8th August 2015- Premier League, Everton 2 Watford 2

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BBC SportArouna Kone’s late equaliser earned Everton a point at home to Premier League newcomers Watford.  Mexican Miguel Layun fired Watford ahead on the half-volley in the first half after Everton failed to clear.

skySubstitute Arouna Kone’s late equaliser earned Everton a 2-2 draw and spoiled Watford’s hopes of a fairytale win on their return to the Premier League at Goodison Park.

TelegraphWhen referee Mike Jones blew the half time whistle, the booing inside Goodison Park was so thunderous that the stadium’s public address system was activated to full blast immediately; the noise on the terraces being masked by One Direction, a noise of a very different kind.

BHappy imageThe old “will take time to gel” thing drifts from being a source of concern to a reason to be excited in the wake of the opening fixture. Because there were deficiencies, several of them actually, and yet we went and got a result despite them in a challenging away game, twice taking the lead in the process. 

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More games with Everton at https://oldwatford.com/tag/everton/

1st December 2018- Premier League, Leicester City 2 Watford 0

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Watford FC Official Site

Match Report: Leicester City 2-0 Watford

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Leicester City vs Watford: Relive coverage of the Hornets’ trip to the King Power Stadium

Leicester City vs Watford: Etienne Capoue is sent off late as Hornets beaten

Leicester City vs Watford: Javi Gracia says Hornets will appeal Etienne Capoue red card

Leicester City boss Claude Puel thanks Watford fans for supportive banner

RATINGS: How we scored Watford in their defeat to Leicester City

IN PICTURES: Images from Watford’s defeat at Leicester City

skyJamie Vardy and James Maddison’s first-half goals gave Leicester a 2-0 win over Watford in the Premier League on Saturday, as the visitors winless run extended to four games.

BBC SportVardy’s run off the shoulder of Watford defenders Craig Cathcart and Adrian Mariappa resulted in Foster clattering in to him for the Leicester penalty – the 13th the former England forward has converted out of 15 attempts in the top flight.  And a sweeping riposte initiated by Maddison from a Watford attack then brought the second goal, with Vardy turning Mariappa and Albrighton picking out the midfielder, who had raced 50 yards to receive his pass.

Watford fans were given free food and drink at Saturday’s Premier League game at Leicester after displaying a banner dedicated to the club’s late owner.

guardianWatford have won two of their past 11 games and missed fine chances through Isaac Success and Andre Gray. Their misery was underlined when Capoue was shown a red card a minute from the end.

TelegraphGracia confirmed he plans to appeal against the decision. “It was in front of me and Iheanacho said he didn’t touch him and that’s more important than what I say. 

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24th November 2018- Premier League, Watford 0 Liverpool 3

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Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 21.08.43Referee:Jonathan Moss  Attendance:20,540

Watford FC Official Site

Match Report: Watford 0-3 Liverpool

Gracia: “The Game Was Closer Than The Result”

Masina: “We Have To Look Forward”

Highlights: Watford 0-3 Liverpool

Hughes: “We Thought It Was A Decent Opportunity”

Affleck’s Angle: Praise Not As Good As Points

FPL Review: Gameweek 13

Another Angle: Liverpool

Gallery: Watford v Liverpool

Watford Observer

Watford vs Liverpool: Relive coverage of the Premier League clash at Vicarage Road

Watford vs Liverpool: Hornets stung by second half strikes

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Watford vs Liverpool: Javi Gracia feels ‘bit unlucky’ with ‘some decisions’ for second game running

Watford Player Ratings: Ben Foster stars in Liverpool defeat

IN PICTURES: Images from Watford’s defeat to Liverpool

Watford’s Will Hughes says he was caught by Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson

FAN’S VIEW: Positives to be taken from Watford’s loss to Liverpool

skyWatford had the ball in the net inside three minutes but the goal was ruled out for offside. A long ball was touched on by Troy Deeney, allowing Gerard Deulofeu to race through but, as he slotted past Alisson, the offside flag was correctly raised.

