Bolton Wanderes 2-1 Watford
WATFORD SUFFERED their second straight league defeat at the hands of Bolton Wanderes this afternoon as the Hornets went down 2-1 at the Reebok Stadium despite a spirited second half showing.
Gianfranco Zola made just one change from the side that lost at Derby before the International break, handing centre back Neuton Sergio Piccoli a debut alongside Nyron Nosworthy in place of Carl Dickinson. On the bench Nathaniel Chalobah, Joel Ekstrand and Fernando Forestieri were selected for the first time since their loan arrivals.
Owen Coyle selected a return to 4-4-2 having changed to 4-5-1- last time out, selecting Jay Spearing and Keith Andrews together for the first time. French forward David Ngog made his first appearance of the season following injury.
Watford could have been behind inside the first minute from, surprise surprise, a set piece. A Bolton corner was met by skipper Kevin Davies who was well denied by Manuel Almunia before the Spaniard had to deny David Ngog from the follow up.
In just the third minute the hosts did beat Almunia when Matt Mills met a corner with a free header which squirmed past the former Arsenal stopper.
After a shaky start Watford gradually found their footing in the game, Mark Yeates taking advantage of some space to skip infield and shoot low into the palms of Adam Bogdan after 15 minutes.
Almen Abdi was another to seize the initiative just after, firing his short just wide. Just after the half-hour mark a Daniel Pudil corner was met by Nyron Nosworthy who crashed a header towards goal, only for Mills to block on the line.
Just a handful of minutes before half time Watford conceded another goal from a set piece, Kevin Davies poking his second of the season past Almunia from a Chris Eagles free kick.
Half Time 2-0
The second half started much more brightly for the Hornets who forced their way into the Wanderes half earning a couple of corners in the process; Pudil seeing a low left footed effort fizz just wide from distance.
After a sustained period of pressure, Watford won a corner which fell for Doyley on the edge of the area and his over hit cross saw the Hornets stalwart adding his second goal for the club in his 339th appearance.
The Watford pressure continued with Chris Iwelumo unlucky not to score when his effort was well blocked by Bolton defender Tyrone Mears following a Pudil centre.
Bolton came back into the game towards the end hitting Watford on the break with Kevin Davies heading straight at Almunia.
But Watford continued to press and almost equalised when Jay Spearing nearly put through his own net after substitute Fernando Forestieri crossed deep into the Bolton area.
But Bolton hung on to inflict a second consecutive defeat on Gianfranco Zola`s Watford, who now have back to back home games against Brighton and Bristol City to get back on track.
Full Time 2-1
Bolton: Bogdan, Mears, Mills, Knight, Alonso, M. Davies, Spearing, Andrews (Pratley), Eagles, K. Davies, Ngog (Afobe)
Subs Not Used: Lonergan (GK), Ricketts, Petrov, Lee, Sordell
Watford: Almunia, Doyley, Nosworthy, Neuton, Pudil, Hogg, Abdi (Smith), Yeates (Beleck), Murray (Forestieri), Vydra, Iwelumo
Subs Not Used: Bond, Cassetti, Chalobah, Ekstrand
Referee: Mr E Ilderton