Magpies Steal Three Points
Attendance: 17 120
TWO sloppy set-plays undid Watford at the Vic` today as they slipped to a narrow defeat against high-flying Newcastle United. The Hornet`s were second-best for the majority of the game, but did offer some scant consolation in injury time as Will Hoskins grabbed just the sixth league goal of his Watford career.
With Tom Cleverley sitting out as he began his three match ban, Jon Harley was brought in down the left whilst Newcastle were able to call upon midfielder Kevin Nolan who was apparently injured in training yesterday.
Watford took the game to Newcastle early doors, but for the next ninety minutes, that was as good as it got. Jon Harley curled an effort towards the near-post which stung the hands of 'keeper Steve Harper, before John Eustace looped a clever effort just over the bar whilst on the run.
After just four minutes, the visitors took the lead from a simple set-play, but the entirely preventable. A foul on Jonas Gutierrez from Don Cowie sent the Argie international flying and from the resulting free kick, national team-mate Fabricio Coloccini flattened Aidy Mariappa to nod home at the near post following an Andy Carroll flick-on.
Just after the break, Newcastle doubled their lead with another set-piece. This time a corner from the right was simply needed home at the near post by local lad, Andy Carroll. The 6`3" centre-forward with eight league goals this season was afforded the luxury of acres of space to steer his header past Scott Loach.
With Watford`s reluctance to shoot from a range any greater than the six yard box it became increasingly apparent it would not be the Hornet`s day as time after time the Newcastle back four gobbled up the Hornet`s tentative balls towards the area. There was also an increasingly frustrating tendency to lob balls into the edge of the eighteen yard-box where six-footers Mike Williamson and Coloccini were able to simply send the ball back where it came from.
However, with the board for injury time having just gone up, Watford did offer slight hope for the packed Vicarage Road crowd as substitute Will Hoskins was able to turn and thrash a loose ball past Steve Harper after the Magpies backline stopped to collectively appeal for an offside that for a change, hadn`t been given.
Watford: Loach; Mariappa, DeMerit (c), Taylor, Doyley; Cowie (McGinn), Lansbury, Eustace, Harley (Hoskins); Helguson; Graham.
Newcastle United: Harper; Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Van Aanholt; Guthrie (Pancrate), Nolan, Smith (c), Gutierrez (R.Taylor); Carroll and Best (Ranger).
Bookings: Watford: Harley and Helguson. Newcastle: Best, Nolan, Smith, Van Aanholt and Williamson.
Referee: Mr Anthony Bates