An excellent Watford side were today held at home to Nottingham Forest in an exciting end-to-end encounter which saw the Hornet’s thwarted in their attempt to win a first game in five by both referee Andy D’Urso and lady luck herself.
Forest set their stall out and dominated the first ten to fifteen minutes, however for all their pretty play they only carved out one good chance of note, Chris Gunter pushing the ball across the area and onto the line for Aidy Mariappa to clear.
Watford however came back at the visitors and from a quick throw, Danny Graham lifted the ball into Heidar Helguson’s path. The Icelandic striker got the ball under in a touch before lobbing a speculative effort just wide of the stranded Lee Camp’s far post. The wind-up merchant ‘keeper, a favourite with the Vic’ crowd got his first jeers of the afternoon just before the aforementioned chance as he stormed over to Helguson who had fouled Gunter, shouting and remonstrating. Helguson was consequently booked.
As the half wore on, Watford gained more of a foothold in the game and saw Henri Lansbury’s 20 yard effort palmed round the post before Aidy Mariappa’s lobbed cross nearly caught out Camp who had been knocked to the floor.
More Watford pressure followed in the second period as Forest barely registered an effort on goal.
Tom Cleverley came close with an almost inch-perfect curling effort that arched just wide of the far post before Don Cowie came even closer with a similar effort. From the left-hand side of the penalty area Cowie curled a beauty past Camp and against the inside of his far post before it bounced away.
Danny Graham was the next to be denied as he was fed in by Helguson and Lansbury but eventually shot well wide from inside the area. Graham also had a great chance to nudge home from inside the six yard box but Camp was on hand to clear the ball.
Even Lee Hodson was caught having a crack as he leathered in a cleared corner before the ball looped off a defender and over.
The one Forest chance fell to sub Dexter Blackstock who came on to parneter Robbie Earnshaw and Nathan Tyson late on. From a perfect cross the striker saw his fine flicked header clawed away by an acrobatic Scott Loach.
However Watford charged up the other end and were denied a stonewall penalty when Nicky Shorey dove full length to get behind a scrambled effort and claw it off the line, Lee Camp blocking the follow-up.
Full Time: 0-0
How referees don’t see these things is beyond me, but then again, we shouldn’t be relying on a referee’s call, we had more than enough chances to win.
Camp; Gunter, Wilson, Chambers, Shoey; Andersan, McKenna (c), McGugan, Cohen; McGoldrick and Adebola.
Scott Loach – 6
Nothing to do other than one good late save, often caught in no-mans land.
Lee Hodson – 6
Not the tidiest game from the youngster.
Aidy Mariappa – 5
Terrible distribution throughout.
Jay DeMerit – 7
As solid as ever.
Lloyd Doyley – 7
Paul Anderson got no change out the fullback.
Don Cowie – 6
Played ok but not to his best due to knock.
John Eustace – 7
Snarled his way round the pitch to great success.
Henri Lansbury – 6
Quiet compared to recent weeks.
Tom Cleverley – 6
Wasted the ball frequently but was a bright spark out wide.
Heidar Helguson -7
Won the ball in the air well, made up a lot of ground and held the ball up superbly to bring teammates around him into play.
Danny Graham – 6
Lacked confidence, could’ve had a couple on another day.