Danny Graham hit the winner as Watford survived a Leicester fightback to claim all three points in an entertaining game at Vicarage Road.
Watford made one change for the visit of Sven’s Foxes with Will Buckley making his first start in two months in place of Troy Deeney. The Hornets started quickly forcing a succession of corners the last of which resulted in the opening goal. Mutch’s deep corner found Eustace inside the box and his low shot evaded all the legs to find the bottom corner.
The Hornets were by far the better team early on with Martin Taylor also going close from a Mutch corner. Watford doubled their lead midway through the first half when Will Buckley ran onto Don Cowie’s through ball. Buckley took the ball past the onrushing Chris Weale and slotted calmley home.
The Hornets continued to press in the first half and had a good penalty shout turned down when Will Buckley was pulled back by Greg Cunningham inside the box. Leicester ended the first half on the front foot when Paul Gallagher forced a smart save from Scott Loach at his near post.
Any hopes Watford had of winning a comfortable three points were banished as Leicester made a flying start to the second half. Roman Bednar forced Loach into a flying save early on, the keeper denying the on loan striker a header from a Cunningham corner.
Leicester grabbed themselves a lifeline when referee Wright gave a penalty against Andrew Taylor for handballing Darius Vassell’s cross inside the area. Gallagher stepped up to smash the ball past Loach. Leicester continued to press as Martin Taylor found himself at full strech to block a Greg Cunningham shot. Gallagher also sprang the Watford offside trap but fired weakly into Loach’s arms.
Watford, however always looked likely on the break and both Stephen McGinn and Danny Graham wasted good opportunities to deliver balls into the Leicester area. Substitute Troy Deeney missed a guilt edged chance when he was teed up by McGinn but he shot wide of the far post.
Leicester levelled 20 minutes from time when Gallagher scored his second of the game. After he was dubiously fouled by Lloyd Doyley 25 yards out Gallagher curled the resulting free kick round the wall and into the far corner, despite Loach getting a good hand to it.
Both sides continued to press for the winner and substitute Marvin Sordell had to be foiled by Weale after getting a sight at goal. A clearance from the resulting corner found Jordan Mutch on the touchline and his whipped ball was missed by Mariappa but Graham came in behind him to head home. The Hornets safely negoatiated the five minutes of added time to ensure their first win in seven and take a much needed three points.
Loach – 7
Will be dissapointed to have let Gallagher’s free kick in but ‘for once’ did well catching crosses to relieve the back four at the end of the game.
Doyley – 7
As solid as Doyley always is. Went forward quite often also and joined in the play.
Mariappa – 7
Dealt with Bednar & Howard well in the air and on the floor. Has a tendancy creeping in to let the ball bounce which has seen him caught out on a few occasions recently.
M Taylor – 8
Didn’t lose a header. Worked hard and joins in the play well.
A Taylor – 8
Unlucky with th handball as he was trying to block a cross. Marked Vassell well throughout the game.
Buckley – 7
Well taken goal. Still needs to learn how to utilise his pace and pick the right options when on the ball.
Eutsace – 9
Mutch – 7
Overplays quite often in midfield but made two of the goals with good delivery into the box.
Cowie – 7
Worked tirelessly. His industry certainly improves out midfield. Terrific assist for the Buckley goal.
McGinn – 8
Thrived in a more advanced role. Calm on the ball, can pick a pass and always finds a yellow shirt. Got mutch more stuck in the usual and is quickly becoming a key player.
Graham – 8
Worked tirelessly and gave their two centre backs a difficult afternoon. Well taken goal capped his performance.
Deeney – 7
Toughened up the midfield and held the ball well for us. Seems to be carving a niche for himself on the right of midfield.
Sordell – 6
Only on for 5 minutes. Looked lively and nearly scored. Hopfully his injury doesn’t see him out for long.
No time to impact.
Malky – 9. Won the tactical battle with Sven with our counter attacking football. Changed the game back in our favour with the introuduction of Deeney.