Watford emerged with a 1-0 victory over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground, ending the hosts’ unbeaten run in the FA Cup. The Hornets kicked off and looked stronger in the opening stages, but their rivals slowly began to etch away the momentum. Both sides made solid plays through the channels to push into the final third, but only one of these shots caused Dorus De Vries to be called into action.
In the latter stages of this stanza, the tempo began to dull, with the hosts struggling to push forward, and their opponents battling to push past the defence. As the final minutes ran by, it was the visitors who put up the better show creating more chances at goal by pushing forward and dominating possession, but neither side found a lead.
Forest opened the second stanza, but still congestion in the midfield in the first 10 minutes stifled progress. The energy on the pitch dwindled, with the Reds still not being able to push through the defence to make any play at goal, while Quique Sancehs Flores’ side could not beat De Vries. There was no real sign of a breakthrough from either side even as the away club built up momentum, consistently badgering the defence, but that drive was lost as well, which resulted in a slump on the pitch.
The stagnation was broken in the 89th minute, when Odion Ighalo capitalised on a failed attempt at blocking the cross, where he was able to fire the ball in at close range, to put the visitors in a 1-0 lead. Flores’s men walked away with a 1-0 victory, which ends Dougie Freedman’s lads unbeaten run and secures Watford a place in round five of the FA Cup.