Date: 1st March 2008 at 5:58pm
Written by:

Watford`s winless streak at Turf Moor goes on under Aidy Boothroyd, but let`s look at the facts of significance. A two-all draw at the home of the Clarets is a good result; this is afterall a resurgent Burnley who under Owen Coyle have moved within two points of the play offs. But, with West Brom finding their shooting boots, the Hornets are now just two points away from slipping to fourth.

Watford will be thankful to have come away with their point though and Ade Akinbiyi, the man who seems to enjoy scoring against Watford managed to miss an absolute sitter when Richard Lee cleared into James O`Connor allowing Akinbiyi to put wide of an open goal from seven yards. This was only the first of two missed the man with 5 goals against Watford in four years managed in one afternoon.

Just before, Kyle Lafferty jinked past Aidy Mariappa before cutting inside and shanking his shot just wide of Richard Lee`s left-hand post.

Captain Stephen Caldwell then missed a good chance himself when a cross went pass Richard Lee arriving at Caldwell who was unable to connect when any touch would`ve given the Clarets the lead.

That missed opportunity was proved costly just nine minutes later as Jobi McAnuff finally put a good corner in, allowing Darius Henderson to power home the header. That a bitter blow to former Hornet Clarke Carlisle who has just nicked away the ball from a dangerous position.

Nathan Ellington, offside by some four or five yard managed to get the ball stuck underneath his feet, shooting at Jensen from close-range when one-on-one. Darius Henderson followed up, earning a corner.

Half-time: 0-1

Akinbiyi`s second wonder miss came just after the break; unmarked at the far post, Kyle Lafferty`s curling centre wasn`t met by the Nigerian who saw the ball sail beyond the post and wide. Another chance which needed only a touch to convert. His inability in front of goal, coupled with a dubious offside decision saw Akinibiyi completely loose his rag, storming over, and into the referee. A yellow card followed.

However, before all that, the big man had the ball in the back of the net, bundling home Kyle Lafferty`s left-footed cross. Sadly the goal-shy forward was correctly adjudged offside and the goal disallowed.

Tempers were fraying on and off the pitch as several ‘fans` entered the playing perimeter whilst Darius Henderson clipped Brian Jensen provoking retaliation from the Big Dane who managed to get Hendo booked thanks to his amateur dramatics.

With fifteen minutes to go, Burnley stepped on the gas; Chris McCann headed off the post from a corner before Jobi McAnuff droved Watford forward instantly blazing over. Burnley responded equally quickly, Robbie Blake putting the ball past Lee and into the bottom left corner via the post for the leveller.

However, Watford sent on their ‘supersub` and Jordan Stewart volleyed home the should have been winner with five to go, a sweet strike that hopefully won`t earn him a new contract. Not wanting to heap too much praise on Stewart, it`s worth noting Henderson bundled through most the Burnley defence allowing the hapless left-back to re-establish the lead.

A lead that was mighty short-lived as that man Blake found the ball at his feet, jinked this way and that across the front of the area to hold off the defence before popping into the corner to level with 3minutes to go.

Full-time: 2-2

One game down and in the words of Aidy Boothroyd, 11 ‘cup finals to go` continuing with Norwich on Tuesday night.

An interesting footnote, but from Aidy Boothroyd`s first eleven against the same opposition back in 2005, none of the starting eleven survived, although sub Jay DeMerit did start three years ago.

How times have changed?

Burnley XI
Jensen ,Alexander ,Carlisle ,Caldwell ,Harley ,Elliott ,James O’Connor ,McCann ,Lafferty ,Cole ,Akinbiyi

Watford XI
Lee ,Mariappa ,Shittu ,Bromby ,Sadler ,Smith ,Eustace ,O’Toole ,McAnuff ,Ellington ,Darius Henderson

Referee: Mr D Whitestone