Date: 24th October 2007 at 10:11am
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You`d be forgiven for forgetting that Coventry were the early pacesetters in the league, that is until Watford took over top spot.

Not a lot has changed in the Dowie-Boothroyd battle, although both highly rated young boss`, Aidy clearly still has the upper hand as his Hornets thumped Dowie`s boys at their gaff, 3-0 to avenge defeat by the same scoreline 2 seasons ago.

I have to admit, it always looked like a stroll in the park for Watford. Although I would like to write an unbiased report for once in my life, I`m struggling, Watford really were that much in control.

From the moment John-Joe O`Toole crashed a spectacular volley goalwards from 20 yards, you could almost sense it was a going to be a good evening, even as the eternal pessimist I am. That particular effort from the ‘Indie Warm-up act` as he is now affectionately known was tipped wide by Andy Marshall.

Seven minutes later and O`Toole was at it again, this time he saw his flicked header loop just over the bar from close range.

The Golden Boys were well on top and by the time Marlon King outmuscled Elliot Ward, beat him for pace, thumped the ball straight at Andy Marshall, then hit the post with the re-bound, they should have been out of sight. But they weren`t.

John-Joe had ANOTHER Golden chance coming up to the half hour mark but his point-blank effort was once again well-stopped by Marshall.

Spot-on thirty minutes, Watford took the lead, at long, long last (the goal had been coming for 30 mins.) The ball found it`s way to a horribly unmarked Adam Johnson who had the confidence and guile to ping the ball into the far corner of the net from the left-hand side of the penalty area. The second came just fourteen minutes later, a bouncing ball in the penalty area was not sufficiently dealt with and Marlon King turned Elliot Ward before smashing the ball into the net with ease.

Half-time: 2-0

The ‘Orns third was almost the same as the second, a bobbling ball not dealt with by the Coventry backline and there was the bleach blond Henderson, on-hand and on-form to thrash home the third.

One thing we know though as Watford fans, and that is, if we can, we never make it easy for ourselves, that was as true as ever just ten minutes into the second half. John-Joe O`Toole the man on the back post able to head of the line after Lee was well beaten, the follow-up seeing Lee made an agile block to his left.

Slowly but surely, Coventry began to come back into the game and Robbie Simpson saw his header drop just wide of the far-post when left almost unmarked.

By now my 3-1 Watford at 22/1 was looking good, even if O`Toole had selfishly headed off the line earlier on.

Coventry continued to apply pressure in the dying stages, more than they had shown in the previous 80-odd in fact.

However, as a reminder of their potent striking options, Aidy flexed his proverbial [striking] muscles to introduce Priskin and Ellington. The Hungarian could have scored two within two minutes of his entrance, clean-through on both occasions he contrived to find only the imperial Andy Marshall. Ellington on the other hand was unable to convert McAnuff`s low cross when well-placed six yards in front of goal.
Those chances were of little significance. All`s well that ends well, everyone`s a winner, except me?damn John-Joe?

Coventry: Marshall; Osbourne, Ward, Turner, Borrowdale; McNamee, Doyle, Hughes, Gray; Mifsud and Kyle.

Referee: Mr L Probert

Player Ratings

Made one great save, otherwise a spectator.

A sound game, even got forward. TWICE!

At his imperious best alongside Jay D.

Didn’t let Mifsud or Kyle have a sniff.

Immaculate. Got forward well to support Jinky Johnson too.

Worked hard, but not terribly noticeable before being replaced.

Didn’t put a foot wrong.

Made a few amazing chances for himself, unlucky not to score. Not pretty, but he’s incredibly effective.

Pace, tricks. Terrorised Osbourne all evening.

Worked hard, great goal, should’ve had 3.

Good goal. Worked his socks off, as per usual.

Aidy said:
‘When they’re like that there are few sides that can handle them at this level.
‘I’ve got four great strikers: Tamas Priskin, who got himself into some great positions tonight, and Nathan Ellington who is proven at this level.

‘But we all have to remember we’ve all the work ahead of us still.’

Dowie said:
‘We were beaten by a side that were a bit better than us tonight.
‘When you give away three very soft goals, you are giving yourself a mountain to climb.

‘They are very good at what they do. They are a powerful side and we at times coped with it very well and at other times we didn’t.’

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