Date: 4th November 2007 at 1:32pm
Written by:

Let`s be philosophical shall we? We`re still top of the league, we`re top by FIVE points. And frankly, any team that leaves Pele on the bench, and has a God [lookalike] orchestrating things in midfield is always going to be a bit special!

Watford flew straight out the traps and spent the first ten minutes or so camped in the West Brom penalty area, flooding the box as they went forward looking for that elusive opener. By the time Watford did have to do some defending, the impressive Ishmael Miller had sprinted round Jay DeMerit, profiting from the American`s slip before stabbing into the side netting. This innocuous slip from the usually reliable Jay was the end of his afternoon as he was stretchered off after intensive treatment.

Unaffected by the loss of DeMerit, the Hornets continued where they left off and a short corner routine involving John Joe O`Toole and Tommy Smith found the head of the unmarked Darius Henderson who beat the man on the far post, but not the alarmingly agile Dean Kiely.

Just minutes later Tommy Smith was denied an assist as his majestic sweeping cross, met by a Watford player who saw his half volley headed off the line by Martin Albrechtsen.

With 32 minutes gone and Watford apparently in cruise control, West Brom went into an undeserved lead as a sweeping throughball, possibly, likely, offside found Kevin Phillips who stormed through only to see Lee save well. The shot deflected off the agile ‘keeper but the re-bound fell to Ishmael Miller to thrash home from close range.
Minutes, actually, seconds later it was two-nil as Kevin Phillips was made a freeman of the Watford penalty area and duly accepted his new title by clipping the ball past Lee from the corner of the area.

Adam Johnson, one of few players to react to the punishment being dished out replied by curling a free-kick inches wide of Dean Kiely`s left-hand post from twenty yards.

Half-time 0-2

One hundred and twenty seconds into the second half and the game was won when Jonathon Greening`s simple free kick was met by Albrechtsen who nodded into the bottom corner, unmarked.

After that, it really was exhibition stuff as the Baggies strolled around the hallowed turf with an air of superiority, well-earned without doubt. Watford continued to afford Mowbray`s men the space that had allowed them and rolled the ball around the park virtually unchallenged.

The effective ‘big man-little man` strike partnership of Phillips and Miller could`ve added to their tallies as both missed chances late on, Phillips` the best as he failed to make contact with Greening`s delightful through ball. Miller saw his pee-roller of an effort dramatically scooped up by Lee.

The arrival of ‘The Duke` brought a chorus of boos, jeers and abuse every time he touched the ball although he did manage a curling effort that went narrowly wide of the far post in front of the delirious Baggies fans.
Watford: Lee; Doyley, DeMerit (Mariappa), Shittu, Stewart; Smith, Mahon (c) (Williamson), O`Toole, Johnson; Henderson (Ellington) and King.

West Bromich Albion: Kiely; Hoefkens, Cesar, Albrechtsen, Robinson; Koren, Greening, Gera, Morrison (Brunt); Miller (Bednar) and Phillips (Teixeira).

Referee: Mr Jones

Player Ratings

Lee-5
No chance with the goals. Kicking poor.

Doyley-5
Out of sorts and at fault for Phillips goal more than others.

Shittu-6
Played simple ball most the time but given a tough time by front two.

DeMerit-4
Injured insde 6 minutes.

Stewart-5
Back to his worst.

Smith-5
Very quiet. One good cross, nothing else of note.

Mahon-5
Subbed. Wow!

O’Toole-5
Not at his best, wound up by loss and petulance showed on one occasion.

Johnson-6
Probably tried the hardest out of the ‘Orns.

Henderson-6
Denied a goal by Kiely.

King-5
Subdued. Again.