Nottingham Forest 2 Southend United 0

Nathan Tyson was denied a goal on his debut for Nottingham Forest – but Gary Megson's side still extended their fine home form with a 2-0 win against Southend to edge closer to the promotion pack in League One.

The new signing from Wycombe played a key role in Forest's success over former league leaders Southend, firing the decisive ball across the face of goal that Jamal Campbell-Ryce deflected into his own net for the opening goal in the 52nd minute.

The second, which sealed the win, came courtesy of a Nicky Southall header, in the 70th minute, as Forest produced a confident second half display which took them to five matches unbeaten.

Tyson almost made an immediate impact as he turned and raced beyond two Southend defenders, only to be denied as Lewis Hunt made a fine last-ditch tackle.

The game itself began at a lightening pace, with both sides enjoying good chances -before fading badly as the half wore on.

Taylor, who had scored both goals in the Monday night win in the FA Cup at Weymouth, almost added to his recent tally with a neat, near-post volley, as he latched onto the end of Nicky Eaden's pin-point cross - but the striker directed his shot right down the throat of keeper Bart Griemink.

Tyson then tried his luck from 25 yards - and saw his dipping shot drop just over the bar - but that was as close as the home side got to breaking the deadlock before the interval.

At the other end, despite the hard work and energy of Freddy Eastwood - a Forest transfer target in the summer - Southend also found chances hard to come by.

Although, defender Andy Edwards should have done better with a good opportunity from a corner, but he volleyed over when the ball dropped to him eight yards out.

It perhaps summed up the nature of the match that, when the opening strike came, it was an own goal.

John Curtis struck a volley from the edge of the box, which deflected into the path of Tyson on the far edge of the six yard box. The former Wycombe man fired a low ball across the face of goal, which Campbell-Ryce deflected into his own net at the far post.

Forest could have had a second as Southall's powerful volley was charged down, before the winger looped a cross in at the second attempt, which saw Tyson go down in search of a penalty under a challenge from Barrett.

With their confidence lifted, it was not long before they did extend their lead, with Curtis again playing a key role. This time the wing-back popped up on the left flank to provide the cross for Southall to head powerfully home from the edge of the six-yard box and all but secured three points for the home side.

Southend's only response came via a header from substitute Mark Gower, which Paul Gerrard saved well.