We`ve been beaten two nil at home, and though it wasn`t by any means an abject display, it`s the infuriation of our inability to convert our chances into goals that gets everyone`s goat. However, fear not, the Adrian Boothroyd-style positive spin is this: If Graham Simpson really was PR-ing it up in the Rookery today, maybe a few fans will have given him a few home truths? Maybe Adrian will be getting a rocket up the backside sometime soon?
We can but hope. In the mean time, extra finishing practice is needed, Jobi McAnuff, Darius Henderson, Tamas Priskin and John-Joe O`Toole all fluffed good chances whilst Clinton Morrison and Paul Ifill showed their counterparts how it was done. This wasn`t the usual dour home game, no sir. Watford raced out the blocks and were painfully close to taking the lead as Jobi McAnuff`s downward header somehow managed to squirm wide after Tommy Smith`s persistent work down the right.
The same player came close not long after as his half-volley was blocked wide, only just, landing in the side netting. The resulting corner was also agonizingly close, third time luck though as Henderson headed home. Or so we though, Mike Dean finding a reason to cut the masses joy short, disallowing the effort.
Palace had been out the game entirely until Clinton Morrison and Mark Hudson somehow combined to tragically spoon the ball goalwards only for Jordan Stewart to heroically clear with his knee. ‘Heroically` in his mind only that is. Things were looking good at half time, dominating, but not scoring.
Shame we play another forty-five eh?
The domination continued for the Hornets until Palace scored. Victor Moses, a new hate figure, and at 17, plenty more WD18 visits to come, sprinted down the left and smashed across and Clinton Morrison prodded home with what must`ve been his toe-nail.
That all came after sub Paul Ifill continued his record against Watford by lashing a tasty volley in off angle of post and bar, beyond the reach of Lee. Watford`s good work was undone.
Good work indeed from Lloyd Doyley who made our best second, and first half opportunity when sending over a looping cross for Henderson to nod goalwards only for Priskin to head against the bar from inches away.
Inches though, that is the margin in this division, unless you`re West Brom who claimed a five point gap today and therefore look set for promotion. Watford though are now just a point ahead of Palace in sixth and four ahead of Ipswich in eighth.
Lee; Doyley, Shittu, Bromby, Stewart; Smith, Eustace (c), O`Toole, McAnuff; Henderson and Priskin.
Speroni; Lawrence, Fonte, Hudson (c), C.Hill; Soares, Watson, Derry, Moses; Morrison and Sinclair.
Referee: Mr H Webb
No chance with goals.
Getting back to his best.
Ice cool as per.
Didn’t have a lot to do.
Still too flash, but improved.
Worked hard, made things happen.
Eustace (c) – 5
Quiet, poor, midfield passed him by.
Had a ‘mare.
Should’ve scored versus his old club, but still put in a twinkling display.
Continued Hawthorns form.