Watford 2-2 Bristol City
Tue 29th Nov - 7:45pm
Watford threw away a two goal lead to draw 2-2 against Bristol City largely thanks to a calamitous mistake by Scott Loach which lead to an own goal by Adrian Mariappa.
Watford made two changes from Saturday's draw with Doncaster with Jonathan Hogg and Craig Beattie replacing John Eustace and Marvin Sordell in the starting line up.
The game started slowly with neither side able to keep hold of the ball in midfield in order to sustain any attacking play. Neil Kilkenny had a shot comfortably saved by Loach while Michael Kightly saw an effort flash across the box.
The game sparked into life when the Hornets opened the scoring after 25 minutes out of nothing thanks to a glorious strike by Carl Dickinson. After exchanging passes with Kightly down the Watford left Dickinson took a touch and smashed the ball into the top corner past David James from 25 yards out.
Bristol City threatened an equalizer minutes later when Lewin Nyatanga headed wide after Kilkenny has sent in a deep cross.
Watford doubled their lead just before half time through Craig Beattie although the goal owed much to the outstanding strike from midfielder Mark Yeates. After collecting the ball from Jonathan Hogg, Yeates let fly from fully 30 yards with the ball dipping viciously past a static David James, before hitting the under-side of the bar and rebounding out to Beattie who headed in the rebound.
However, Watford's two goal lead did not last long as just two minutes later Marvin Elliott halved the deficit when heading in from close range after Ryan McGivern had delivered a deep cross. Mark Yeates had an opportunity to give Watford their two goal lead back just before the break but his shot from the edge of the box was blocked by Liam Fontaine.
Half Time: 2-1
Watford started the second half disastrously gifting Bristol City an equalizer just 24 seconds in. Adrian Mariappa returned a harmless backpass to Scott Loach who proceeded to lose his footing as the ball slipped under his foot and trickled into the empty net.
Bristol City then took the initiative and dominated possession without threatening on too many occasions. They closest they came was an Albert Adomah volley that flashed just wide. Loach also made amends for his mishap by saving smartly at close range from Nicky Maynard.
Watford then had some half-chances to win the game themselves. Chris Iwelumo headed straight at James from a difficult angle following a Mark Yeates cross. Another cross, this time from Kightly on the other side, presented Beattie with a chance of grabbing a second but he could not quite get over the ball at the far post.
Watford's last chance to win the game fell to substitute Troy Deeney. After good link up play between Lee Hodson and Chris Iwelumo, Deeney had a volleyed effort from edge of the box that went just wide of the far post.
In the end Sean Dyche's men had to settle for a point, which on balance was a fair result in terms of play, although Watford will be kicking themselves at the sloppy nature of the equalising goal.
The Hornets next face a trip to Portman Road on Saturday to face Paul Jewell's Ipswich Town.
Watford: Loach; Hodson, Nosworthy, Mariappa, Dickinson; Yeats, Hogg, Buaben, Kightly; Iwelumo & Beattie (Deeney).
Subs not used: Bonham(gk); Mirfin, Eustace & Garner.
Bristol City: James; Elliott, Nyatanga (Wilson), Fontaine, McGivern; Kilkenny, Skuse, Cisse (Pitman); Adomah, Maynard & Pearson (Woolford).
Subs not used: Gerken (gk) & Bolasie.