Cureton snatches point
The tide has turned at Vicarage Road; just as Nathan Ellington was ready to become the new 'King of Vicarage Road`, he`s gone back to his old ways of being lazy, inaccurate, useless and a complete waste of money. Aidy`s always been hit and miss in the transfer market and having waited the best part of a season for his first three goals, 1million a goal is hardly great value. With Steve Kabba knocking on the door, Tamas Priskin rejecting a loan move, and Collins John now 'fit`, is the Duke`s place under threat?
I`ll tell you what is under threat however, our promotion chances. We may have moved up to second last night, but that`s not papering over the cracks of another performance at home where we failed to break down an organized defence. How many times have we been pegged back this season having been in the lead? Burnley on Saturday and last night for starters.
Much like Preston, Watford did enough, first half, to win the game, but with Glenn Roeder`s side offering little going forward, Watford rested on their laurels of a one-goal lead and allowed the Canaries further and further forward. It was sub Jamie Cureton who did the damage, receiving a pass from playmaker Lee Croft before flicking it up and volleying it home over the despairing Richard Lee.
Watford`s goal was another set-piece, following one last week, and many before that, Dan Shittu rising highest to power home Jobi McAnuff`s corner. That his ninth of the season, our second highest scorer…
Nathan Ellington fluffed a good chance just before the goal as he raced onto the inevitable long-ball, but screwed his effort straight at David Marshall. The ball spooned toward the heavens, with Marshall stranded, Ellington volleyed way, way, way over…predictably.
Norwich responded with a dipping half-volley from skipper Mark Fotheringham, but Lee was able to gather with ease as he hopped across his goal. Dion Dublin, now 38, enjoyed a similar effort as he read Ched Evans` flick, controlling the ball off his chest the firing goalwards, but bringing an equally comfortable save out of Lee.
Jobi McAnuff tied up the half nicely, crashing a shot from distance that looked comfortable for Marshall before spinning up out of his arms and away for a corner.
Presumably Aidy Boothroyd didn`t actually tell his players they could play in a such a poor manner second half, but they certainly turned his prozone jargon into 'sit back, let them onto you and try and concede the equaliser` because much of the second half belonged to the visitors.
Lee Croft chipped into the area for Dublin to head wide before a misplaced Watford pass found Dublin again, just inside the area the big forward looped one over. Lee Croft then drove a shot from distance which Lee made a neat save to deny the equaliser. Something you never see from Watford though, not at least, since Matthew Spring, is a shot from distance. This was fully twenty yards, but measured, controlled, goalbound and on a slippery surface, a clever try.
Watford`s only real second half chances came from corners and this when a McAnuff corner was not properly cleared leaving Shittu and a host of Norwich defenders to wrestle the ball away. Tommy Smith also had the mother of all penalty claims when Gary Doherty barged him to the floor, shoulder charge style before Darius Henderson had a decent one, pushed to the floor by the same ex-Scummer.
Dion Dublin somehow managed a scorpion kick towards his own-goal in the penalty area, the God against Watford deciding that David Marshall should make an outstanding reflex save from 10 yards away. O`Toole then saw a volleyed chance hoofed away for a corner as the chance of an extra two points slipped away from the Hornets.
Marshall; Velasco, Doherty, Pearce, Camara; Croft, Fotheringham (c), Pattison, Bertrand; Dublin and Evans.
Lee (c); Mariappa, Shittu, Bromby, Sadler; Smith, Eustace, O`Toole, McAnuff; Henderson and Ellington.