WATFORD 0-1 TOTTENHAM
Fri 27th Jan - 7:45pm
Watford can count themselves very unlucky not to have taken Premiership high-flyers Spurs to at least a replay after a terrific display at Vicarage Road which ultimately ended in disappointment.
Boss Sean Dyche shuffled the pack ahead of the game with Lloyd Doyley coming in for the out of form Carl Dickinson. Joe Garner got a rare start, and Sean Murray made his first start of the season in place of Mark Yeates and Jonathan Hogg respectively.
Watford had the better of the early exchanges, looking dangerous on the break with the pace of Garner and Marvin Sordell. Sordell had an early effort saved by Cudicini in the Tottenham goal and Garner also saw an effort go close.
Tottenham kept the ball nicely throughout the half but lacked penetration against a well organised Watford side, how continued to pose a threat, Sordell nearly turning in Deeney's low cross at the near post. Prince Buaben also had a long range effort that was not far wide.
Watford continued to move the ball well in possession, however they were caught on the break just before half time, as Rafael Van Der Vaart gave Tottenham the lead.
As a Watford attack broke down, Kyle Walker broke away with the ball and reached the edge of the Watford area before laying the ball to Van Der Vaart whose low shot went through Scott Loach's hands and into the net.
Watford started the second, in much the same fashion as they had played the first and it nearly paid dividends early in the second half. After the Watford frontline had hustled the ball from Michael Dawson, Garner fed Murray on the edge of the box, with his shot rebounding off the post as Deeney smashed the rebound wide.
Tottenham to looked dangerous on the break. Loach tipped over a stinging effort from Kyle Walker, and Van Der Vaart nearly had his second of the night when set up by half-time substitute Aaron Lennon, but his shot hit the crossbar.
Watford continued to press forward in search of the equaliser, and hit the post again this time John Eustace unlucky from substitute Mark Yeates corner. Buaben also had another effort that forced Cudicini into a scrambling save.
Watford saved their best chance until the end. When Mark Yeates free kick was not cleared, Nyron Nosworthy's poked effort was somehow stopped on the line by a sprawling Cudicini and Sordell's goal bound follow up was also blocked by Kyle Walker.
Watford continued to mount pressure until the final whistle but could not break down a dogged Tottenham back line. An undeserved defeat for the Hornets, while Tottenham, one of the tournament favourites, progress to round five.