Date:Saturday August 29 2009
A youthful, fresh-faced Watford side travelled to face Paulo Sousa's Swansea side this afternoon on the back of a troubling few days.
With the club's only recognised wingers - Tommy Smith and Jobi McAnuff - leaving within two hours of one another on Thursday and Mike Williamson presumably throwing a sickie after not getting his way with a transfer request, we were down to the bare bones - proved by the fact that Ellington got to warm the bench.
With all this going on in the background it was surprising Mackay's young charges managed to get anything from the game. Lee Hodson made his first league start at right back whilst Mariappa moved into the middle (to cover for Mr Loyal mk.II) and partner Jay DeMerit. Young striker, and midweek goal grabber, Marvellous Marvin Sordell partnered Danny Graham up top whilst trying to fill a rather large Tommy Smith-shaped hole.
Watford were lucky to escape the Swans clutches with anything on the basis of possession alone with Sousa's men claiming a massive 62%.
However, it was the Hornets who went ahead through Danny Graham. An injury doubt before the match, the Hornet's No.10 netted a neat goal before Swans Alan Tate levelled with a powerful header 3 minutes deep into time added on.
Up from the back the centre half met the corner from the right and powered past a stationary Loach from twelve yards.
And, as Malky himself emphasised, the Hornets were "disappointed" not to claim all three points smash-and-grab style, after conceding the 90th minute leveller. Mackay went on to praise Lee Hodson who he claimed "looked like he'd been playing Championship football for five years".
All the week's turmoil taken into due consideration this was a good, solid result against a side that will surely harbour realistic top-half ambitions for the season.
Loach; Hodson, Mariappa, DeMerit (c), Doyley; Cowie, Lansbury, Jenkins, Cleverley; Sordell; Graham.
De Vries; Williamsons, Tate, Collins, Painter; Britton, Orlandi, Lopez, Dyer; Gower; Beattie.
Date:Saturday August 29 2009
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