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11.08.09 @19:45



Pretty it was not, for large chunks, effective it was not either, but in the end Watford`s [for now] Championship 'class` shone through as Malky Mackay`s side recorded their first victory under the new gaffer. And let me tell you, it was not pretty.

Extra time goals from captain for the night Mike Williamson and new-boy Scott Severin did for a Barnet side that scrapped well for 120 minutes and even managed to carve out some of the games best chances.

The first half saw both sides struggle to create anything, the ball going backwards and forwards with little quality in between. Barnet did create one good opening as Albert Adomah was slipped through but his effort dipped just over Richard Lee`s crossbar. Watford responded with a swerving shot which Scott Severin leant in to before lashing over the bar.

Watford reverted to long ball for much of the first half presumably leaving Danny Graham with a sore neck as he chased after hopeful punts from hoofer -in-chief, Aidy Mariappa. Indeed Mariappa it was who created Barnet`s best openings, falling over once in particular leaving Paul Furlong clean through on goal. The referee came down harshly on Barnet awarding the Hornets a free kick when it looked more the case that Mariappa had simply stumbled leaving Furlong with the goal gaping.

With full-time closing in the Hornets nearly snatched victory with Lloyd Doyley of all players bursting into the penalty area to latch onto a flick which for any other player would`ve been comprehensively volleyed home. However, this was Lloyd Doyley and newfound bias of cult status aside, did anyone expect him to take his chance? Though not…

Extra time loomed but still Watford did their best to lose the game, Albert Adomah again proving too tricky for the Hornets back line, lashing a shot goalwards for Lee to parry away for a corner.

Finally in extra time Watford`s Championship status started to show as the Hornets camped in the Barnet half. Mike Williamson eventually grabbed a scrappy header from McAnuff`s cross. It was a rare contribution from McAnuff who had only previously been noticeable for his exciting run and comical collapse at the last.

Before any of that however, Paul Furlong had planted a tame header straight down into the palms of Richard Lee after a pinpoint Albert Jarrett cross.

The second owed as much to the clumsy 'keeping of former Q.P.R stopper Jake Cole as it did the ambitious nature of Scott Severin. The fourteen cap Scot smashed in a half volley from the edge of the area which Cole managed to spill through his open legs.

Full Time 0-2

Barnet Starting XI
Cole; O`Neill, Yakubu, Leach, Gillett; Adomah, Hyde (c), Hughes, Jarrett; Furlong & Bolasie.

Star Player

Nathan Ellington - Who'd of thought it?!

Player Ratings

Richard Lee - 6

One clanger, but otherwise safe hands.

Lee Hodson - 7

Didn't put a foot wrong. Solid and dependable on first start.

Aidy Mariappa - 6

Appeard to be running on ice.

Mike Williamson - 7

Skippers goal, battled well against Furlong.

Lloyd Doyley - 6

Unlucky not score, solid.

Don Cowie - 6

Nothing of note before injury.

John Eustace - 8

Worked as hard as ever, NOT booked (!), calming influence in middle.

Scott Severin - 6

Faded into the background, but used ball well. Speculative goal.

Jobi McAnuff - 5

One driving run. Otherwise bottled challenges and beat nobody.

Tommy Smith - 5

Looked disinterested and recieved little support.

Danny Graham - 7

Strong as an Ox, worked hard, took a whack or several for the team and full of running.

Nathan Ellington - 8

Beefed up. Worked hard, run further than McAnuff [at a guess], made things happen, unlucky not to score.

Jon Harley - 6

Solid and unspectacular as ever.

Kurtney Brooks - 6

Looked bright.

Manager Rating

Malky Mackay -

Football was negative, however introduction of Ellington good move. [6]

Opponent Rating

Ian Hendon -

Sent out a first team, set side up well to contain Hornets pressure. [8]

Date:Wednesday August 12 2009
Time: 3:16PM

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I know it may seem that everything is negative, but the season has just started and comments like "for now championship" are not that great, we all know that we are not gonna win this league, but if the team show commitment, then i will be right behind them, Come on Tom, look at the positives.
12/08/2009 17:24:00
Wasn't there but it didn't sound great. Most worrying aspect is the continuation of the long ball stuff from the back four which played into Doncaster's (& presumably Barnet's) hands, missing out the midfield and leaving the forwards to live off 2nd ball scraps... I can't think what is going through Tommy Smith's mind having been told he's a "problem" by Russo.. I imagine he's just trying to stay out of trouble until he's transferred... and who could blame him? Still, it's early days and a win at Bramhall Lane at the attractive odds of 4/1 is not beyond the realms of possibility. Come On You Golden Boys!
12/08/2009 17:56:00
Andy, I agree with you completely, I'm not one of these types who boos during the game, joins in with 'We're s*** and we know we are', etc. However, if we play like we did last night this season, we are gonna be fighting to stay up, because simply, we failed to break down a L2 defence for 105 minutes. Still, next week is a new game and Malky and the boys always have my full support. The positives were the performances of Eustace, Ellington and Graham undoubtedly.
12/08/2009 21:57:00
I really do think we need some one creative in midfield, Malky is playing at the moment with a defensive midfield, which i think there are no others, so that needs to be addressed, to stop the long ball.
13/08/2009 17:40:00
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