LATE SHOW EARNS TOWN THREE POINTS
Town recorded a first win of the season thanks to Michael Chopra’s last minute winner against Watford at Vicarage Road.
It was nothing less than Blues’ performance deserved and the result ensured Town ended the 15 game wait for a win over the Hornets.
Paul Jewell named an unchanged team from the side that claimed a share of the spoils against Blackburn on the opening day of the season. Town started the game at Vicarage Road brightly and Lee Martin was denied a stunning goal by Manuel Almunia, who pushed over his dipping drive after three minutes.
Scott Loach, who left Watford for Town in the summer, made his first save of the evening after 19 minutes, keeping out a weak drive from Almen Abdi.
Blues then began to take a grasp of the game and some neat interchange between Martin and Michael Chopra saw the striker create some space just inside the box, but he dragged his shot wide of Almunia’s goal after 22 minutes. The pair linked up again a minute later, this time Chopra playing in Martin, but the midfielder fired his long range effort just over the bar.
Two minutes later and a cynical foul on Martin brought about a free-kick for Town on the edge of the box, with Jay Emmanuel-Thomas curling the effort inches wide of the post.
Just before the half hour mark, Town went close again. The impressive Massimo Luongo set off on a driving run from midfield before unleashing an effort that flew wide of the target.
The second half started as the first ended, with Town dominating the midfield. Four minutes after the restart, Emmanuel-Thomas saw a fizzing drive skip just wide of the post. Blues then went close again after 55 minutes, with Luongo again causing problems but the Spurs loanee was denied by a smart save from Almunia.
The hosts brought on big striker Chris Iwelumo for a different dimension and he immediately caused havoc in the box that led to an opening for strike partner Matej Vydra who could only fire his shot over the bar. Luke Chambers then had to be alert to deflect a Vydra shot wide, before Martin Taylor could apply a finishing touch from the resulting corner.
The hosts then came close to breaking the deadlock with 14 minutes remaining, as an Iwelumo back header looped over Loach in the Town goal but fortunately came back off the crossbar before Carlos Edwards was able to clear the danger. Town were then again thankful to Luongo, as the teenager midfielder hacked away a Daniel Pudil shot off the line with ten minutes remaining.
Blues came close to taking the lead with six minutes remaining as a lovely flowing move involving Jason Scotland, Andy Drury and Luongo played in the Spurs loanee, who rode a couple of challenges but failed to hit the target with his effort.
The two substitutes Drury and Scotland then combined with a minute remaining, the former picking the latter out on the edge of the box, but the striker’s first time hit was beaten away by Almunia.
Just as it looked like time would run out, Town finally got the breakthrough their performance deserved. An overlapping run from Edwards saw him fed by Drury and the Town skipped crossed along the six yard box for Chopra to slide in and poke the ball home.
Town withheld a late rallying call by the Hornets to earn all three points and record a first win of the new campaign.