Date:Sunday December 9 2007
Attendance: 15 516
Stoke is by no means an easy place to go, but lets make no bones about it, three points on the road are always more welcome than one.
Aidy Boothroyd stuck to his guns and those who served him well midweek, thus Gavin Mahon was left out instead of John-Joe O`Toole whilst Priskin was in for the suspended Henderson, meaning Ellington was back on the bench he warms so well.
For those of you tucking into your Sunday roast rather than the game - shame on you, but then at the same time, you were probably in the right place. The first half offered little in the way of chances for the Hornets.
Matt Jackson, in for Dan Shittu, buried a header right into the corner of the net but it was immediately ruled out, incorrectly, for offside.
Marlon King was poised to finish not long before half-time after taking down Jordan Stewart`s surprisingly accurate cross however the Jamaican fired out for a throw in from an acute angle.
In between Watford`s brief threats on the Potter`s goal, Stoke had two half-hearted penalty appeals. The first saw Liam Lawrence kick Jobi McAnuff`s calf before meekly falling over, the second also involved McAnuff who this time shoved Ricardo Fuller on the goal line.
The second half was slightly more entertaining, but not by much. The best of the early chances fell to Sidibe who shot low and hard, Lee getting down quickly to stop his shot after DeMerit was embarrassed by Fuller.
The Hornets reply came through Marlon King who teed up McAnuff when well placed himself, McAnuff was unable to hit the target, curling narrowly over instead.
The excitement finally began to seep into the game with twenty-odd minutes to go though, Liam Lawrence somehow not penalised for slapping the ball away with two hands inside the area.
Richard Creswell nearly had the goal the game needed as his shot looped up off of Jay DeMerit, Lee able to beat the former Preston man`s effort out for a corner. Stoke continued to push Watford until the last, only DeMerit`s reading of the game allowed him to clear Fuller`s cross from the line.
Nothing much to write home about, as you can see, and now I`m off for Sunday lunch with the in-laws, should be more entertaining, just…
Simonsen, Wright (Buxton 90), Zakuani, Cort, Dickinson, Lawrence, Delap, Pugh, Cresswell, Fuller, Sidibe (Parkin 74).
Subs Not Used: Hoult, Pericard, Pulis.
Lee, Doyley, Jackson, DeMerit, Stewart, Smith (Ellington 78), Williamson, O'Toole, McAnuff, King, Priskin (Francis 89).
Subs Not Used: Loach, Mariappa, Ainsworth.
Referee: Mr C Webster
Date:Sunday December 9 2007
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