Watford rain on Sky Blues parade
Sat 13th December 2008
Watford pulled off back to back victories in a week of crunch 6-point double headers with a 2-1 win over Coventry at a rain sodden Vicarage Road.
After 3 pitch inspections and plenty of 'will he, won`t he` speculation surrounding ref Moss, any thoughts that Watford had of a possible abandonment (yes, we mean you Dean Austin) were well put to bed in a first half of attractive football played on some awful surface water and in 90 minutes of relentless driving rain.
It`s the first time all season the Hornets have got the ball down and knocked it about purposefully (perhaps because 'crab` Bridcott was left on the bench?) and, given the quite awful conditions, which were more suited to the rough and tumble direct days of old, it was highly commendable.
In fact, had Cov keeper Westwood not been in sparkling form then Brendan Rodgers men would have been home and dry before half time. A series of fine stops from the former Carlisle stopper - most notably from a point blank Bromby header, a Williamson drive, Mariappa and an audacious 40 yarder from O`Toole - kept the game level at the break despite wave after wave of Watford attack on a tricky surface.
Ok, so Cov played their part too and looked to counter with some serious pace wherever possible but up front Eastwood looked a shadow of his former self whilst Morrison was well marshalled. Yes, the Sky Blues had their chances - a Morrison header had Loach scrambling to keep out at his back post (again, poor marking from a corner) and a tame header was tipped over the bar - but Chris Coleman wouldn`t have had too many complaints had the Sky Blues gone at least 2 goals down.
As it was it took a disputable 62 minute penalty (it looked less of a spot kick than the kick out at Priskin by Elliott Ward in the 2nd minute) - comfortably converted by Tommy Smith - and a close range O`Toole winner after some pinball defending in the box to cancel out a crackerjack of an effort from Jay Tabb that Clinton Morrison had the audacity to claim.
Watford really could and should have had a couple more but it wouldn`t be the Hornets without a few scares at the back but even the loss of Jenkins, carried off on a stretcher, didn`t put a dampener on a wet but wildly entertaining 90 minutes.
Roll on Derby.
Willo was at the heart of all things good put together by the Hornets midfield and even in poor conditions made time and space on the ball look easy.
Watford's midfield engine room with Williamson, Harley, O'Toole and Jenkins was awesome all afternoon.