Date: 10th November 2007 at 7:33pm
Written by:

Phew! One to get the pulse racing without a doubt. Colchester should not be underestimated this season, and if Watford went into the game expecting three points, they came out knowing they had been in a game. A game they should of one though, without question.

Another statement that you cannot disagree with is that we will miss Adam Johnson, hugely. Yet again the England U21 cap was one of the brightest things on the field and scored the opener after just three minutes. A short corner routine saw him swing the cross in towards the near post and beyond Dean Gerken. A hammering on the way for the U`s? I wish?

Although Watford were in top in the immediate future with Johnson once again the catalyst, this time his shot squirted off Gerken, they weren`t for long and with 10 minutes player, Colchester could`ve equalised. Clive Platt was inexplicably able to brush Dan Shittu aside and saw his near-post shot parried away by Lee for a corner.

After twenty minutes, Colchester found a way through, Platt the scorer. A ball into the far post picked out the gangly target man who smacked his header against the outside of the post only for it to rebound at his feet. A neat flick and volley later and the ball was nestling in the far bottom corner.

Watford nearly went back in front two minutes later when a ‘Ryan Giggs-Wayne Rooney corner routine` saw Jordan Stewart smash a volley inches over from the edge of the area. Johnson was the next player to rue his miss as Darius Henderson lofted an accidental pass to the flying winger who met the ‘cross` with a fantastic volley from close range. Gerken somehow managed to block the effort with his legs.

In first half injury time, Platt had the chance of the half to put the U`s into a surprise lead but failed to convert Yeates low centre as Richard Lee made a reaction stop from close range.

Half-time: 1-1

By the time Colchester finally arrived for the second half, it was Watford who might as well of been in the dressing rooms still as the U`s went into the lead. A hopeful punt forward from Platt found Lisbie who teed himself up to smash home a carbon copy of his sides first.

In reply to going behind Darius Henderson smashed a header goalwards only for Balogh to seemingly block to strikers effort with his hand. Watford continued to dominate in what was an excellent response to going behind. Lee Williamson`s cross-cum-shot saw Gavin Mahon head just wide before Marlon King thrashed a free kick inches over from an impossible angle.

Spot on the hour mark and Watford were awarded a spot kick. Having skinned the life out of Karl Duguid, Johnson was flattened by the U`s skipper. Penalty awarded and up stepped King Marlon. Placing his penalty low the to keeper`s left the King`s miss had an air of his penalty fluff against Brighton two years ago.

Just five minutes after missing the all-important penalty, King made amense with one of the best goals of his Hornets career. Lee Williamson walloped a half volley into a Colchester body only for King to acrobatically bicycle kick the ball into the top corner of the net.

Cue euphoria as Watford drew level, against, Colchester. But hang on, that`s me underestimating the U`s. Do that at your peril as we were today reminded by Geraint Williams men.

If Colchester`s form is impressive, what is their away form like? Snatching a point at the ‘Vic is no mean feat, in fact they are only the second side to take anything from the fortress that is Vicarage Road this campaign.

It could however have been all three as free kick specialist Mark Yeates, with five already this term, saw his curling effort tipped onto the bar by Richard Lee.

Colchester United
Gerken; Duguid (c), Baldwin, Balogh, Granville; Yeates, Izzet, Watson (McLeod), Jackson; Platt and Lisbie.

Referee: Mr N Swarbrick

Player Ratings

Made a couple of good stops from close-range.

Probably the pick of the back four.

Not at the races. Made several mistakes, but did make one lung-bursting run forward.

Improved after a shaky start. Good positioning.

Does he want a deal with us or with Premiership club? Because at the moment, he deserves neither.

Got beyond Granville exceptionally often, but crossing was scarcely telling.

Mahon (c)-6
Much improved from last week. Even had a header flash just wide.

Hornet’s MoM for his work rate, passing, intelligence, awareness and acidental assist for the leveller!

This boy is a talent, we really are going to miss him when he returns to Middlesbrough.

Got far too wide again. Missed a penalty, yet for some reason worked hard enough to earn his 7/10. Stupendous leveller.

Never gets the credit he deserves, so I’ll praise him. On another day would’ve won us the game single-handedly. Works SO hard, runs for MILES and NEVER gets a free kick given to him.

Aidy Boothroyd:
‘If you look at the way we played when we were in the Premier League and the way we play now we are better with the ball now.
‘We would get it and then give it away higher up the pitch but we look at it now and we have that ability to retain possession.

‘We are improving but we are not the finished article yet.’

Geraint Williams:
‘A lot of teams could have gone under after the start we had but we stood up to it and showed an excellent response to take a point on merit.
‘We came back and not only stood up to the pressure but created some good opportunities ourselves.

‘The character the players showed today showed that and they were all very proud to wear the Colchester shirt.’

Interview Source: BBC Sport