DEFEAY BY QPR handed the visitors promotion back to the Premier League after a number of years in the Football League wilderness.
Adel Taraabt`s close-range flick was followed up by a neat Tommy Smith finish to hand the R`s their passage back to the top flight; an achievement Neil Warnock labelled his ‘greatest` when speaking to The Uxbridge Gazette:
“I’ve had promotions before, but not in such a short space of time. From getting out of relegation to actually winning the league is incredible.
“It’s why we stay in the game – for moments like this really. It’s a moment to treasure because they don’t come very often. We’ve got the pride back in the club.”
Watford re-introduced Will Buckley at the expense of Piero Mingoia, meaning Don Cowie returned to the centre of midfield. Neil Warnock`s side were robbed of first choice ‘keeper Paddy Kenny who was injured in the warm-up meaning Radek Cerny came into the side.
The Hoops went close early on when Heidar Helguson was left unmarked at the far-post after a high cross but the Icelander could only fire into side-netting.
Helguson then saw another good chance blocked when Scott Loach palmed his close-range header away.
Lloyd Doyley nearly repeated his goal of last season at the Vic’ when he danced down the left before clipping a shot wide of the far-post.
Watford responded with Danny Graham heading narrowly wide from a perfect right-wing cross before Taraabt again came close – his low strike ruled out for offside.
Once the visitors took the lead in the 77th minute when Taraabt flicked home at the near-post. Loach had denied the R`s skipper just before when he flew across his goal to palm a stinging effort over.
Former Hornet Smith then added the crucial second when he was allowed to run on and on before slipping a precise effort under Loach to wrap up the win and promotion.
The victory was marred by ugly scenes at the end which saw a good number of Hoops invade the pitch before being ushered back into the Vicarage Road End and a block in the Lower Rous by mounted police horses. The Hornet`s stewarding and Rangers fans in particular were shown up grossly before the police knocked the invasion on the head.
Watford: Loach; Hodson, Mariappa, Taylor (Bennett), Doyley; Deeney, Eustace (c), Cowie, Buckley (Murray); Sordell (Whichelow) and Graham.
Subs not used: Gilmartin (GK); Mingoia, Drinkwater, Assombalonga.
Queens Park Rangers: Cerny; Orr, Gorkss, Hall (Shittu), Hill; Faurlin, Derry; Smith, Taraabt (c) (Ramage), Routledge (Buszaky); Helguson.
Subs not used: Hulse, Aygemang, Vaan Moen and Ephraim.
Referee: Mr N Swarbrick
Attendance: 15 538