Watford Ease Past Blades After Red Cards
Sat 12th Mar - 3:00pm
Watford moved past the 52 points target with a comfortable victory over Sheffield Utd who played for over an hour with nine men.
Watford made one change from their midweek draw with Swansea with Lloyd Doyley replacing Dale Bennett in defence.
Watford started brightly forcing some early corners and took the lead after 10 minutes. Following a quick throw in Will Buckley passed to Don Cowie whose early cross was nearly turned in by Neill Collins. Steve Simonsen made the spectacular save but Danny Graham was on hand to head home.
Watford continued to dominate and Troy Deeney nearly added a second when Don Cowie found him on the edge of the box but he could only fire wide after turning sharply.
The game turned on the half hour when Sheffield Utd were reduced to 9 men in the space of six minutes with ex-hornets Darius Henderson and Lee Williamson the players seeing red.
Henderson, already booked for using an elbow in a challenge with John Eustace, got his marching orders when he ploughed into Lee Hodson following a goal mouth scramble. Despite the Sheffield protests referee Whitestone issued a second booking with Hodson leaving on a stretcher with a suspected broken leg.
Williamson harshly saw red just two minutes after the restart of play when he caught Lloyd Doyley following an aerial challenge for the ball on halfway.
Watford started dominating the game and missed chances to double their lead before half time. First, Troy Deeney knocked in a deceiving cross that was inches away from finding the bottom corner. Lloyd Doyley should also have doubled his number of goals for Watford when he rose unmarked to head substitute Adam Thompson's cross but missed the ball completely.
Watford turned much of the second half into a training session but were eager to get the killer second goal. John Eustace had already had an effort go over before Don Cowie found Thompson with a corner. His header was pushed on the bar but the ball broke out to Martin Taylor who calmly slotted home.
Watford continued to press and Will Buckley shot over from outside the box, Troy Deeney forced a good save out of Steve Simonsen with a header from Don Cowie's cross and Cowie himself made Simonsen work with a diving header from Thompson's cross.
Watford did make it three just before the end. More good build up play found John Eustace in space and he crossed perfectly for Ross Jenkins who guided his header into the bottom corner.