Watford 2-3 Wolves
A pulsating afternoons entertainment came to end at Vicarage Road with Watford on the wrong end of a three-two thriller. The Hornets should`ve easily made that three-three with Tommy Smith missing a second-half penalty, whilst he and several others missed guilt-edged chances as the Hornets piled on second-half pressure.
Wolves were nothing special. Granted they took the lead within the first couple of minutes, Chris Iwelumno bundling Lee and his centre backs to the floor and seeing the ball bounce off him and into the net after not very long. The journeyman striker was to later give Hornets fans more reason to dislike him as he escaped punishment following several fouls, and non-stop pushing, pulling and so on.
Watford were quite happy to draw level following a scramble in the area. Eustace pinging the ball out to the left, the cross looped over and Will Hoskins dragged effort rebounded kindly for Rasiak to tuck away. Back in the team, and back amongst the goals, the Pole will be expecting more performances like this.
Pegged back though not long after, David Jones smashed home a cleverly-worked free kick on his left foot after Iwelumno`s presence drew Leigh Bromby into a foul.
Half Time: 1-2
Never ones to let adversity slow them down, Watford roared back onto level terms, two emphatic minutes after half time. A telling free-kick from Tommy Smith whipped across and bundled in off the bar by, yes, John-Joe O`Toole, yet again.
Smith`s part for the afternoon was by no means done as the winger was awarded a penalty not long after. Stepping up with the chance to put the 'Orns ahead against the league leaders, in front of the Rookery, the former Derby man blazed over.
Not before Wolves went into the lead. Michael Kightly the creator, tearing down the right before looping a low cross over for Michael Gray to prod home right his right toe. Had referee Mr Woolmer sent Kightly off for taking Lee out late after the Horns 'keeper had made a last ditch gather, would Gray have scored?
Still his afternoon`s work wasn`t complete as he burst between static centre-backs Jason Shackell and Neill Collins, flicking the ball craftily over the later before stabbing a shot at Carl Ikeme. The bulky 'keeper saved the first effort before sub McAnuff slid in to surely poach, finding himself denied by a recovering Wolves defender at the post.
Neill Collins also failed to see red after shoving Grzegorz Rasiak to the floor. The Beanpole Pole was standing just inches from Mr Woolmer when this discrepancy occurred, yet the official recognised it, but failed to punish the former Mackem.
Full Time 2-3
But there you have it, referees make bad decisions, so do players, so do managers. We`ve just got to move on.
Watford: Lee ,Sadler ,Bromby ,Mariappa ,Doyley (Henderson ,88 ) ,Eustace ,Harley (McAnuff ,71 ) ,Smith ,O'Toole ,Rasiak ,Hoskins (Ainsworth ,72)
Subs not used: Tyler,Jenkins,
Wolves: Ikeme ,Foley ,Shackell ,Collins ,Stephen Ward ,Kightly ,Henry ,Jones ,Gray (David Edwards ,76 ) ,Ebanks-Blake (Keogh ,81 ) ,Iwelumo (Vokes ,86)
Subs not used Hennessey,Friend,
Worked very hard all afternoon. His graft might not be recognised for it's aesthetic please, resulting in his substitution for Jobi McAnuff, but I know who I'd rather have in my side.