Watford - Watford 2 Ipswich Town 1
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Watford 2 - Ipswich Town 1

Vicarage Road

30.08.08 @17:20

Attendance: 16 345

Watford 2 Ipswich Town 1

My first look at the sleek, sexy, stylish soccer being played down at Vicarage Road, and I have to confirm, I was more impressed with the heart, grit, detirmation and motivation from the dugout to the pitch throughout the second half. Had it not been for Watford remembering their old values of never giving up and working for one another, then the style of victory would`ve been irrelevant, as victory would have been impossible.

Sure Watford scarcely resorted to the 'long ball` tag of last year, and when they did it was from the boot of Mart Poom 9/10. Ironic therefore that the Ipswich goal came from a Poom howler, laid the ball back by league debutant Jordan Parkes, Poom scuffed his clearance straight to Pablo Counago who controlled before slipping into the bottom-right-hand corner past Poom who recovered to attempt to stop the shot.

When the Hornets did carve out a chance of real note, it fell to Jon Harley who saw his diving head at the far post strike the inside of the opposite post and trickle into Richard Wright`s hands before the midfielder could tuck home. Tamas Priskin then saw his penalty appeal waived away having rounded a handful of Town defenders and 'keeper Wright, Priskin either lost his feet or was helped to the floor, but nothing giving when one-on-one with an empty net.

With the crowd on top of Watford, the home side become more and more desperate to get the ball forward, passes went astray, and often too long for the intended target or beyond the obvious, more simple destination.

Half-time: 0-1

The interval saw the removal of Jordan Parkes to introduce John Joe-O`Toole, and credit must here be handed to Mr Boothroyd as for the second time in a week, John-Joe proved the difference with the winner. However, it was his midfield partner, John Eustace who first got the Hornets level. A Lee Williamson corner found the head of the ex-Stoke man who powered past Richard Wright for the first goal in Yellow.

This goal galvanised Eustace who had otherwise been poor, failing to cover anywhere near as much ground as necessary and picking up his virtually obligatory yellow card for the week. Goals breed confidence they say and Eustace`s led to a much improved second half.

Also improved was Priskin who cleverly picked out the run of Jobi McAnuff, the blind side of Wright and one-on-one with the looming goal as he managed to smash Priskin`s low centre against the bar from about a yard.

When the winner did come, it was richly deserved as Lee Williamson had seen his chance for glory blocked by Richard Wright`s sprawling hand and Liam Henderson was bundled over by the former Gooner 'keeper.

Finally, the winner came through Eire U21 cap, John Joe O`Toole who added to his midweek volley with a fine close-range header after Liam Henderson`s shot was parried skyward by Wright. From close range, O`Toole looped his effort over Wright`s hands to give Watford all three points.

Full time: 2-1

It wouldn`t be fair to say the style of play hasn`t changed, it has, and it`s improved drastically. However, the first half looked like a bunch of strangers had met for the first time without the benefit of 6 weeks pre-season practice.

Time will surely improve the quality, accuracy and infiltration of the football, but for now, it`s just a relief to be scoring and winning.

Wright; Volz, McAuley (c), Naylor, Thatcher; Walter, Trotter, Campo, Miller; Counago and Lisbie.

Referee: Mr L. Probert

Star Player

John Joe O'Toole

Player Ratings

Poom - 6

Howler for Ipswich goal but did not affect his confidence for remaining 82 mins.

Doyley - 6

Never looked in any great danger

DeMerit - 6

Controlled and assured at the back.

Bromby - 6

Solid, accurate with ball.

Parkes - 6

Full debut, barely showed until replacement after 45'

McAnuff - 7

Prepared to take men on and crossing improved.

Eustace - 6

Poor but goal galvanised former skipper.

Williamson - 6

Didn't waste the ball and created leveller.

Harley - 6

Unlucky to see goal deny him, worked hard and defender well.

Smith - 6

Workmanlike but unspectacular.

Priskin - 5

Guess what? Offered nowt.

The Journalist

Writer: wfc123 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday August 30 2008

Time: 8:46PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
ooh Jon Harley - hows he doing for you lads?
Report Abuse
30/08/2008 21:22:00

Meh. No complaint :)
Report Abuse
30/08/2008 21:23:00

A great comeback by the lads but I think you are blind to the good work that Priskin did, he is not a Hendo but made many intelligent runs and won quite a few headers, including nearly scoring from a corner and also laid on the chance on a plate for McAnuff. Give him a break.
Report Abuse
31/08/2008 08:04:00

Yep I mentionee the chance he laid on for McAnuff, but sorry, when we are playing a formation that has just the ONE forward, he can't go walkabout because no-one gets in the box instead or waits for the service. He needs to be glued to that last defender instead! Delighted with the comeback though. :-)
Report Abuse
31/08/2008 11:36:00

A great comeback indeed. I think maybe a bit harsh to rate Priskin so low, he did alright!! He makes some good runs, has a nice touch and IF he can start finding the back of the net, I think we will have a very good player. Still great start to the season - well happy - come on you 'Orns!!!
Report Abuse
31/08/2008 18:40:00

Hear Hear, Priskin did really well and we will be better served by supporting him which the majority of the crowd did! No doubt he'll score again for Hungary next week and then come back refreshed. Come on You Golden Boys!
Report Abuse
31/08/2008 21:45:00

I thought your critisim of Eustace & Priskin was harsh, but then you said these things about these players last year. Why do you not just come out and say you dont like them both? as for the crowd getting on top of wfc, the fans were quiet, but i think that is because we are all nervous, but the did not get on at them, the second half, the fans got really behind them, if you had watched the saints game earlier then that is what you call fans getting on top of their team, even sky, which i watched after getting home from the game said the crowd were behinf their team!
Report Abuse
01/09/2008 09:37:00

I have said since DAY ONE I dislike Tamas Priskin. He is never going to blossom and Im afraid AB needs to cut his losses on him and stop trying to play Wengar. JOHN EUSTACE is my favourite player, first half yesterday he was poor, after that he had an excellent half and dominated midfield. AND I DONT WANT PRISKIN TO MAKE GOOD RUNS UNLESS THEY END IN HIM STICKING THE BALL IN THE NET. I WANT MY STRIKERS TO STRIKE!!!!!!!!!!!
Report Abuse
01/09/2008 09:47:00

There is no need to be so aggresive with your response! we all want our strikers to score, me, i'd like to see more goals from the whole team as a general, which happened on Sat. Demeit has an obvious problem with his selection of boots, which you did not mention, how many times did he slip over? i suspect he is wearing blades. My Father dislikes Priskin with the same passion as you, yes he is frustrating, yes he looks lazy, but we can afford any one else, do you not get it, we have to run with what we have, so you might as well get use to it,
Report Abuse
01/09/2008 11:01:00

Yes, I agree it's good everyone is chipping in, and the boot problem extended to most people.
Report Abuse
01/09/2008 14:31:00


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