Month: October 2017

28th October 2017- Premier League, Watford 0 Stoke City 1

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Watford Observer

Relive Watford v Stoke City: Darren Fletcher corner gives Potters victory at Vicarage Road

Darren Fletcher goal enough to send Watford to home defeat against Stoke City

Watford v Stoke City: Marco Silva fumes at ‘slow’ Hornets as poor first-half costs them in Potters defeat

GALLERY: A selection of images from Watford’s defeat to Stoke City

Watford v Stoke City: Tom Cleverley blamed for Potters goal by Marco Silva

BBC SportDarren Fletcher said victory at Watford was “what was needed” as Stoke City held on to win away from home for the first time this season.

skyStoke enjoyed their first Premier League away win of the season to ease the pressure on Mark Hughes as Darren Fletcher’s sweetly-struck volley was enough to seal a 1-0 win over Watford.

guardianMark Hughes told Troy Deeney he “should know better” after the Watford captain sparked a late melee in their 1-0 Premier League defeat by Stoke City. In stoppage-time Stoke put the ball out of play after a player went down injured, but rather than pass the ball back Deeney appeared to attempt a cross into the visitors’ penalty area. Joe Allen reacted angrily but found himself being grabbed by the face by the burly Hornets striker.

TelegraphDarren Fletcher scored his first goal for Stoke to settle a closely-fought contest at the high-flying Hornets.

BHappy imageMuch as we tried to convince ourselves that this was going to be a case of New Watford putting a struggling side to the sword, the day hadn’t felt right.  Wonky. Our reserved table set for the wrong number of places at the restaurant.  Harry the Hornet heading resignedly into the Red Lion pre-match.  Empty seats in the stadium.  Lots of them, despite what was officially a 20k+ gate.   And a confused pre-match process involving a bagpipe recital and a minute’s silence in recognition of Remembrance Day in which nobody seemed quite sure what was happening.  Wrong.  Wrong.

FranBack to Vicarage Road again and, after a busy week, it was lovely to sit down with the crowd for the pre-match pint.  I bumped into someone that I hadn’t seen for a while, a regular who had almost given up in the dark days at the end of Mazzarri’s reign.  He was all smiles again, thoroughly enjoying the football as we all are.  I must admit that, going into this game I was less confident than last week against Chelsea.  There is something about Stoke and their negative style of play that made me think that we could struggle.

The Hornets NestStoke.  At home.  What could possibly go wrong?  Well, everything. Absolutely everything.

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21st October 2017- Premier League, Chelsea 4 Watford 2

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

Watford Observer

Chelsea v Watford LIVE: Cesar Azpilicueta gives Chelsea late victory despite Watford-dominated second half

Watford left to rue misses as Premier League champions Chelsea come from behind to win

Marco Silva reflects on what could have been after Watford beaten at Chelsea

Watford v Chelsea: Antonio Conte says Hornets game “very tough”

GALLERY: A selection of images from Watford’s defeat at Chelsea

Chelsea v Watford ratings: Midfield on song despite collapse at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea v Watford analysis: Substitutions and missed chances show Marco Silva and Richarlison are only human

BBC SportChelsea manager Antonio Conte said his side showed they have the “attitude to fight” as they scored two late goals to come from behind and claim a dramatic victory against Watford at Stamford Bridge.

skyMichy Batshuayi’s double capped a resilient Chelsea display as they fought back from 2-1 down to beat Watford 4-2 at Stamford Bridge.

guardian“That’s why we’re champions,” crowed the Matthew Harding Stand after César Azpilicueta had bundled Chelsea back from the precipice. Their meaning was clear enough: you do not win titles without the wherewithal to make light of a seemingly lost cause and the way that – invigorated by Antonio Conte’s substitutions – they punished Watford in the last 20 minutes brought to mind some of last season’s remorseless displays.

TelegraphThe memory of the great title defence meltdown of 2015-2016 is still fresh in the minds of all at Stamford Bridge and for that reason there may well have been distressing flashbacks among the support with 20 minutes left and a goal behind to opposition of a much lower status.

BHappy imageIf there’s a way in which the Chelsea matchday experience resembles the Watford matchday experience it’s in the Fulham Road beforehand, a seething artery that channels the masses towards the stadium transforming it into something quite unrecognisable to those who see it on a “normal” day, in much the way as Vicarage Road always feels odd if you chance down it during the week.  Today the October spinning dial that promised sunshine and rain and wind and made preparation next to impossible settled on sunshine, fitting for a rare trip to the Bridge that didn’t  come with the knowledge that we were likely to get stuffed.

