Watford Joint Top After Wolves Draw
Sat 07th Mar - 3:00pm
Another dramatic away game involving Watford saw the Hornets finish the day joint top of the table after a 2-2 draw at Wolves. Benik Afobe put the hosts ahead after 14 minutes before Matej Vydra pulled the Hornets level after half an hour. Jack Price deflected in a long range effort to put Wolves back ahead just after half time but Troy Deeney levelled again for the visitors midway through the second half. Tommie Hoban was sent off for Watford late on for two bookable offences before Bakary Sako was dismissed for Wolves moments later as he clashed with Fernando Forestieri as tempers frayed late on.
Slavisa Jokanovic made two changes to the Watford side that beat Fulham on Tuesday night. Reverting to a 4-4-2 formation, Juan Carlos Paredes replaced Marco Motta while Daniel Tozser came in for Daniel Pudil with Tommie Hoban reverting to left back.
Kenny Jackett opted to start Benik Afobe upfront meaning Nouha Dicko the match winner when the two sides met on Boxing Day was left on the bench. Former Watford loanee Tomasz Kuczszak lined up in goal for the hosts.
Watford made a decent start to the match as they looked to find their passing rhythm in the opening stages. However, they were forced into an early chance as Almen Abdi went off injured and was replaced by Gianni Munari.
That seemed to unsettle the Hornets and they paid the price as they find behind moments later after 14 minutes. A good move from Wolves saw Kevin McDonald pick up the ball in space and find a through ball between the Watford defenders to Benik Afobe who controlled and calmly slotted the ball past Heurelho Gomes into the Watford goal.
That seemed to put the wind in the sails of the hosts who looked to double their advantage immediately with James Henry firing from long range but straight at Gomes.
Watford struggled to get back into the game but did put together a good passing move when Ben Watson found Adlene Guedioura on the edge of the Wolves box but his low effort was well saved by Kuczszak.
Watford got themselves right back into the game after half an hour when they equalised through Matej Vydra. The Hornets broke quickly after winning back the ball and Troy Deeney found Vydra in behind the Wolves defence. The Czech strike controlled and finished low all in one move low past Kuczszak to level the scores.
It was then the visitors who had a spring in their step and nearly got in front after 35 minutes when Guedioura won the ball back and found Watson but his cross was just behind Vydra.
The hosts continued to attack well too. Bakary Sako tested Gomes with a long range effort before Henry forced Gomes into more action when he connected with a deep cross at the back post.
The last chance of the first half fell to Vydra again when he found space in the box but from a tight angle could only shoot straight at Kuczszak.
Half Time: Wolves 1-1 Watford
The second half had barely started before Watford found themselves behind again when Jack Price put Wolves ahead for the second time. Following a corner being cleared Kortney Hause picked the ball up and shot goalwards. The ball deflected off Price before beating Gomes, although the ball only just passed over the Brazilian's head.
Wolves looked to press home their advantage and almost did when Henry headed inches wide from Rajiv Van La Parra's cross. Henry had another effort moments later that deflected just wide of the far post.
Watford were frustrated in their attempts to find a second equaliser when Watson hit the bar after 55 minutes. A sweeping move down the right hand side saw Guedioura's cut back find Watson in the box but his effort struck the bar before being cleared to safety.
Watford did find a second equaliser though, midway through the second half through skipper Troy Deeney. Guedioura played a good ball in behind the Wolves defence which Deeney ran onto holding off the challenge of two defenders and slotting coolly home past Kuczszak.
Substitute Fernando Forestieri nearly made an instant impact just two minutes later when Vydra found him in space in the box but his effort flew just wide.
Gianni Munari was the next player to miss a good chance for Watford when Deeney made good progress down the right and stood up a cross in the box which Munari ran onto but put his header wide.
The hosts sent on Kevin Doyle in attempt to nick the game themselves and he had a goalbound effort blocked when Van La Parra found him with a low cross.
Forestieri wasted a good chance in the last minute when Kuczszak's poor kick saw Vydra find him in the box but he fired well over from a good position.
There was more drama to come in stoppage time when Watford had Tommie Hoban sent off for two bookable offences after bringing down Van La Parra, even though the first yellow had been incredibly harsh.
Just 90 seconds later and the hosts were also reduced to ten men when Bakary Sako was shown a straight red card for a confrontation with Forestieri with the Hornets striker going down indicating he had been pushed in the face when in fact there had been no contact at all.
Full Time: Wolves 2-2 Watford
Wolves: Kuczszak, Doherty, Batth, Stearman, Hause, McDonald, Price, Henry (Doyle), Van La Parra, Sako, Afobe
Subs Not Used: McCarey (GK), Goulborne, Ebanks-Landell, Edwards, Jacobs, Dicko
Watford: Gomes, Paredes (Motta), Cathcart, Angella, Hoban, Tozser, Watson (Forestieri), Guedioura, Abdi (Munari), Vydra, Deeney
Subs Not Used: Bond (GK), Pudil, Anya, Layun
Att: 23,146 (2,239 Hornets)
Ref: Mr Brendan Malone