Writer: Tom Bodell
Date:Tuesday January 31 2012
WATFORD BEGAN life with Marvin Sordell with a win thanks to goals from the men who will look to replace him in Troy Deeney and Joe Garner
Deeney got the opener 10 minutes before half time, finishing well from Alex Kacaniklic`s through-ball before Garner finished from close-range to secure the win. Scott Loach gave away a penalty late on before made amends by saving well to deny Darius Henderson.
Sean Dyche made two changes from the side that lost to Spurs in the FA Cup 4th round with Kacaniklic making his professional debut and Jonathan Hogg returning in midfield. Prince Buaben dropped to the bench and Marvin Sordell dropped out altogether at the request of owner Laurence Bassini. The Hornet`s reverted to 4-4-2 with Deeney partnering Garner up front.
Millwall boss Kenny Jackett was without Paul Robinson once more and winger James Henry who was replaced by Ryan Mason in midfield.
Watford had an excellent chance after just a couple of minutes when Garner met Lee Hodson`s right-wing cross but could only head straight at Lions goalkeeper, David Forde from eight yards.
Garner saw another good chance missed when he dragged a low shot wide from the edge of the area having beaten Darren Ward and Tony Craig for pace.
Just as Millwall were beginning to take control of the game, Deeney handed the Hornets the lead. Kacaniklic found the striker who drove home from the edge of the area to notch his fourth goal of the season.
Spurs loanee Harry Kane had the host`s best chance of the half when he closed down Adrian Mariappa`s clearance before hammering a shot at Scott Loach. The Hornet`s stopper did well to save before being fouled in the follow-up.
The first highlight of the second half was Watford`s second. Lloyd Doyley burst down the left before feeding Kacaniklic who saw his shot saved. The ball fell to Garner who grabbed his first goal as a Hornet with a close-range finish.
The Lions saw a rare chance go amiss just after the hour when former Hornet Henderson nodded over from six yards at the far-post.
Substitute John Marquis came close late on when he cannoned a header off the post before Nyron Nosworthy cleared.
Just at the clocked ticked over to 90, Lloyd Doyley paused and Loach brought down Marquis for a penalty as a he rushed off his line. Henderson stepped up but Loach redeemed himself with an excellent save.
A great result for the boys in spite of all the off-field chaos that has dominated today. Great for Joe Garner to get his first goal for the club and Alex Kacaniklic to impress on his full debut with two assists. Our first points of 20212, onwards & upwards!
Millwall: Forde; Smith, Ward, Craig, Barron; Mason (Hackett), Trotter, Abdou, Feeney; Henderson & Kane (Marquis).
Subs not used: Allsop (gk), Wright & Lowry.
Watford: Loach; Hodson, Mariappa, Nosworthy, Doyley; Kacaniklic (Iwelumo), Eustace (c), Hogg, Murray; Deeney & Garner (Buaben).
Subs not used: Bond (gk), Dickinson & Yeates.
Referee: Mr K Stroud
Date:Tuesday January 31 2012
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