Date: 29th December 2007 at 6:41pm
Written by:

Maybe I`m wrong, but, if you cannot inspire the players, motivate the players to end the year on a high, banish the home hoodoo and defeat your rivals who are struggling themselves, you`ve got to wonder where the next win is going to come from.

A seventh home game running without victory; West Brom, Cardiff, Plymouth, Bristol, Colchester, Burnley and Q.P.R have now all come to the ‘Vic and taken a share of the spoils. West Brom aside, how many of them are sides challenging for promotion with players of an equal calibre to ours?

January is going to be very, very interesting. As this weeks Watford Observer eludes to, Jordan Stewart is on his way out. Well, thank goodness for that, but if he truly is, why play him, especially when he`s doing so badly? Blood Jordan Parkes, give Mariappa his chance but show Stewart the door.

Anyway, this Stewart rant is leading to something – his giving away of the first goal. For once, it probably wasn`t his fault but all the same we need someone to blame. A ball over the top, seemingly shepherded out of play by Stewart turned into despair as Dexter Blackstock fell over his heels. Up stepped Martin Rowlands to place the ball past Lee and send the Hoops supporters into raptures.

Watford had looked threatening and until that point had been the side most likely to score – a perfect example of how a goal changes a game. Nathan Ellington, given his third consecutive start, had nearly headed Watford into the lead from Smith`s cross whilst several other chances were wasted.

The goal galvanised De Canio`s side who plonked the ball into Watford`s net twice more before the break. The second was sloppy rather than ridiculous; Damion Stewart practically made a freeman of the Horns penalty area as he rose highest to head home.

Goal number three came just five minutes before half-time killing off any vague chance of a Watford fightback, Rowlands again the man taking delight in hurting the Hornets as he half-volleyed beyond Lee who had come to meet an aimless ball.

This was Watford at their very, very, very worst. All confidence had been destroyed and once again plan A was proved totally useless; plan B, not existent.

Half-time: 0-3

Damien Francis` first goal since returning to the side was scant consolation for the cold and irate Hornets fans; some of whom, including I, not allowing it to paper over a poor performance from the Jamaican. Luck favours the brave but this was luck not bravery as Stewart`s clearance from the line re-bounded to Francis to tap home at the far post. Comeback on the way? Don`t be so naïve?

The replacement of Lloyd Doyley was to blame for the fourth as Tommy Smith didn`t bother tracking sub Akos Buszaky who picked up the pass, rounded Lee and finished off the man on the line.

Four-one became four-two with six minutes to go as the secret masterplan Shittu, who had come on at half-time, walloped past Camp from close range.

Full-time: 2-4

Referee: Mr C Foy
Camp; Rehman, Malcolm, Stewart, Barker; Ainsworth, Bolder (c), Balanta, Rowlands; Nygaard and Blackstock.

Player Ratings

Little or no chance with first three, fourth saw him commit too early.

Not his best day at the office.

Looked better alongside Shittu in the second half.

Replaced at half time having been poor.

Words fail me. Why is he a proffessional footballer?

For all his endevour, few committed forward.

The donkey has returned.

Covered every blade of grass at least twice, worked hard and rarely gave the ball away.

Scared to take men on, no repeat of last fornights heroics.

Worked hard, wasted his one opportunity.

Presented with one goal-den opportunity, dive-headed just wide.