In a game with more sub-plots than ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 3`, Watford put in another solid away performance and got back to winning ways with an impressive 3-1 victory at Carrow Road. Three Hornets returned to Carrow Road in the former of Martin Hunter, Matt Jackson and Malky Mackay, whilst Glenn Roeder`s first home game came against his former club.
Bottom of the league and it told. After just four minutes Watford had the ball in the net when Darius Henderson finished off nicely from Marlon King`s throughball. Henderson was however correctly adjudged to have been offside.
Watford continued to turn the screw and Tommy Smith wasted a good crossing opportunity by whipping his cross dangerously close to goal. The four men in the box had every right to be frustrated but from the following corner, Lee Williamson won another corner.
The resulting Watford attack did not see the ball cross the line and Jamie Cureton rescued the ball from the dead ball line and tried to break, however, Lloyd Doyley was on hand to prevent the former Colchester man from causing danger.
With ten minutes until half-time, Watford went into a deserved lead. Tommy Smith, a constant thorn in Norwich`s chances of keeping a clean sheet picked out the run of Lloyd Doyley who used his pace on the overlap to roll the ball across the six-yard box for Darius Henderson to slide home. Henderson`s third goal in his last two trips to Carrow Lane.
Eleven minutes later it was two nil when and Adam Johnson corner picked out Aidy Mariappa who headed against the near post before the ball deflected off ‘keeper David Marshall for 2-0. Mariappa will claim, the former Celtic stopper will be credited.
In a game that Watford appeared to control, even Gavin Mahon was spotted trying to get on the score sheet as five minutes into the second half he burst through but a heavy touch allowed Marshall to gather the ball.
That ‘miss` could`ve been the catalyst for the Norwich fightback, although it came fifteen minutes later and more likely the arrival of Lee Croft changed things as he met Cureton`s ball to the far post and slid in to halve the deficit. The goal had come about from a quick throw that the referee hadn`t even awarded to the Canaries!
However, the travelling Hornets fans, and those listening at home on the radio need not worry as Marlon King crowned the victory with his 8th of the season, just one minute from time. Lee Williamson`s delightful ball through off the outside of his foot put The King through to smash the ball past Marshall and wrap up the points.
Normal service resumed, for Glenn, for Aidy, The King and Darius all celebrating and commiserating the norm. And for Watford, eight points clear at the top with Bristol going down one-nil to Chris Iwelumno and Charlton.
Marshall; Ostemobor, M.Taylor, Shackell (c), Lappin; Chadwick (C.Brown), Brellier, Russell, J.Smith (Croft); Hartson (C.Martin) and Cureton.
Lee; Doyley, Shittu, Mariappa, Stewart; Smith, Williamson, Mahon (c), Johnson (O`Toole); King (Priskin) and Henderson.
Neil Price (3CR)
‘Players are given instructions on who to pick up at set pieces and when they don’t do that it is very disappointing.
‘One particular player had let us down badly and that is just not acceptable. He knows who he is.
‘I actually thought we started well enough but as the game went on we could not get a grip.’
‘The fact that we played on Saturday and they played on Sunday was an advantage for us.
‘We’re delighted to have bounced back from the defeat against West Brom on Saturday and I was particularly pleased with out first-half performance.
‘That’s probably the best football we have played all season.’
Interview Sources: BBC Sport
Neil Price (3CR)
‘I’ve never seen a proffesional footballer look sooo fat, and the yellow is not doing him any favours either!’ [On John Harton]