Date: 25th February 2008 at 1:05pm
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Watford boss Aidy Boothroyd saw his troops miss chance after chance to close the gap on Championship leaders Stoke at the weekend but then kicked out at the performance of ref Anthony Bates from, er hum, Staffordshire.

The Hornets gaffer, who has seen his side accused of bullying and intimidation all season long, was incensed when Bates missed a blatant penalty and a host of other deliberate fouls in and around the box as Preston held on for a point at Vicarage Road.

He told the folks in the know at the Watford Observer “The less said about the ref the better. I hope he`s got a fast car to get out of here”.

Boothroyd was furious at Bate`s decision to turn down shouts for a penalty after Calum Davidson`s professional foul on winger Tommy Smith and there were also calls for a spot kick after a clear handball on a goal-bound John Eustace close range header.

The Vicarage Road supremo also added (with tongue firmly in cheek) “I know I’m biased but I thought the fact that Davidson was escorted out of the ground for assault might have given the referee a bit of a clue.’

Still with 57% possession, 13 corners and 11 clear cut chances at goal, the Hornets shouldn`t have needed the rub of the green to go their way against a side who offered little threat.