Writer: Tom Bodell
Date:Tuesday August 23 2011
WATFORD SUCCUMBED to another defeat as they were beaten on penalties by Paul Buckle`s Bristol Rovers.
Marvin Sordell set the Hornet`s off in positive fashion with an early tap-in before Rovers levelled up with a scorcher from Matt Harrold. Penalties saw skipper John Eustace miss the 'Orns first effort before veteran Scott McGleish put wide, however sub Mustafa Carayol secured victory for the League Two outfit.
Sean Dyche made just three changes with Rene Gilmartin replacing Scott Loach in goal; David Mirfin coming in for a debut in place of Martin Taylor and Josh Walker making his Hornet`s bow a year after signing in place of Ross Jenkins.
Bristol Rovers on the other hand stuck with the same 11 that drew against Macclesfield at the weekend.
Watford took the lead inside the first two minutes when Marvin Sordell converted from close range. Walker found Craig Forsyth who centred for the England U20 cap to tap home from close-range to open his account for the 2011/12 season.
The Hornet`s lead was short-lived though as the hosts levelled three minutes later when former Southend and Wycombe forward Matt Harrold struck from 20 yards to leave stand-in 'keeper Gilmartin with no chance, registering his third of the season.
Dyche`s men were on top for much of the first period with Troy Deeney missing a hatful of chances and Walker also coming close when he smashed ferociously against the Gas` crossbar.
Skipper John Eustace troubled Bevan early on in the second period with a tame drive from distance which the lanky 'keeper made a hash of pushing round the post.
Lloyd Doyley nearly added a second career goal to his tally when he sent a precise daisy-cutter just wide of Bevan`s far-post having progressed down the flank before placing narrowly wide. The Hornet`s full-back came close again at the death when he fired in a low shot that Bevan fumbled away.
owever, despite Doyley`s best efforts, Watford were forced to play another 30 minutes by the way of extra time.
Eustace was back amongst the action as the first man to test Bevan in extra-time as he came close with a header before Doyley again slashed a shot toward goal without any joy.
orsyth was the next to test Bevan as the first-half of extra time came to a close when he lashed a left-footed effort towards the top corner from 25 yards; Bevan tipped over for a corner.
With just seven minutes to go, Rovers came within inches of scoring but Aidy Mariappa was on hand to block on the line. Midfielder Wayne Brown followed that up with a free-kick which Gilmartin played safe in palming away for a corner.
Watford failed to break down the resolute Rovers rearguard and so penalties decided the game.
Bristol Rovers Penalties:
uffour - Scored; McGleish - Wide; Virgo - Scored; W.Brown - Scored; Carayol - Scored.
ustace - Saved; Sordell - Scored; Mariappa - Scored; Dickinson - Saved.
Bristol Rovers: Bevan; Anthony, Bolger (Smith), Virgo, Brown; Zebroski (Carayol), Gill, Stanley; Kuffour, Harrold (Brown) and McGleish
Subs not used: Cronin (GK); Richards, McLaggon and Boateng.
Watford: Gilmartin; Doyley, Mirfin, Mariappa, Dickinson; Yeates (Massey), Eustace (c), Walker (Buaben), Forsyth; Sordell and Deeney.
Subs not used: Loach (GK); Hodson, Bennett, Mingoia and Whichelow.
Attendance: 4 432
Referee: Mr D Coote.
Date:Tuesday August 23 2011
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