Date: 3rd October 2007 at 7:45am
Written by:

I hope I`m not the only Watford fan who wishes season tickets were still made of paper, because I`d be tearing mine into tiny pieces after that performance. Yes, we won, and I`m not saying we have the divine right to go out and thrash sides like Sheffield Wednesday who are struggling, but I do expect better performances.

Quite frankly, the game was a pig. For the second week running the opposition came and played better football whilst Watford ‘hoofed and hoped` as usual.

In fairness, Watford did start well and were applying enormous pressure from the wide positions with Tommy Smith and Adam Johnson taunting their respective full backs. From a looping Smith cross Doyley somehow saw his ‘header` bounce away behind him despite being poised to score.

The first goal came after just seven minutes, huge credit to Dan Shittu who first stood in the goal, and when the throw-in was launched ducked round the keeper to win the flick on which found Henderson to stab home from close range. A minute later Adam Johnson thrashed a superb left-footed half-volley toward the near-post, which Rob Burch just about got behind.

Watford continued their high-tempo football and Lee Williamson was the next man to come close and he drove a shot toward the bottom right-hand corner, Rob Burch flinging himself to the floor to tip it around the post. The resulting corner saw Marlon King head wide.

With seventeen minutes gone, the game looked all but over as Marlon King converted a penalty after Darius Henderson was practically strangled inside the penalty area. However, this were the wheels actually fell off and Watford sat back, played long-ball and invited the inevitable Wednesday pressure.

The pressure had evidently got to Mart Poom who flapped at a cross before chasing a Wednesday player out of his penalty area! Poom made up for his moment of madness a few minutes later making a good collapsing save to his right from a goal-bound header. Watford`s reply was to see Darius Henderson launch a header onto the roof of the net with Burch beaten after Doyley`s deceptive through-pass to Tom Smith.

With nine minutes until half-time, Wednesday pulled a goal back through Graham Kavanagh. Lingering with intent on the edge of the area, Kavanagh lashed home a superb half-volley after a Watford clearance, the ball nestling in the far bottom corner.

Watford`s immediate reply was to see Darius Henderson somehow head the ball against the post when unmarked at the back post – another guilt-edged chance wasted.

Half-time: 2-1

The second half was a non-event really. Although both sides created several chances, both managers were incredibly, and rightly, frustrated with the poor finishing displayed by their sides.

Henderson, who could have had a hat trick, crashed another headed chance into the side netting when poised to score, and Wednesday saw Esajas was riot down both flanks but thankfully with little final product.

Full-time 2-1

I want to finish with in style with a good old moan as usual. What really, really gets me is the ‘fans` who were leaving after 85 minutes. There was another four minutes of injury time; so these ‘fans` missed a crucial nine minutes of the game. Did they care whether we hung out? I doubt it, are these real fans?

Sheffield Wednesday: Burch; Simek, M.Johnson (c), Hinds, Gilbert; Tudgay, Kavanagh, Whelan, J.Johnson; Sodje and Burton.

Goal: Kavanagh
Sent-off: J.Johnson

Referee: Mr A Hall
Attendance: 15 473

Now have YOUR say – comment below…

Player Ratings

Unconvincing, but nothing much to do.

Stood off his man too often, but still put in a solid display.

As commanding as ever at the back and wass scarcely troubled all night.

Starting to forge a good partnership with Shittu at the back.

Will be a minor miracle if he earns a new deal after this.

Quiet compared to all-action performance on Saturday.

Mahon (c)-4
Abysmal. When he came off the pitch for a shirt change, much of the Rookery didn’t want him back on.

Seems to be doing double the workload in Mahon’s ‘absence’, but coping well.

MotM again!
Embarrassingly good compared to much of the team.

A goal, but in truth should have had three.

Barely had a sniff of goal. Can go in January in my opinion.

Manager Rating
Aidy Boothroyd-6
Credit on the throw-on manouvre, just a shame about his ‘motivation’ or lack of, he needs to get his players going before the long trip to Scunthorpe.

Opponent Rating
Brian Laws-6
Picked up a gem in Esajas. Other than that, little to write home about.

Aidy Boothroyd:
‘In the first half an hour we played some wonderful stuff. It was everything we had worked on but then it got scrappy and we never found our form.

‘We’ve got some very good individuals but we only play as a team intermittently. That will come from time on the pitch but it bodes well to be top when we’re not playing particularly well. We are on schedule for our points target.

‘Darius brings a fear factor to our games now. Defenders in this division are scared of him and rightly so because he scores goals.’

Source: BBC Sport

Brian Laws
‘The sending off was very harsh. Jermaine Johnson took a punch in the face early in the second half and got booked for his reaction.

‘Then he had to go to right-back because Frankie Simek had to come off with a kick to the ankle and he did well for us. I don’t think it was a sending off but it didn’t cost us the game.

‘The first 20 minutes was like men against girls. We’ve got to stand up to bullying. They bullied us out of the points. They’re athletic, they get the ball forward and they come at you in the opening 20 minutes but if you get through that the game opens up.

‘I’d like to get rid of the first 20 minutes because after that there was nothing in it and we were unfortunate not to get anything.’

Source: BBC Sport