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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 24 Mar 12 at 14:06 PM

WATFORD 2 TOWN 1

Town were beaten 2-1 by Watford at Vicarage Road, despite taking a first-half lead through Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

Goals from Sean Murray and Troy Deeney after the break saw the Hornets come from behind to take all three points.

Paul Jewell made one chance to the side that beat Burnley in midweek, with Andy Drury replacing the suspended Grant Leadbitter in midfield.

There was a lively start to the game and the hosts could have taken the lead as early as the fourth minute. Joe Garner broke down the left and crossed for the unmarked Deeney, but the striker's effort was kept out well by the legs of Alex McCarthy.

Three minutes later and Daryl Murphy went close for Town after being picked out by Michael Chopra but the Celtic loanee's effort was blocked by a defender, before Tomasz Kuszczak saved Emmanuel-Thomas' follow up.

From the resulting corner Murphy went close again, meeting an Andy Drury cross but seeing his shot cleared off the line by Nyron Nosworthy.

The Republic of Ireland international was causing the Hornets defence plenty of problems and he had a great chance to break the deadlock after nine minutes, but headed wide from close range after being picked out by Lee Martin.

But it wasn't long before Town did open the scoring, with Emmanuel-Thomas pouncing on a mistake by Carl Dickinson in the box the slide the ball past Kuszczak and into the corner, following a Drury cross after 18 minutes.

Town were looking the more likely to score and should have doubled the lead after 33 minutes. Emmanuel-Thomas tricked his way past Dickinson before crossing across the face of goal to leave Chopra with a tap-in, but somehow the striker missed the target from inside the six-yard box.

Deeney was threatening for Watford though and McCarthy had to be alert to keep out his shot on the turn after 36 minutes.

Just a minute later though Damien Delaney was denied by a great reaction save from Kuszczak, who pushed away his goalbound header.

That was to be the last meaningful action of the first-half as referee Peter Walton blew for half-time.

The Hornets started the second-half well and midfielder Murray dribbled his way through the Town defence after 53 minutes only to be foiled by McCarthy who spread himself well.

The 'keeper then made another brave save minutes later to deny Deeney, before then earning a free-kick after colliding with the striker.

Town's first chance of the second-half came on the hour mark, after Emmanuel-Thomas did well to win a free-kick which he took himself, but Kuszczak did well to hold onto his effort.

But the hosts were posing more of a threat second-half and it wasn't long before they were on level terms.

Town failed to clear their lines and Deeney got the better of Delaney before seeing his shot blocked on the line by Aaron Cresswell, but Murray was on hand to smash home the rebound after 71 minutes.

Things got worse for Blues 11 minutes later as the hosts went in front. An under-hit back-pass from Carlos Edwards allowed Deeney in on goal and the striker made no mistake as he expertly lobbed McCarthy to fire Watford ahead with eight minutes remaining.

Substitute Ryan Stevenson went close for Town late on, but his header was cleared off the line by Lloyd Doyley with three minutes left on the clock.

Town searched for an equaliser which ultimately never came and left Hertfordshire with nothing to show for their efforts.

Blues are back in action on Tuesday, when Middlesbrough visit Portman Road, kick-off 7.45pm.

Watford: Kuszczak, Doyley, Nosworthy, Taylor, Dickinson, Kacaniklic, Hogg (Buaben 46), Eustace, Murray, Garner (Iwelumo 54), Deeney. Subs not used: Loach, Bennett, Assombalonga.

Town: McCarthy, Edwards, Smith, Delaney, Cresswell, Drury, Bowyer (Hyam 78), Emmanuel-Thomas, Martin (Carson 84), Murphy, Chopra (Stevenson 79). Subs not used: Lee-Barrett, Sonko.

Att: 12, 757 (1, 785 Town fans)


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