Watford quick to dim Kandol light
Saturday 7th March 2009
Watford chalked up their 1st win in 8 visits to the Valley but it took a stirring second half comeback to walk away with the points from a 3-2 thriller.
The Hornets - back to full strength (bar Demerit) following Rodgers` rare moment of Home Park madness - will have Grzgorz Rasiak and Tamas Priskin to thank after the pair of East European hitmen put pay to a rather Unathletic Charlton side.
There were early scares for Watford mind you - Lloyd Sam was causing a few 'hearts in mouths` moments with his direct running and quick feet whilst Bailey and Spring (in true Spring fashion) tried their luck from distance with no success.
In fact, Brendan Rodgers men might have enjoyed plenty of possession early on but didn`t really hurt Charlton - well not until Smith fed the Cow with a delightfully disguised reverse pass and wee Don drove home from 6 yards
That`s 2 in a week from Cowie now!
It could - and really should - have been worse for the home faithful - McAnuff was unlucky with a crackerjack of a 20 yard drive that beat Elliott all ends up but flew just wide.
Fair play to Charlton though. Just as Watford started to knock it about with a bit of confidence, the Addicks struck back with Kandol netting twice in quick succession against the run of play.
Tresor`s first was a return to the right ol mess at the back that we thought Williamson had fixed. Doyley and Mariappa got in a bit of a pickle and, after a spot of head tennis, Kandol  scampered clear to level with ease.
The on-loan Leeds` man`s second was right out of Watford`s own set-piece book of tricks. A Spring corner caused panic in the box and Kandol , who must only be 5ft beat (in heels), beat everyone in the air to power past Loach.
Up the other end and Elliott in the Addicks goal was performing wonders. He did well to hold a fierce 30 yard Cowie free kick and then produced a magic moment to deny Rasiak at full stretch. Quite how he reached the Pole star`s well directed header from a pinpoint Cowie cross we`re not sure, but it was awfully good.
Rasiak thought it was in. Everyone in the ground thought it was in.
So was it a "shock first half lead" like the 'fficial club site says? Well, Burton and Sam both had good chances to extend the lead so no, here at VitalWatford, we have to disagree.
Second half though and it was a different story. Watford were a lot more fluid and some of the footie was pretty darn good in places - even despite the fact that Smithy had hobbled off  with a rather nasty looking knee injury (no need to panic just yet?).
There was even a hunger to get back into the game. And get back they did as Rasiak  took a cross-field ball from McAnuff and, out of nothing, smashed it home on the pivot from a good 20 yards. It was cracking footwork from the big lad off the Eastern Block and worthy of winning any Goal of the Season contest!!!
Ok, Charlton were still a threat on the break and Watford looked decidedly dodgy. Burton had a goal chalked off for offside (though we not quite sure why Cork was dilly-dallying with the ball) and Harley denied Kandol a hatrick with a well timed blocked but there really was only 1 side looking for the winner.
Youga stopped a Harley effort with a great block and the ref turned down shouts for a penalty after Racon wrestled Priskin to the floor - the Hungarian probably made just a little too much of it for Mr Penn`s liking as the official waved away appeals.
But a Tamas in form is a Tamas to be reckoned and Priskin  picked off all 3 points from South London with yet another beaut` of a finish 7 minutes from time.
Just when you thought Bailey or Kandol had wasted the game`s best late chances for a decider with a complete lack of class or quality, up stepped Priskin with a quite delightful chip that had the whole Charlton defense looking at each other with bewilderment.
Hudson and Butterfield will no doubt have to shoulder the Addicks frustration - they really should have dealt with Mike Williamson`s routine up and under with much more ease - but hey, Tamas` finish again (just like up at Blackpool) was sublime.
There was even a chance for Cowie to make it more emphatic right at the death but praise must go to Priskin - when Tamas scores a league goal in 2009, Watford win that`s a great stat to end with.
Let`s just hope Tommy`s not too badly battered!
When the big Pole came on for Smithy [40 mins] the game looked all but gone. Was unlucky not to score with his first touch, ruffled a few feathers and held the ball.
Thoroughly deserved his goal and it deserved to win any game.