BBC SportHosts Watford were aggrieved not to be awarded a penalty when Reds defender Andy Robertson appeared to foul Will Hughes while the score was level.

guardianAlthough the tackle was clearly mistimed, it was hard to tell whether he made contact with Hughes. Watford’s players claimed there had been an obvious foul but the referee, Jon Moss, disagreed. Shortly after that Liverpool went in front thanks to the first high-class move of the match.

TelegraphIn a match where the opening goal always felt it would be decisive, it was crucial. Gracia was non-committal.  “The last two games we have been unlucky with some decisions but I prefer to support the referees,” he said.   There was still plenty to encourage Gracia in defeat. Watford willingly conceded possession, but were defensively sound. Ben Foster was outstanding. They had their chances.

BHappy imageSo the first of two home games in ten days against ostensibly the strongest clubs in the country.  Beaten fair and square, but the scoreline doesn’t do justice to our performance which was better than that, or to the strategy selected which asked a lot of us but wasn’t a million miles from earning a result.  Good decisions don’t guarantee good outcomes, it’s difficult to conceive of an approach that would have had a better chance of success.

FranPrior to kick-off there was a superb set of banners in the away end protesting Scudamore’s golden handshake.  Well done to the Liverpool fans for that.

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The Hornets NestIn short we were good, should have had a penalty, but ultimately not good enough to beat an excellent Liverpool side.

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10th November 2018- Premier League, Southampton 1 Watford 1

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Referee:Simon Hooper

Attendance:28,153

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-23-36-22clips of Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary   Goals:  1

Watford FC Official Site

Match Report: Southampton 1-1 Watford

Gracia: “It’s A Good Point For Us”

Highlights: Southampton 1-1 Watford

Chalobah: “I’m Glad To Be Back Out In A Watford Shirt”

Affleck’s Angle: A Tale Of Two Talking Points

Gallery: Southampton v Watford

Holebas: “It Doesn’t Matter Who Scores, I Want The Team To Win”

Away Days: Southampton

FPL Review: Gameweek 12

Watford Observer

RELIVE: Southampton vs Watford: Jose Holebas secures a point at St Mary’s

Southampton vs Watford: Controversy surrounds two big decisions

Southampton vs Watford: Javi Gracia prompts laughter when asked about referee Simon Hooper’s key decisions in draw

Watford player ratings: Jose Holebas secures a point at Southampton

Watford’s Nathaniel Chalobah critical of referee after Southampton stalemate

skyJose Holebas’ late strike denied Southampton a first Premier League win of the season at St Mary’s as Watford came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

BBC SportDespite Watford enjoying some good fortune to equalise, manager Javi Gracia also felt aggrieved not to be awarded a penalty when Ryan Bertrand appeared to foul Nathaniel Chalobah.  “There were different situations that were difficult for the referee but it was a clear penalty,” he said.

guardianThe man at the centre of it all was Simon Hooper, the referee who up until the 57th minute was getting on with his duties with little fuss. But then came the meltdown. First, he failed to award Watford a clear penalty following Ryan Bertrand’s rash tackle on Nathaniel Chalobah and, six minutes later, decided to ruled out a second Southampton goal for what turned out to be a wholly incorrect reason.

TelegraphThe visitors found a way back eight minutes from the end. Southampton failed to deal with a cross  from the left, a deflected clearance and there was Jose Holebas to lash home, via a deflection off Cedric, from just inside the penalty area. Southampton were unable to contain their frustrations.

