Report: Watford & Yeovil in stalemate
Tue 18th Feb - 7:45pm
WATFORD and Yeovil played out a stalemate which did neither side any favours at Huish Park this evening.
Watford had the better chances in the first half whilst the home side looked more like taking the points in the second period.
Beppe Sannino made six changes from the side that beat Middlesbrough at the weekend. Manuel Almunia was fit enough to come in for Jonathan Bond in goal, whilst Joel Ekstrand, Ikechi Anya, Cristian Battocchio and Alexander Merkel came in for Lloyd Doyley, Davide Faraoni, Samba Diakite and Sean Murray. There was a Watford debut for Mathias Ranegie who replaced the injured Fernando Forestieri up front.
Yeovil's new signing Ruben Palazuelos was only on the bench for hosts whilst Ishmael Miller, a regular scorer against the Hornets, continued in attack.
The home side made a bright start and had a goal disallowed after two minutes. After a mix up between Battocchio and Merkel the ball fell to Miller who shot past Almunia only to see the flag raised for offside.
Watford also made a decent start and came close to opening the scoring when Troy Deeney anticipated a Shane Duffy back pass and intercepted the ball but slipped over at the crucial moment.
The next chance fell to Yeovil. Tom Lawrence made good progress down the left hand side and squared for Joe Edwards but he fired wide from inside the box.
Just moments later Watford also went close again in an entertaining start as Merkel was denied by Marek Stech in the Yeovil goal.
Gabriele Angella was next to go close for Watford midway through the first half. Following a Daniel Tozser corner, Marco Cassetti's shot was blocked and the ball fell to Angella whose strike flew just wide of the post.
Watford created another chance in the 34th minute after good work between new strike pairing Deeney and Ranegie. Ranegie's flick-on found Deeney in space, but his goal-bound effort was brilliantly blocked by Duffy.
Yeovil came close to taking the lead as the first half drew to a close. Lawrence, a constant threat, found himself in a great position behind the Watford defence but Almunia was there to thwart the Manchester United loanee.
Half Time: 0-0
Almunia had to be at his best in the opening stages of the second half to deny Yeovil the lead when James Hayter picked up the ball in space behind the Watford defence but the Spaniard denied him.
The next chance of the game also fell to Yeovil as Lawrence found space on the edge of the Watford box but fired wide from a good position.
As the game drew to a close Yeovil had another good chance to win the game. Battocchio lost possession on the edge of the Watford box and substitute Kieffer Moore got into space but miskicked the ball inside the penalty area.
The final action of a disappointing second half saw the referee wave away a Watford penalty appeal after Jamie McAllister handled substitute Faraoni's cross. As it was, both sides had to settle for a point.
Full Time: 0-0
Yeovil: Stech; Ayling, Duffy, Webster, McAllister (c); Lundstram (Morgan), Ralls; Edwards, Lawrence, Miller; Hayter (Moore).
Subs Not Used: Dunn (GK), Dawson, Palazuelos, Foley & Lanzoni.
Watford: Almunia (c); Angella, Cassetti, Ekstrand; Anya, Battocchio, Tozser, Merkel (Murray), Pudil (Faraoni); Ranegie & Deeney.
Subs Not Used: Bond (GK), Hoban, Brown, Belkalem & Park.
Attendance: 6,042 (Away, 1,169)
Referee: Mr J Adcock.