Last Gasp Winner Sinks Watford
Sat 21st Mar - 3:00pm
Watford suffered their first defeat for seven games after Ipswich Town stole all three points at Vicarage Road this afternoon scoring in the fifth minute of second half stoppage time to win the game 1-0. Neither side looked like breaking the deadlock for much of the game but the visitors broke following a late Watford free kick and Richard Chaplow slotted in the winner for the Tractor Boys.
Slavisa Jokanovic made three changes from the Watford side that won 2-0 at Wigan Athletic on Tuesday. Daniel Tozser, Miguel Layun and Odion Ighalo came in for Gabriele Angella, Gianni Munari and Matej Vydra. Fernando Forestieri missed out with an injury whilst there was no place for new loan signing Matthew Connolly.
Mick McCarthy's Ipswich side were again without injured striker David McGoldrick so loanee Chris Wood started in attack. Physical attacker Luke Varney was preferred to Freddie Sears in the starting line up.
Watford started the game quite brightly and put together a good early passing move between Daniel Tozser and Adlene Guedioura which set up Tommie Hoban down the left wing but he slipped just as he wound up to cross into the Ipswich box.
Ipswich then had the ball in the net after 10 minutes when Luke Varney collected Daryl Murphy's low shot and turned the ball past Heurelho Gomes but the flag had been long since up.
Just two minutes after that Watford created the best chance of the game so far. Guedioura won a midfield battle with Jay Tabb before turning 25-yards out and shooting just over the bar with Bartosz Bialkowski scrambling to his left.
Watford seemed to be getting a great deal of joy down their right hand side and that is where the next chance came from when Marco Motta advanced to the wing and his deep cross found Troy Deeney in the box but his downward header went wide of the far post.
The Hornets were finding it difficult to create chances against the extremely well organised Ipswich defence, instead having to rely on a number of half chances. Midway through the first half Guedioura found space on the edge of the box but his cutback fell perfectly between Deeney and Odion Ighalo.
Watford were forced into a defensive change after half an hour when Joel Ekstrand, chasing a ball on the edge of the Ipswich box, went down under no contact with what looked like a knee injury. He immediately called for assistance before being taken off on a stretcher and being replaced with Gabriele Angella.
As the first half drew to a close the visitors had their first meaningful attack of the game when Varney picked up the ball and cut inside both Tozser and Tommie Hoban before hitting an effort left footed which Gomes got down to parry behind.
In the final minute of the first half Watford created the best opening of the half when the Hornets broke following an Ipswich attack with Guedioura running through into the Ipswich box before seeing his goalbound effort brilliantly blocked by Tommy Smith.
Half Time: Watford 0-0 Ipswich Town
Both sides struggled to get any rhythm going in the second half with both defences coming out on top of the individual battles.
Tyrone Mings found himself in the referee's notebook after good build up play saw Motta pick up the ball in space on the right before being pulled back by the Ipswich left back.
In attempt to open the game up both sides made substitutions early in the second half. The Hornets introduced Ikechi Anya in place of Daniel Tozser whilst the Tractor Boys brought Paul Anderson on for Luke Varney, both in an attempt to add more pace to the game.
Midway through the second half Watford created an opening when Deeney battled his way through two challenges and found Guedioura in the box but he scuffed his effort wide.
The visitors then upped the tempo of the game and began to put more pressure on the Watford defence. They forced a series of corners with around 15 minutes to go. One came particularly close to opening the scoring when an unmarked Luke Chambers met the ball but he put his header over the bar.
With ten minutes to go Watford created the best chance of the game so far through Deeney. Having collected a long ball Deeney battled through two Ipswich defenders in a wide area before crossing with the outside of his right foot to Ighalo in the box but his volley at an awkward height went just over the bar.
Moments later Motta did more good work down the right and found Deeney on the edge of the box with a cut back but the Watford strikers effort sliced wide of the target.
As the game moved into stoppage time it looked to have ended a draw until the Ipswich sucker punch in the fifth minute of time added on. Watford sent a number of bodies forward for a late free kick. The ball was cleared and a mix up between Ben Watson and Ikechi Anya presented Sears with the ball. He found substitute Richard Chaplow who controlled the ball in the box and rolled it in past Gomes for all three points.
Full Time: Watford 0-1 Ipswich Town
Watford: Gomes, Motta, Cathcart, Ekstrand (Angella), Hoban, Watson, Tozser (Anya), Layun (Vydra), Guedioura, Ighalo, Deeney
Subs Not Used: Bond (GK), Paredes, Pudil, Munari
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Mings, Varney (Anderson), Skuse, Bru (Chaplow), Tabb, Wood (Sears), Murphy
Subs Not Used: Crowe (GK), Clarke, Benyu, Hunt
Att: 19,038 (2,177 Ipswich)
Ref: Mr Andy D'Urso