The Hornets had the last laugh in May with a resounding play-off victory over Palace, but Johnson still pursued them into the Premiership and tormented them here. He will benefit from the excellent Mikel Arteta’s clever passing, the Spaniard duly converting from the spot after Tim Cahill’s cross struck Chris Powell on the forehead and a penalty was awarded for hand-ball. The decision was ludicrous and ultimately cost Watford a point, even if Everton should have eased themselves clear with Arteta and Cahill both striking the woodwork in the first period.
Watford were given belated hope when they scored in the dying minutes. Tamas Triskin crossed for Damien Francis and his shot took a big deflection off Stubbs before rolling into the net past Howard. However Everton held on for victory
Priskin came on for his debut in place of an exhausted Henderson. Everton broke inconsequentially, their attacks long since devoid of threat. Until a ball is put in from the right and hits Chris Powell, appeals, penalty. We didn’t have a great view, of course, but did feel hard done by… the ball had been kicked against him from our position. Match of the Day reveals the lunacy of the decision, the ball squarely hitting Powell in the face some distance from his hands; how two officials conspired to screw this up is inconceivable. And incidentally if you don’t know your arse from your elbow, so to speak, then no amount of TV replay, fourth eye, whatever, is going to help. At the time, with less than ten minutes to go this didn’t seem a particularly significant development, the ferocity of our attacks having petered out for all of Priskin’s encouraging tidiness. As Arteta sent Foster the wrong way, the game merely ended eight minutes earlier than scheduled.