Ishmael Miller was Nottingham Forest's matchwinner after pouncing on a defensive error to move Forest out of the npower Championship relegation zone following their 1-0 victory over Watford, who slipped to a third successive defeat.
The former Manchester City and West Brom striker bagged his first goal for his new club on the hour to end Forest's own run of three successive defeats and ease the pressure on under-fire manager Steve McClaren.
The visitors shaded a dull opening period, but had goalkeeper Lee Camp to thank for going in level at half-time.
The Northern Ireland international`s work paid dividends too, as Miller delivered after the break.
Forest had the first real chance to break the deadlock, when the recalled Lewis McGugan whipped in a rasping free-kick which debutant Clint Hill could only glance wide when in space after 12 minutes.
In the 20th minute, Miller's attempt to find the marauding McGugan was just overhit as the visitor's dominance continued.
With Watford struggling to create, Forest full-back Joel Lynch twice came close and perhaps should have scored at the second attempt.
First, his volley from the left-hand side of the area was pushed around the post by Scott Loach and, from the following corner, Lynch headed wide with the goal at his mercy.
Watford, who have now only won once at home in their last eight attempts, finally created a chance after 34 minutes only to be denied by a quality save from Camp.
Marvin Sordell weaved his way into space and sent an inviting cross on to the head of Joe Garner, who could only watch on as Camp produced a brilliant reflex stop to tip the ball away from danger.
McClaren's side were lucky not to concede when Watford began to play much better, probing football early in the second half.
Five minutes after the interval, Craig Forsyth was played through, but could only scuff his shot against the legs of Camp, while the former Dundee man headed over minutes later.
The most glaring miss came after 55 minutes when John Eustace delivered a pinpoint cross to Garner but his uncontrolled header flew wide.
And it was Forest who went ahead on the hour mark thanks to some woeful Hornets defending.
A goal kick launched upfield by Camp was left by the defence for Miller to get in behind and shin the ball past the onrushing Loach for his first league goal of the season.
The hosts' best chance to equalise came after 75 minutes when Eustace appeared to give Martin Taylor a shout to leave Mark Yeates' corner, but then inexplicably failed to take the chance himself.
Marcus Tudgay almost doubled the lead five minutes from time, and Eustace fired straight at Camp two minutes later as the visitors defended stoutly and held on.
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