Referee:Martin Atkinson Attendance:23,418
clips of Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary Goals: 1
Watford had to settle for a draw at Fulham after Aleksandar Mitrovic struck late on to earn the hosts a point. The Hornets punished a poor start by Fulham as Andre Gray sidefooted home inside 90 seconds and the visitors, who won their first four Premier League games of the season, dominated the first half.
The home side were lucky to go in at the break only one goal down after Christian Kabasele and Gray spurned presentable openings, while it could have been even worse had referee Martin Atkinson sent off Timothy Fosu-Mensah for a studs-up tackle on Troy Deeney just past the half-hour mark.
Watford’s captain now appears likely to be Gracia’s first enforced change of the season, having left Craven Cottage with his right leg in a protective boot and revealed he will require an X-ray after Fosu-Mensah’s 32nd-minute tackle. “I may have a broken bone or two but we crack on,” Deeney said. He had still completed the 90 minutes. “I am a tough, ugly boy so it will be all right.”
Isaac Success replaced Gray for the final 10 minutes and the Nigerian’s impact was impressive. He almost scored after cutting in from the left but was foiled by a low save from Marcus Bettinelli. Fulham also sensed more points might be on offer and Mitrovic twice went close to winning the game.
So, for the second week running, we came away disappointed at the result. I think we would all have taken a point before the game, but our first half performance was such that we should have been further ahead at half-time and, had that happened, it seemed unlikely that the home side would have been able to recover. Instead, Fulham were still in the game at the break and Jokanović made changes that strengthened his team, who pressed harder against the Hornets who then misplaced more passes and allowed the home side to threaten more.
I like Fulham. As I only live a short distance away I was able to go to several of their games last season. I find Craven Cottage a ‘proper’ football ground and have always felt like it’s a welcoming stadium to visit. The significance of our trip this time round was of course that it was the first time former Watford Head Coach, Slavisa Jokanovic had come up against us, since he got us promoted back in 2015. Of course, he received a warm reception from the travelling Hornets and was full of praise for the supporters in his pre-match press conference.