Month: April 2013

26th April 2013- Championship, Leicester City 1 Watford 2

https://oldwatford.com/2013/05/04/4th-may-2013-championship-watford-1-leeds-united-2/

Watford maintained their slim hopes of snatching the Championship’s second automatic promotion spot with a nervy win at play-off hopefuls Leicester.

Chalobah’s bolt from the blue saw Watford quickly double their lead in the 43rd minute, when loose control from Adbi saw the ball roll into the path of the Chelsea man who silenced the King Power Stadium with a rocket of a right-foot shot from 25 yards that hit the back of the net via the underside of the bar, leaving Schmeichel stranded.

Attention now turns to South Yorkshire, and what is likely to be as tense a game as has been played in the Championship this season. Barnsley are fighting for their lives, and Hull’s form in recent weeks has been not so much poor as wretched, but their fate is in their hands and if Steve Bruce can drag one more performance out of his players it will be enough. Otherwise they may find they need to beat champions Cardiff at the KC Stadium on the final day of the season, because on this form Watford will be strong favourites to win their last match, at home to Leeds United.

“I’ll be relaxing and drinking a bottle of wine now while the Hull game is on,” Zola joked. “Nathaniel scores some good ones in training. That one was special. We were talking about incredible goals with him in the morning, such as Frank Lampard against Barcelona.

Nathaniel Chalobah’s strike merits a thunk all to itself, obviously.  At least a thunk. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a piledriver that’s still rising as it hits the roof of the net.  Perhaps smacking it in off the underside of the crossbar constitutes a marginal improvement – work to do there, Nathaniel – but this minor failing was offset by the fact that nobody saw this coming, least of all Kasper Schmeichel.  The cannonball wasn’t preceded by a telegraphed lay-off, nobody was rising in anticipation as the ball was struck – indeed we were still in the post-celebration jubilant singing bit following Deeney’s goal two minutes earlier.  We were flattened as comprehensively as if the shot had caught us in the midriff, stunned… and then ecstatic with disbelief.  Even at half-time in a boisterous, giddy concourse strangers were grinning at each other and shaking their heads.

20th April 2013- Championship, Watford 4 Blackburn Rovers 0

Watford kept their slim automatic promotion hopes alive with a comprehensive demolition of 10-man Blackburn at Vicarage Road.

Hull remain favourites for second place, but Watford’s much superior goal difference means the Tigers will need to win at least one of their remaining fixtures to prevent a late charge from the Vicarage Road club, who have now mathematically secured at least a play-off spot.

Troy Deeney scored twice for the Championship’s third-placed team and if their hopes of hauling in Hull’s four-point cushion with two matches remaining seem far-fetched, the form of the club’s strikeforce bodes well with playoffs on the agenda. Zola left the Championship player of the year, Matej Vydra, on the bench and the 20-goal striker was hardly missed as his replacement, Fernando Forestieri, set up the first three goals.

The scoreline tells one story.  The narrative of the match itself, however,  is not (merely) one of us putting inadequate opponents to the sword.  In fact it followed the template of several of our big wins this season;  against Huddersfield in the snow in January we laboured for a bit against a side hellbent on stopping us from playing – and once we had gotten that first goal we were gone, galloping off into the sunset with the points and never looking back.

More games from 20th April at https://oldwatford.com/tag/apr20

https://oldwatford.com/2013/05/04/4th-may-2013-championship-watford-1-leeds-united-2/