BHappy image“Tell you what Matt, the next time we come here, let’s not park in Portsmouth…?”  Paul’s an affable sort of bloke, not one for unnecessary or exaggerated protest and in fairness he has a point. Our reserved parking space is actually only half a mile or so from the ground as the crow flies but with the River Itchen in the way it’s a good two miles as the Watford fan trudges. This seemed like a reasonable idea without the filter of the pissing rain, and on the way into Southampton the prospect of snarled traffic put us off from looking for something a bit closer. As it is we arrive damp and tired, and that classic football fan’s war wound, the burn on the roof of the mouth thanks to a hastily inhaled balti pie, doesn’t brighten the outlook. Loz materialises, over from gadding it in Spain, this helps, but as the teams come out it’s absolutely hammering it down.

FranPrior to kick-off there was a minute’s silence to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War which was accompanied by a rendition of The Last Post.  The only other sound that could be heard was the rain on the roof of the stand.

The Hornets NestI thought Watford were a bit sluggish in the first half, sloppy in possession and just generally a bit lackluster. Second half however we were much improved, the introduction of Deeney shortly before halftime I think was crucial.  If you take away just one trait, one characteristic of this Watford side so far this season it’s that they never give up. We pushed Southampton right until the end and threw the kitchen sink at grabbing a winner. The team spirit that Javi has created in this side is infectious.

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3rd November 2018- Premier League, Newcastle United 1 Watford 0

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Watford FC Official Site

Match Report: Newcastle United 1-0 Watford

Gracia: “I Can’t Be Disappointed With My Players”

Highlights: Newcastle United 1-0 Watford

Mariappa: “It’s A Lesson We Have To Learn From”

Affleck’s Angle: Spurned Chances At St James’ Park

Gallery: Newcastle United v Watford

FPL Review: Gameweek 11

Away Days: Newcastle United

Watford Observer

RELIVE – Newcastle United vs Watford: Ayoze Perez header settles Premier League clash

Newcastle United vs Watford: Ayoze Perez sends Hornets to Premier League defeat

Newcastle United vs Watford: Missed opportunities disappoint Javi Gracia in Premier League defeat

Watford player ratings: Wastefulness undermines team performance in Newcastle United loss

IN PICTURES: Images from Watford’s defeat at Newcastle United

Adrian Mariappa: Wasteful Watford frustrate defender during Newcastle United loss

skyNewcastle recorded their first Premier League victory of the season as Ayoze Perez scored in a 1-0 win over Watford on Saturday.  Having failed to win any of their opening 10 league games of a season for just the second time in their history, the relief around St James Park’ was clear to see when the striker headed home (64).

BBC SportThe Magpies rode their luck in the first half, with Watford duo Adrian Mariappa and Gerard Deulofeu both guilty of spurning excellent opportunities to put the Hornets ahead.

guardianIt might have been very different had Deufoleu been wearing his shooting boots but Fernández held Newcastle together commendably, his presence serving as a form of gloriously adhesive super-glue.

TelegraphThe joy that erupted was followed by anxiety, with 25 minutes still left to play. Watford should have equalised, Andre Gray denied a tap-in by a magnificent last-ditch tackle from Kenedy before Stefano Okaka scooped over from six yards in stoppage time. “If you don’t kill the game when you have chance to do it, something like this can happen,” said manager Javi Gracia.

BHappy imageYeah.  Defeat, then.  A bloody long way to come for an underwhelming outcome.  If there was a consolation it was that there are worse places to visit than Newcastle with its admirable carpet of proper pubs.  We visited a third before braving the train journey home.

FranThere were a lot of angry Watford fans after the game.  There was some justification for this as Newcastle had been very poor and were there for the taking.  But the first half performance had been impressive and the Hornets should have been 3 or 4 up at half time.  If the Pereyra shot that hit the crossbar early in the second half had gone in, we would have won the game.  But Newcastle worked hard, managed to get a goal from a set piece and it seemed to be game over from that point.  Still it is very dispiriting to hear so much anger directed at the players who have entertained us wonderfully so far this season.  We are half way to safety with less than 30% of the games played, so are already on the way to having a great season.  There will be the odd blip, but that shouldn’t derail the support as we are all in this together.  It would be great if some of our more volatile supporters could remember that.

