Hen-d'oh miss costs 2pts
Going into this game, we knew we needed at least four points from games against Stoke and Bristol. Personally, I think if we don`t get three against Stoke we will look back to a Tuesday night in Bristol and pinpoint it as the moment we lost out on automatic promotion.
Last night may not have been a chance-filled game, but Watford certainly had the best chance with a 42nd minute penalty which Henderson somehow contrived to miss- inexcusable, however much of a cult hero he is.
Bristol started the brighter with Michael McIndoe the danger-man down the left. It took eighteen minutes for the first serious shot but McIndoe had previously cracked a let-footer comfortably into the palms of Richard Lee.
Marvin Elliott continued the home-sides pressure getting past O`Toole who failed to put in a meaningful challenge before driving a goal bound effort which Lee did well to tip over the bar for a corner. Returning Bristol captain Louis Carey connected with the set-play at the near post but without any conviction as it ricocheted off him and wide.
The Robins dominance continued and Lee Johnson`s delightfully accurate cross picked out Michael McIndoe who lost out to Dan Shittu before Marvin Elliott cracked into another effort which Lee beat away for a corner this time.
The drama continued as Aidy Mariappa somehow avoided a straight red for chopping McIndoe who had gotten the better of the young full back in the first half. Andre Marriner however avoided the booking sticking with a warning for Aidy Jnr. Not long after he was booked and then just before half time avoided red for another foul.
It`s fair to say Watford were on the rack, but then this is where we thrive, yes?
Sort of. Two minutes before half time, Darius Henderson was sent goalwards, Basso came to meet him and shouts of handball went up, the ball found it`s way to Tommy Smith who charged into the area and McIndoe undid his good work with a foul. Penalty given and up-stepped the man who`s buried a Play Off Final pen, not to mention one at Upton Park last season. Straight down the middle and Basso got an arm in the way.
Henderson`s evident frustrations at his failure to convert were then taken out on Lee Johnson, poor bloke, as the big man went in studs up on the tricky midget. Marriner once again kept his cards in his pocket.
Other than Collins John`s removal seven minutes into a the second half of a 'poor` debut, neither side created much [not that I herd anyway]. Although, O`Toole came close to connecting with Dan Shittu`s downward header and two minutes before the whistle he back-heeled agonizingly wide.
Two points dropped, for both sides perhaps? Elliott and McIndoe were the brightest sparks for the home side, though Watford didn`t really have a 'brightest spark`, Leigh Bromby marshalled the defence well and with John Eustace as skipper, where does DeMerit`s future lie? Surely he will not be content with a bench place? I wouldn`t if I was he.
The future will reveal all, but in the mean time, 100% on three points against promotion, this campaign is all we make it and that comes down to us, the fans, let`s get the Vic` pumping if we really want this promotion!
Bristol City XI
Basso, Orr, Carey, Vasko, McAllister, Brian Wilson (Sproule 89), Johnson (Carle 46), Elliott, McIndoe, Noble (Trundle 77), Adebola.
Lee, Mariappa (DeMerit 63), Shittu, Bromby, Stewart, Smith, Eustace, O'Toole, McAnuff, Henderson, John (Williamson 52).
Referee: Mr A Marriner