Writer: Colin Cowan
Date:Sunday March 17 2013
A HEADER from Tykes' substitute Bobby Hassell condemned Watford to back-to-back league defeats for the first time since the back-end of October 2012.
Gianfranco Zola made three changes to the side that went down 2-1 to Blackpool last weekend. In came Joel Ekstrand, Marco Cassetti and Matej Vydra who replaced Matthew Briggs, Daniel Pudil and Fernando Forestieri.
Barnsley boss David Flitcroft named the same XI which beat Brighton & Hove Albion in midweek.
Watford had the first chance of the game after some neat play in the midfield the ball fell to Jonathan Hogg who saw his shot well saved by Luke Steele in the Barnsley goal.
The home side then had the first real chance of the game as striker Jason Scotland broke through the Watford defence and could have opened the scoring if it wasn`t for Watford captain Lloyd Doyley getting back in time to make a vital challenge.
The Tykes had another opportunity to break the deadlock when a flick from Chris O`Grady landed at the edge of the six yard box but Watford 'keeper Jonathan Bond dived bravely at the ball making sure that Jim O`Brien couldn`t connect.
Barnsley were beginning to take control of the game and had yet another chance to take the lead. This time Scotland had a shot well saved by Bond.
Then, in the 35th minute, the home side made all of their pressure count as they took the lead.
Jacob Mellis swung in a fantastic free kick towards the back post. This was met by the head of Hassell, who had come on to replace the injured Rory Delap early on; his header finding its way past Bond.
Zola could see that his side were struggling in the middle of the park and brought on England U21 international Nathaniel Chalobah for Mark Yeates for the second half.
Barnsley started the second half where they had left off and were controlling the game.
With half an hour left the 'Orns introduced Forestieri and Geoffrey Mujangi Bia in place of Hogg and Ikechi Anya, who had been impressive down Watford`s left hand side.
Watford`s best chance to get back into the game came from a corner - the ball falling to to Vydra who saw his volley from the edge of the area well saved by Steele.
The visitors had one final chance in added time to get back into the game. Again from a corner the ball almost fell to Cristian Battocchio but bounced away and the home side were able to clear and hold onto an important three points in their battle against relegation.
This result will not please Zola nor any of the 1074 Hornets fans who made the long trip up to Barnsley for the game. With an international break ahead and just under two weeks off, the Italian will be hoping his side can recharge their batteries and make the push in April for one of the two automatic promotion spots as they aim to avoid the play-offs.
Barnsley: Steele (c); Delap (Hassell), Wiseman, Cranie, Kennedy; O'Brien, Etuhu, Perkins, Mellis (Cywka); Scotland (Dagnall) & O'Grady.
Subs not used: Dawson, Harewood, Tunnicliffe & Alnwick (GK).
Watford: Bond; Doyley, Nosworthy, Ekstrand; Cassetti, Battocchio, Hogg (Forestieri), Yeates (Chalobah), Anya (Mujangi Bia); Deeney & Vydra.
Subs not used: Hall, Pudil, Geijo & Bonham (GK).
Referee: Mr Tony Bates.
Date:Sunday March 17 2013
Talking Point: Mancini casualty of new direction (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Chalobah included in England U21's Euro squad (Tuesday May 14 2013)
A date with destiny: Palace in the play-off final (Monday May 13 2013)
VIDEO: Zola Recalls Dramatic Finale (Monday May 13 2013)
Zola: 'We deserve to be there' (Sunday May 12 2013)
Stats: Watford v Leicester City (Sunday May 12 2013)
Watford 3-1 Leicester City (3-2 on agg.) (Sunday May 12 2013)
Team News: Leicester City (H) (Sunday May 12 2013)
Leicester City Preview (H) - May 12 (Saturday May 11 2013)
The Vital Interview: Gianfranco Zola (Saturday May 11 2013)
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|6. Leicester City||46||19||11||16||+23||68|
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