The Hornets NestA game that we should have won comfortably but didn’t.
The definition of ‘doing a Watford’.

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27th October 2018- Premier League, Watford 3 Huddersfield Town 0

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Referee:Mike Dean
Attendance:20,457

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-23-36-22clips of Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary   Goals:1   2   3

Watford FC Official Site

Match Report: Watford 3-0 Huddersfield Town

Success: “It’s The Time For Me To Give Everything To The Team”

Gracia: “It’s Our Mentality To Be Demanding”

Highlights: Watford 3-0 Huddersfield Town

Femenía: “We Need To Keep Down To Earth”

Affleck’s Angle: Huddersfield Hit For Three

FPL Review: Gameweek 10

Gallery: Watford v Huddersfield Town

Another Angle: Huddersfield Town

Watford Observer

RELIVE – Watford vs Huddersfield Town: Roberto Pereyra scores sublime solo goal in Premier League win

Watford vs Huddersfield Town: Roberto Pereyra, Gerard Deulofeu and Isaac Success goals secure triumph

Watford vs Huddersfield Town: Javi Gracia still seeking improvements after Terriers success

PICTURES: A selection of images as Watford see off Huddersfield Town

Watford player ratings: Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra impress against Huddersfield Town

Will Hughes: Entire Watford squad benefitting from Roberto Pereyra and Gerard Deulofeu’s quality

Isaac Success: Will Hughes hails hard working Watford forward after impressive Huddersfield display

Watford: Isaac Success keen to build on goalscoring turn against Huddersfield Town

Watford defender Adrian Mariappa praised for being ‘always ready’ to play

Kiko Femenia believes Watford need to maintain high performance levels

BBC SportTwo sublime individual goals from Roberto Pereyra and Gerard Deulofeu helped Watford secure their best start to a top-flight season and send Huddersfield to the foot of the table.

skyWatford now boast 19 points from 10 games – bettering their 17 at the same stage of the 1982-83 campaign, where they finished second.

guardianThe current Watford manager could not be happier with his squad, but does not expect them to emulate Leicester’s shock title of 2015-16. “This is the best squad in the Premier League,” he said. “I don’t think we’d be able to achieve to win the championship. But we are going to try to enjoy every game, and try to do that for our supporters, help them enjoy it with us.

Telegraph“It wasn’t our best game. We need many things to improve. Our first two goals were fine, but I preferred the last one when Isaac Success scored his first goal of the season from something we had trained for.”

BHappy imageNonetheless, here was a challenge we’ve rarely experienced before, certainly since the 1980s.  That of being the side… not just favourites but comprehensive favourites, odds-on favourites, expected to win in a top flight game.  As with all unfamiliar things it doesn’t feel altogether comfortable, as positive an indicator as it may be of the status to which we’ve elevated ourselves.  You’re much less open to disappointment – and pressure – as the underdog.  Nor had this edginess been improved by finding ourselves placed at exactly the same spot in Wagamama as we had been pre-Bournemouth.  Or by discovering, now as then, that it was much bloody colder than anticipated necessitating hat purchase for the second home game on the trot.  (Or, as an aside, that the hat was too small.  The costume fitters of the Adhoc theatre group will roll their eyes, full of complaints at the the prohibitive size of my head.  Nonetheless…  a one size fits all hat shouldn’t be too small…).

The Hornets NestA comfortable victory in the end for the ‘Orns and it could have been so much more had we put on our shooting boots for the second half but we can’t complain.

FranThe joy was tempered somewhat by the worrying news of Glenn Hoddle’s collapse.  Then, when I returned home, I heard of the Leicester owner’s helicopter crashing and the death of a Brighton fan after their game.  The Leicester owners have been such a boon to both the club and the town, when something so awful happens, all football fans share the pain.  My thoughts are with the family and friends of all affected this weekend.

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