Hornets get Brunt of stoppage time pain
5 April 2010
Watford took the 'Brunt` for Tom Cleverley being stretchered off and the dismissal of Lil` Jon Harley as West Brom netted in the resultant 7 minutes of time added on to rescue a point in an ill-tempered affair at Vicarage Road...
...and Malky Mackay admitted he "couldn`t believe" his Hornets hadn`t held on.
After Danny 'almost Golden` Graham`s 25 yard scorcher had given Watford a deserved lead on 85 (and with only 10 Golden boys on the field), it appeared that the Hornets patched up rearguard had done enough to see off the bigtime bound Baggies but not so!
Oh no, the Hornets inability to keep a clean sheet - that`s just 2 in 19 games in 2010 - one again kicked them in the proverbials 5 minutes into injury time when Chris Brunt stole in onto the end of desperate Slory cross to nod home.
For all Loach`s outstretched limbs, Demerits brilliant header to intercept a sure Dorrans goal in the first half and a cracking all round display by rookie centre back Dale Bennett, it was harsh on Watford`s backline, who lost Taylor before the match and Doyley after just 10 minutes.
Malky Mackay stated he expected West Brom "would be fast out of the traps with all guns blazing" but it was Watford who were on the front foot in the early exchanges with Mariappa forcing a cracking save from Carson with a volley and the England stopper did well to get something on a Buckley effort before 10 minutes were even chalked up.
In fact, until he limped off with cramp, Buckley was Watford`s main creative threat (alongside Cleveley who clipped the bar with a free kick) and wasted 2 decent opportunities to open the scoring - if only the new kid off the Rochdale block can find a finish (like up at Deepdale) to add to those fast-and-fancy feet!
But, after a mass brawl where Eustace, Dorrens and Bednar were lucky to escape with yellows, the game rather flattened out with neither side gaining the impetus to push on. Baggies boss DiMatteo reckoned his side couldn`t play their pretty passing on the "terrible pitch" but Watford were trying to knock it about nicely and had a greater share of possession without creating too much of note.
In truth, the game meandered along until about 15 minutes from time, when Harley blocked off Morrison to pick up a second yellow (it looked harsh) and just as the inevitable WBA storm was about to kick off, Don the Cow fed Golden Graham, who charged forward and piledrove Watford ahead from a full 25 yards...
The W'Observer dubbed it a "miracle lead" but it was more shock and awe! Danny Boy`s card for over celebrating just sums up the Hornets luck...
Of course though, the Hornets never do anything the easy way - and so it proved.
As the Rookery oooo`d and awwww`d as Morrison`s header flashed just wide and Dorrans drive flew just past the post, there was certainly a sense that maybe, just maybe, Watford would gatecrash the Baggies promotion party.
No such luck though as sub Slory slung in a cross that evaded everyone but Brunt who arrived unmarked to head home at the back post as the catcalls for the ref to blow up rang out.
Thats why, as the chant goes, West Brom are going up!!!
And sadly, that`s why Watford fell into the bottom 3 at one point on Easter Monday only to be hauled back onto the edge of the relegation trapdoor at the expense of Sheffield Wednesday, who lost to Bristol City...
...Thank you Nicky Maynard (but for how long?)
Awesome display at centre back by Watford's rookie defender. Had Bednar in his pocket for much of the 90 minutes and didn't deserve the injury time heartache.