Writer: Dr Watford
Date:Thursday August 2 2007
There's a reason Dr Watford doesn't enjoy pre-season friendlies and this dour affair away at Paul Ince's MK Dons' did little to encourage a change of heart.
This was in all sense of the word a bore 0-0 draw with chances and urgency few and far between - a real one for the 'glass half empty' brigade to get their teeth well and truly into and, in all fairness, rightly so I am afraid.
In front of 2,000 away supporters, the Glory Hornet Boys were mostly toothless upfront, lacked consistent creative flair or bite in the middle of the park and were, at best, lacklustre against a well organised MK Dons side.
In fact, the only bright sparks on a rather unmotivational evening came in the shape of Jobi McAnuff who's pace and trickery were at times frightening, the dominance of Clarke Carlisle and, surprisingly, Anthony McNamee, who was withdrawn with 20 mins left to be replaced by the, out of position, Will Hoskins.
The official site may claim this a 'solid defensive showing' but let's not kid ourselves - Jackson looked suspect under the high ball all night and Stewart got turned too much for the good Doctors liking by the pacy Lloyd Dyer.
Only the safe handling and agility of Mart Poom avoided Aaron Wilbraham giving the Dons victory, when he pulled off an outstanding reflex 1-on-1 save deep into injury time.
Was it as bad as all that? Well, the stats won't lie, it was another clean sheet but the Hornets just didn't look like adding to the scoresheet. King fizzed a couple of long range efforts over the bar and failed to take advantage when clean through 1-on-1, whilst Priskin had a couple of low drives well fielded.
A McAnuff effort was tipped over and a Mahon drive, in the opening exchanges, cannoned back off an upright but trailist David Lucas had very little to do in the Dons net and MK centre half Sean O Hanlon had Tamas tucked in his pocket for much of his 80 minutes.
Dr Watford's assessment - Watford's game only really kicked into life when Jobi was moved inside and played just off the front 2, taking the focus off Williamson as the playmaker. Despite all the talk of passing football, the good up and under - from defence to attack - was still our major weapon with Jordan Stewart slinging balls into the box higher than a bouncing bomb! There was an airing at last for Hendo but no Bouazza in the squad...
Things will need to improve to get a result out of Molineux, i'm in little doubt of that (and unfortunately, this is all from a guy who's very much planted in the 'glass half full' camp)!
**MAN OF THE MATCH**
Anthony McNamee - showed enough to prove he has what it takes to provide competition on the flanks but has he found his level?
Date:Thursday August 2 2007
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