Date: 27th December 2008 at 10:37am
Written by: Dr Watford

They`ll be few people sicker at the sight of turkey than the Watford faithful after another rubbish defensive performance saw the Hornets endure yet another Boxing Day Massacre against Bristol City.

It took just 27 seconds for the Robins to go bob bob bobbing through the hopeless Hornets backline to take the lead – after Nicky Maynard drove home Michael McIndoe`s simple, but ever so clever, lofted through ball.

So much for festive spirit!

Whilst the return of Rasiak livened up the attacking play (play him every week Rodgers) and going forward the Hornets did pressure the City defensive – without really testing Basso – at the back they were a joke worse than anything found in a Christmas cracker.

In fact, Mat Sadler (too much Christmas pudding?) and Jay Demerit will not have had worse games in a Watford shirt for a while whilst Adrian Mariappa did himself no favours with any potential suiters watching on.

City should have easily been 4 up by half time whilst Watford`s only chance of note was a Demerit header that flew well wide and a Williamson drive that flew er, well wide.

It was no surprise then that Maynard got his 2nd of the game after 29 minutes with the easiest goal of his short career. Sproule roasted Sadler, crashed in a shot that Loach beat out and the former Crewe kid steered his effort over the line between 2 covering defenders.

Game over. If Rodgers wants to pass his way sideways and backwards to safety, boy we are in for a long 2009 as the fight and spirit and urgency we`d come to expect from a Boothroyd side was simply not there.

2nd to every ball, zone marking that looked a shambles and a side that looked totally rudderless. Ok, so Smith, Rasiak and Harley had decent first halves but even Loach looked like Frosty the Snowman with his feet frozen to the line.

The rookie keepers afternoon was to get much worse during the 2nd 45 but there were signs of hope at the start of the second half.

Rasiak pulled one back, rifling home after McAnuff`s only good piece of work on a cold afternoon. Jenkins came in and bossed the midfield and is looking like the player that has ended John Eustace`s stay at Vicarage Road – composed, simple, tough in the tackle.

But any signs of a comeback were short lived as Loach let a 25 yard from Elliott slip through him after the slightest of slight deflections on the hour mark – Head up Scott. It has happened to be best of keepers.

Still, fair play to Marvin Elliott. The supposed Portsmouth target did try to restore the tension with a cracking diving header of an own goal out of nothing on 65 mins – an effort that received him a round of applause from the home fans and a rollicking from Adriano Basso.

Good effort Marvin but hey, you really shouldn`t have. Watford did try and through the kitchen sink at City. Hoskins came on and looked lively but the 3-4-3 formation was bound to come undone especially with City dangerous on the counter attack, and of course, it did.

As the Watford stadium announcer got all excited over 4 minutes of injury time it was Dele Abebola who warmed himself up with Bristol`s 4th. A straight forward cross to the far post and the 57 year old lamppost headed low past Loach.

Truth of the matter is Watford can`t cope with the high ball in defense (an experienced centre back is a must in January) but the Robins were worth their 4-2 win with their Christmas cracker of a performance.