Hornet's Away Day Blues Continue
Attendance: 11 739
Watford's pitiful away record extended at Barnsley yesterday as the Golden Boys went down one-nil at the hands of Mark Robins ever-improving Yorkshire outfit.
This latest defeat on the road means that Malky Mackay's charges have not won on the road since beating Middlesbrough 1-0 back in October. Since then the Hornet's have amassed a paltry two points away from the comforts of Vicarage Road.
Mackay was forced into a change with Tom Cleverley missing out through injury meaning that Jon Harley was called in from the bench to start down the left of midfield. In the middle, Ross Jenkins continued to partner John Eustace leaving Henri Lansbury free to roam behind front man Heidar Helguson in a role he has not been seen in since much earlier in the campaign.
The Hornet's were by all accounts on top for large periods of the game and wrongly denied a goal through substitute Danny Graham, a man who desperately needs one anyway, whilst Henri Lansbury was not awarded a spot-kick after a neat one-two with Heidar Helguson.
It was Lansbury who tested home stopper Luke Steele in the first half; his stunning thirty-yard free-kick tipped round the post by the former West Brom 'keeper.
Seven minutes before half-time, Lansbury collected a pass from Heidar Helguson and as his route to goal was ended the Hornet's were denied a penalty by referee Mr Graham.
The home side were unlucky not to take the lead early in the second half as former Hull utility man Nathan Doyley let fly from distance from Hugo Colace`s lay-up. Scott Loach was left thankful to see the midfielder`s powerful effort thump against his left-hand post before being cleared to safety by Jay DeMerit.
However it wasn`t long before the Tykes did find a way past Loach, Icelandic loanee Emil Hallfredsson the man to make the difference with a piece of magic. Coolly flicking the ball over the head of a static Aidy Mariappa, Hallfredsson was left one-on-one with Scott Loach and smashed a powerful half-volley past the England U21 stopper at his near-post to hand the host`s all three points.
Stoke loanee Ryan Shotton handed the Hornet`s a glimmer of hope of getting back into the clash as he was dismissed on seventy-three minutes for a reckless lunge on Hornet`s left back Lloyd Doyley. The defender was rightly sent for an early bath for the second time this season.
Steele; Shotton, Foster, Moore, Dickinson; Teixiera, Doyle, De Silva (Rodriguez), Hallfredsson; Colace; Gray.
Loach; Mariappa, Taylor, DeMerit (c), Doyley (Hoskins); Cowie, Jenkins (Jenkins), Eustace, Harley; Lansbury; Helguson.
Referee: Mr F Graham