Date:Saturday January 19 2008
Why is it we can never hold a lead against Charlton Athletic? Why is it we can never seem to beat them?! Two draws last season and another this season as we met for the first time in 2007/2008.
Watford looked their best at home for a long, long time, yet failed to make their superiority count and eventually were pegged back as much by their failure to close Darren Ambrose down as the poor 'keeping from Richard Lee.
The Hornets flew out the blocks despite their outdated centre routine and could`ve taken a first-minute lead when Jay DeMerit headed just wide at the far post. Jordan Stewart`s free kick surprisingly accurate for once as he picked out the captain.
Damien Francis came close too as he side-footed just over from inside the penalty area not long after.
However, with Watford seemingly in the ascendency, things turned as Charlton began to assert the pressure that has seen them climb into the play offs. Darren Ambrose came the closest and will be kicking himself as he shot wide of Lee`s left-hand post from close range. Yassin Moutaouakil looked the Addicks main attacking threat as he overlapped Ambrose and also Jordan Stewart down the left.
Chris Iwelumno came close as he headed a near-post cross onto the roof of the Hornets net.
With so few centre halves on the books at the moment, an injury to new-boy Calum Davenport, just 45 minutes into his debut, was not on the books, but an accidental clash with Darius Henderson coupled with studs in the stomach from Majid Bougherra saw Davenport stretchered off.
The second half saw Watford come out with the same vigour as they had started with in the first half and Tommy Smith nearly opened the scoring as he rounded two men and shot just over.
Charlton`s reply to Smith`s effort was a superb curling effort from Matt Holland who was prevented a well-taken goal by Richard Lee who parried round the post at full-stretch.
Not long after though, Watford`s pressure showed and to a man, the Hornet`s long-suffering faithful saluted long-suffering striker Nathan Ellington who tucked away with a sweeping far post effort to open the lead. A goal worth £3.25 million, talk about expensive, but worth the wait as the atmosphere rose and the Hornets chances flowed.
Tommy Smith then clipped a superb cross over which Nicky Weaver flicked over the bar from under the crossbar. Darius Henderson then saw a decent chance foiled by the Addicks backline before sub O`Toole stabbed wide at the far post.
The leveller was a heartbreaker as Ambrose drove a wicked effort in off Richard Lee who flapped slightly at the midfielder`s ranger to see it squirm past him to the delight of the Vicarage Road End.
Full time: 1-1
At the end of the day, we have a new King, he goes by the name of Nathan Ellington, and if his goal this season is worth £3.25 million, imagine how much we can get for Marlon now!
Weaver; Moutaouakil, McCarthy, Bougherra, Youga; Ambrose, Zheng, Holland (c), Sam; Varney and Iwelumno.
Referee: Mr A Marinner
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Date:Saturday January 19 2008
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