Gianni Munari (Watford).

  18. Post update

    Ben Osborn (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Fernando Forestieri (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by David Vaughan (Nottingham Forest).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Derby1375123101326
2Watford1374225141125
3Middlesbrough137241811723
4Wolves136521914523
5Norwich1364322121022
6Nottm Forest135712213922
7Charlton135711612422
8Bournemouth136342014621
9Ipswich135531814420
10Cardiff135441816219
11Blackburn135441819-119
12Brentford135441516-119
13Sheff Wed134631111018
14Rotherham134451417-316
15Leeds134451316-316
16Huddersfield134451723-616
17Reading134361523-815
18Millwall133551316-314
19Wigan132651214-212
20Brighton132651215-312
21Birmingham132561220-811
22Fulham133281625-911
23Bolton132291023-138
24Blackpool13139819-116
View full Championship table

Top Stories