Watford Denied By Late Burnley Equaliser
Fri 29th Mar - 3:00pm
Watford dropped two points in the automatic promotion race after seeing victory snatched from them by a late Burnley equaliser in a crazy good Friday game.
After a disappointing defeat last time out at Barnsley, Watford made 5 changes to their starting line up with Matthew Briggs, Fitz Hall, Almen Abdi, Nathaniel Chalobah and Fernando Forestieri replacing Lloyd Doyley, Nyron Nosworthy, Mark Yeates, Jonathan Hogg and Matej Vydra. Before the game their was a warm reception for former Hornets boss Sean Dyche making first return to the club he managed last season.
Watford got off to the worst possible start conceding the opening goal after just 51 seconds. After a run down the left by former Watford loanee Alex Kacaniklic the ball broke to Charlie Austin in the box who slotted home.
Watford did respond quickly however and found an equaliser just five minutes later through captain for the day Troy Deeney. After a run forward by Ikechi Anya the ball broke to Deeney on the edge of the box. He took a couple of touches and smashed the ball into the far corner past Lee Grant.
Burnley re-took the lead in a crazy first half after 23 minutes from the penalty spot. Good build up play between Kacaniklic and Austin saw the Fulham loanee get the wrong side of Marco Cassetti before being bundled over. Austin smashed in the penalty kick giving Jonathan Bond no chance.
However, it took Watford just five minutes to find a second equaliser this time through Fernando Forestieri. After Nathaniel Chalobah free kick was cleared Fitz Hall found Forestieri in the box. He twisted and turned and found space to smash the ball into the bottom corner.
Watford did have chances to take the lead for the first time before the break. After good build up play Deeney found space to fire in another shot but Anya could only put the rebound wide. Watford came closest to getting ahead when Deeney latched onto a through ball and flicked the ball over Grant but onto the crossbar. Burnley still looked dangerous going forward themselves with Chris McCann putting an effort just over the bar.
Half Time: 2-2
Watford started the second half by having to make a substitution with Marco Cassetti being replaced by Lloyd Doyley after picking up an injury in the first half.
Watford cranked up the pressure in the second half and came to close to taking the lead on a few occasions. Almen Abdi curled a free kick from just outside the area agonisingly wide of the post. Matthew Briggs also made a great run forward and reached the penalty area but his cross just evaded everybody queuing up to tap it in.
Burnley also missed a good chance to retake the lead when good play down their left saw Kacaniklic beat his marker and run in on goal but finished weakly straight at Bond.
Watford took the lead with 20 minutes to play. After Deeney miscontrolled a cross into the box, Cristian Battocchio found Forestieri on the corner angle of the area. He turned inside Kieran Tripper and curled the ball into the far corner.
Watford looked to take control of the game after the goal and looked fairly comfortable keeping the ball well. However a late twist was to come out of the blue three minutes into injury time.
A long ball forward from Burnley was flicked on by Charlie Austin and Sam Vokes caught Briggs out of position and then outmuscled him before finishing coolly under Jonathan Bond.
Despite some late attempts from Watford to fashion another chance they could not find a winner and had to settle for a point. Next up is a massive clash against current second place Hull City at the KC Stadium on Tuesday.
Watford: Bond, Ekstrand, Hall, Briggs, Cassetti (Doyley), Anya (Vydra), Battocchio, Abdi, Chalobah, Deeney (Geijo), Forestieri
Subs Not Used: Bonham (GK), Pudil, Hogg, Yeates
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Long, Shackell, Lafferty, Wallace (Vokes), Bartley (Stock), McCann, Kacaniklic (Paterson), Ings, Austin
Subs Not Used: Jensen (GK), Duff, Mills, Stanislas
Referee: Mr D Coote