Pre season friendlies-they really are pointless aren`t they? You sit there, in a seat you don`t want, surrounded by sweaty non-supporters who have simply come for a bevy, or to get away from the nagging of the missus. On the pitch your over-worked, sweaty, uninterested combination of trialists and academy prospects lose to a bunch of local part timers or if you`re really lucky, a bunch of foreign minnows.
Ok, so one of the above, that being the home sides personnel, didn`t apply this afternoon as Willem II (what happened to the original?!) faced Watford. Surprisingly, a hundred-odd crazy Dutchmen and women made the trip to the hallowed turf of Vicarage Road to see their side succumb to the Hornets lack of edge upfront and be defeated one-nil.
The game itself was a non-event (probably why I`ve used the opening paragraph to get a few pre-season annoyances off my chest). The Dutch were, well, Dutch frankly. Superb passing, fluent football, but surprisingly poor in front of goal. With Mart Poom glued to his near post, an easy tap in loomed for the Willem forward whose name I couldn`t spell, even if I knew it. Amazingly though he blazed high and wide just yards from goal.
Yes, that really was it as far as the first half was concerned. Yes, both sides were really that poor. Although in fairness, Watford did get the ball into the opposing area say, twice?
The second half livened up and even saw the Rookery End ‘burst` into song, twice as the Hornets were denied a goal from McNamee by a sliding clearance on the line. This near miss spurred Boothroyd`s side on and Priskin scored.
The goal itself was an accident; Doyley stranded in the proverbial headlights chipped an aimless ball into the area, looking lively for once, Tamas Priskin gambled by breaking sweat to dink the ball over the onrushing Willem ‘keeper.
Reliable when called upon.
Provided the assist, otherwise relatively untroubled.
Strong in the air, never in danger of getting caught.
A solid partnership forged over 90 minutes with Shittu.
Distribution and positioning were poor.
Apparently playing on the right of midfield-innefective.
Gavin Mahon (c)-4
Was a spectator.
Neat touches, astute passing and creative flair in midfield.
Worked hard, more effective in second period.
Very quiet by his own high standards.
Made a couple of chances, well-taken goal.