Watford prove their point at Ipswich
Sat 21th March
Watford made it 9 games unbeaten against Ipswich after holding their Portman Road hosts to 0-0 but will have rookie keeper Scott Loach to thank for preserving their impressive record.
Ipswich (and in particular Mssrs Norris, Counago and Stead) will surely feel a tad frustrated that they didn`t find a way past the safe hands of Scott Loach but Watford will point to a rather steely defensive performance after holding on for a solid point.
The official Hornets site says it was a "siege" and they weren`t wrong as Williamson and co had to stand up to a second half barrage of pace and power from the Tractor Boys that at times was pretty frightening.
Mind you, stand up to the challenge they did and bar yet another injury to Jay Demerit (going down in a feat of glory with a last ditch challenge on Stead) the Hornets backline deservedly came out unscathed.
It certainly wasn`t plain sailing though. Haynes gave Lloyd Doyley the run around for 60 minutes with one 50 yard run at pace pretty special bar the end product and the Cork v Norris midfield match up was just edged by the Tractor Boy.
We haven`t had to type that much in the last 10 games!
Loach, celebrated another call up to the England U21s with a string of fine, fine saves of which the highlights were a brace of blocks to deny Norris and a brilliant lunging close range save from a Stead effort 10 yards out (after a delicious backheel flick from Counago).
But young Scott saved his best to keep out a 20 yarder from Alan Quinn that had it beaten the Hornets stopper would have been well worthy of the 2 points that Jim Magilton reckons Ipswich "dropped".
Town might not have found "their killer edge" but at the other end Watford were guilty of poor finishing and rubbish decision making as they too had chances to snatch all the points.
Richard Wright found some of his former glorious form to deny Smith with his legs on the stroke of half time after a spot of clowning around by Campo on the edge of the box saw Smudger bear down on goal.
The official Town site reckoned Smith`s chance was "the best opening of the first 45 minutes" and in truth Tommy should have done better. Then again, his decision to pass and pick out Priskin when it seemed easier to shoot himself midway through the second half was also a bizarre choice by the player dubbed 'Superman` by the gaffer.
lsewhere and Cowie fired over with a ripe ol` peachof an effort with 20 left on the clock whilst McAnuff was again a nuisance with a header (yes, a header) that caused panic early on and a drive that went just wide.
All in all it was a solid point for Watford and a result that pretty much kicks into touch Ipswich`s plans of a Play Off place but despite the scoreline, it was a good advert for Championship footie with both sides looking to get it down and knock it about…
..so at least the Portman Road faithful can`t go home and whinge about being kicked off the park by Watford this time around!!!
Truly deserving the man of the match award for a string of top drawer saves to deny Ipswich victory. Brave, composed and safe hands all afternoon despite heavy pressure in the second half.