Preston Pinch Point
Attendance: 12 534
STILL without an away win since October, fifteen games and counting now, but Watford will be pleased with their afternoons work having picked up a thoroughly-deserved point at Preston North End today.
The Golden Boys took a first-half lead with a maiden goal from former Rochdale man, Will Buckley before PNE skipper Callum Davidson leveled things up for the home side just eight minutes into the second half.
Skipper Jay DeMerit and Don Cowie were injured and dropped respectively meaning that young centre back Dale Bennett partnered Martin Taylor at the back whilst Jon Harley and Tom Cleverley played on the left and right flanks respectively. There was no starting berth for midweek goalscorer Danny Graham however, which makes you wonder what sort of message Malky is sending out. Having dropped Graham for a lack of goals, it only stands to reasons Graham is more deserving of a starting place than Heidar Helguson who has two in twelve.
Jon Harley was involved heavily in the thick of the first half action; lucky not to hand the home side the lead as he deflected a near-post cross onto his own post before he diverted a deep cross against the post at the other end from an impossible angle.
The lead was Watford`s on thirty-five minutes, Will Buckley grabbing his first goal as a Hornet from close range.
A clever chest-down from Heidar Helguson slipped his striker parent Buckley in behind the Lilywhites backline allowing the former Rochdale man to place a shot into the roof of the net over 'keeper Andy Lonergan.
Preston`s leveler came just eight minutes into the second half thanks to a delightful cross from substitute Keith Treacy.
The former Blackburn and Sheffield United winger was allowed the room to pick out the head of stocky left full-back Callum Davidson who nodded home yet another goal for North End against the Hornet`s.
Treacy had been bright since coming on and after maneuvering into some space twenty yards from goal was unlucky to see his driven effort collected by Scott Loach diving to his left.
Watford though were unlucky not to claim all three points, John Eustace, who`s been particularly handy in front of goal with his head this campaign was denied by a superb save from Lonergan who denied the skipper a diving header from close-range.
A point we`d have surely taken before the game, unfortunate that another game where we have a good share of the chances doesn`t translate into three points, especially with Plymouth picking up an invaluable three points at Doncaster.
Preston North End: Lonergan; Jones, St.Ledger, Mawene, Davidson (c); Sedgewick (Treacy), James, Coutts, Wallace; Brown and Parkin (Mellor).
Watford: Loach; Mariappa, Bennett, Taylor (Hodson), Doyley; Cleverley, Lansbury (Cowie), Eustace, Harley; Buckley (Graham) and Helguson.
Referee: Mr R Shoebridge