Bah, humbug! Gary Johnson evidently isn`t aware of the arrival of the festive season. Had he been aware of the imminent festivities he might have spared his old club 3 points in a performance scarily reminiscent of Tuesday, and Burnley. That`s another thing, what is it with these bloomin` ‘B` teams? Barnsley, Burnley and now Bristol have all taken points off us in our last three games. And, if I`m painstakingly honest, where is this run going to end? Layer Road, home of Colchester? Psssh – likely. Not.
If only the team were as up for it as Harry the Hornet and the supporters. I can`t remember such an impressive pre-match atmosphere for quite some time, perhaps even Derby at home in 2004. Anyway, perhaps Harry should get a chance up top; I`ve heard he`s quite handy?
With Steve Kabba finally out of the side, things looked positive, the baffling decision on the bench though saw Damien Francis left out completely in favour of John Joe O`Toole. Perhaps Aidy is genius afterall as it was he who got the goal. Not before hard-work, toil and more often than not, trouble.
Gavin Mahon was the first to tred in the proverbial dog turd as his aimless chop of a tackle failed to prevent Enoch Showumni releasing a lovely through pass for Ivan Sproule who was denied by Mart Poom`s superb reading of the game. Poom was on hand again 10 minutes later to deny the same player after the midfield once again failed to prevent Bristol making the pass. Watford`s debt with Poom increased hugely after 25 minutes when the agile Estonian clawed Showumni`s header away from the top corner, preventing a certain goal.
On the half-hour mark, Watford finally exited their own penalty area and Marlon King nearly profited as he lobbed Basso and hit the post square on. Replays show the Brazilian made an excellent save with his gloved fingers.
The second half began shrouded in controversy as Watford were denied two penalties in quick succession, both came in the form of handball shouts, both furiously waved away by Phil Joslin.
With 18 minutes to go and Watford now looking frantic, even Jordan Stewart was spotted over halfway trying to crack home his second of the season, he nearly succeeded too as Adriano Basso palmed away his well-aimed, but weak effort from a tight angle.
Just three minutes later Bristol took the lead. They had deserved it too, based on their first-half display. The ball was accurately clipped in from the left by Michael McIndoe, Enoch Showumni able to head home virtually unmarked at the far post.
The Robins lead lasted just five minutes though as substitute John-Joe O`Toole was able to divert stand-in skipper Jay DeMerit`s diving header past the unsighted Basso from close-range.
One-one. Time for a Watford onslaught? Behave, minutes later the plucky visitors restored their own lead through sub Darren Byfield who was on-hand at the far post to bundle the ball home after the ball had been clipped across a crowded penalty area.
Bristol City Line-up:
Basso; Orr, Carey (c), McCombe, Fontaine; Noble, Johnson, Elliott, McIndoe; Showumni and Sproule.
Referee: Mr Phil Joslin
Made a couple of superb stops.
Troubled by McIndoe.
Had little to do.
Battled well with Showumni.
Much-improved. Now sustain it Jordan!
Crossing was poor.
Improved after terrible start.
Nowhere near his best.
Worked hard and tried to make things happen at least.
Not getting the service, usually wasting it anyway.