Just 72 hours after the debacle against relegation-threatened Barnsley, Watford turned things around with a vastly-improved draw at the Hawthorns. Not something that many teams would`ve managed with Watford`s current form so badly lacking.
The real concern though, despite a highly valuable point was once again the Hornets lack of firepower. Sure, scoring a goal against West Brom to take the lead is all well and good, but with a defence that`s conceded 53 goals in a season, you want to be scoring more than one, from a centre half, from a set-piece. Fifty three league goals conceded, and three of them at the hands of bottom club, Colchester. So why can`t we score more than them? LACK OF A GOALSCORER. Sure, Darius does his job, but he`s too much of a target man, and first and foremost, that tactic doesn`t work, he also tires easily and has a knack of giving away fouls and picking up cards.
But never mind, let`s be positive for once!
For those of us unable to get a ticket due to the club`s stupid policy of selling the last 100 on the door, it didn`t take long to jump off the sofa as Leigh Bromby put Watford ahead. A corner from the left, delivered by McAnuff onto the head of John-Joe O`Toole only for Kiely to foil him with his knees. Leigh Bromby`s gamble paid off though as he nabbed his first goal in 76 league games smashing home from a foot with his left.
The danger of course though was that having taken the lead after five minutes, we were left with 85 minutes of tension. And, sadly, as per with the Hornets, they were 85 minutes of tension. That said, Dean Kiely was worked hard again before half time as Tamas Priskin headed goal wards from a free kick for the ever-supple ‘keeper to deny with a diving parry.
On the stroke of half time, Neil Clement had hearts pounding as he curled a delicious free-kick against the bar from the right-hand side of the area leaving Lee stranded as it bounced over.
Tamas Priskin found time for a reply as he backheel picked out Tommy Smith to fire a low cross to McAnuff who ponced around with it too long before curling just over off the outside of his left peg.
West Brom were reminded at half-time a win would take them top by Tony Mowbray, and unlike Aidy Boothroyd the gaffer could well have been the inspiration as his troops levelled three minutes after half time.
A stupid foul conceded by skipper John Eustace saw Jonathan Greening curl the ball onto the head of ex-Scummer Leon Barnett to head home, unmarked, from close-range. Fantastic defending from set pieces, as usual.
From then on, it was nervy stuff as Kevin Phillips virtually ran the show. A clever dink into Ishmael Miller should have been rewarded with a goal, but the former Manchester City loanee shot straight at Richard Lee`s chest as he haired off his line. Phillips then wasted his own golden chance, dive heading straight at the Hornets stopped when well poised one-on-one.
Zoltan Gera confirmed that it wasn`t the Baggies day as he whistled a first-time effort wide of Lee and the right-hand post after Stewart missed a crucial header.
Watford were lucky, but then unlucky that Kiely denied them in the first half. In this division you make your own luck, and it`s about time we started.
Kiely; Hoefkens, Barnett, Clement, Robinson; Gera, Greening, Koren, Morrison; Phillips and Miller.
Referee: Mr M Dean
Here at VitalWatford, we are incredibly proud of our headline making prowess and would like to declare that ‘West Brom-by’ was not copied from the Watford Official site who are now running the same headline.
Made a couple of excellent stops from close-range.
Stuck to his task, but not his man.
Resolute for 94 minutes.
Cool as ever and a goal to boot.
Missed a key header nealy costing us a point.
Eustace (c) – 5
Made a number of silly fouls and cost the goal with foul.
Gave the ball away too often, but did still made a few decent passes.
Didn’t attack his man and managed a poor effort on goal when should’ve done better.
Nice passing, but largely innefectual.