FranToddy’s funeral took place on Wednesday.  It has to be said that his family and many friends gave him a magnificent send off and it was fitting that the wake was held in the Captain’s bar at Vicarage Road.  The help given to Toddy’s family by his friends at the club, especially Dave Messenger, has been outstanding and a testament to what he meant to the people there.

The Hornets NestSo to Saturday and with Watford in red hot form and champions Chelsea having lost two on the bounce in the league, there was no better time to face them. Before the game I felt that if Watford were ever going to win at Stamford Bridge for the first time since 1986, it was to be now.

Hornet effectIt was hard to watch these highlights, I really tried to skip past the bad bits but I had to include them. The result doesn’t tell the story of the game, at all. No matter how disappointing coming home empty-handed was there are plenty of positives to take.

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14th October 2017- Premier League, Watford 2 Arsenal 1

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

Watford Observer

Watford fans’ group to unveil huge flag at Arsenal game

RELIVE – Watford vs Arsenal: Tom Cleverley strikes at the last as Watford climb into Premier League top four

Tom Cleverley’s injury-time winner gives Watford first home win over Arsenal in almost 30 years

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hits out at ‘scandalous’ penalty decision after Watford defeat

Marco Silva hails Watford’s belief after Arsenal win and speaks in protection of Richarlison

GALLERY: A selection of images from Watford’s first victory over Arsenal at Vicarage Road in almost 30 years

Adrian Mariappa praises Watford’s work-rate after comeback win over Arsenal

RATINGS: Troy Deeney and Richarlison on song as Watford stun Arsenal

Football Association reportedly looking into Watford’s Richarlison reaction to win penalty from Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin

Arsene Wenger: Arsenal boss faces potential FA charge for confronting ref in wake of Watford loss

Richarlison: Watford winger avoids FA rap for alleged dive during Arsenal win

WATFORD FAN’S VIEW: Arsenal win shows how together Hornets are – if we didn’t know already

BBC SportArsene Wenger bemoaned a “scandalous decision” to award Watford a penalty as Arsenal squandered a lead to lose 2-1 in injury time at Vicarage Road.

Watford’s Richarlison will not face any action over simulation allegations after he won his side a penalty in a 2-1 victory over Arsenal on Saturday.

skyLate goals by Troy Deeney and Tom Cleverley saw Watford come from behind to beat Arsenal 2-1 and go fourth in the Premier League.

guardianFor Watford this was the thrilling story of another last-gasp triumph thanks to a 92nd-minute goal by Tom Cleverley following an equaliser from the penalty spot by Troy Deeney. For Arsenal it boiled down to a tale of two Germans and one 20-year-old Brazilian.

IndependentRicharlison’s late winner at Swansea City was good, and his equaliser at the death at West Bromwich Albion too was important too. But this Watford fight-back, sealed by Tom Cleverley’s 90th minute winner, sparking carnage at Vicarage Road, was the best of the lot.

TelegraphConsidering that the primary criticism of Mesut Ozil is that he does not do enough to seize control of games, it is a cruel twist of fate that it was his error that swung this match away from Arsenal. Clean through on goal, with almost enough time to stop and brush the hair out of his eyes, Ozil had the most welcoming of opportunities to extend the lead given to his side by an unlikely Per Mertesacker header.

BHappy imageWe’ve noted this before, but if you were to list the things you missed about the Second Division, floodlit matches at the Vic would be up there.  And no, this wasn’t strictly an evening game but the sun was on its way home for “Strictly” and beans on toast by kick-off and the marvellous focused intensity of such occasions was thick in the air.  The 1881’s latest magnificent flag shrouded the Rookery as the teams came out and then rattled back down the stand like an opening curtain on the spectacle.

FranGiven the two away games and the international break, this was the first home game since Toddy passed away, so it was a sombre crowd that gathered.  There was a huge contingent of Norfolk Horns in attendance and Toddy’s son, Chris, came along, which was just lovely.  I doubt he has ever been hugged so much before.  Glasses were raised, happy memories exchanged and there was a determination to sing our hearts out for Toddy as well as the lads.

The Hornets NestWell then, where do I start?  In all honesty I don’t really know. You all know what’s coming, you all know what happened, it’s no secret. So is there really any point in going through the motions and talking about the rest of the game?   Or should I just waffle on about how Tom Cleverley’s 92nd minute winner epitomised Watford’s fighting spirit this season, or how it capped one of the most memorable nights at Vicarage Road?

Hornet effectThe Golden Boys sit fourth in the Premier League table tonight securing a first victory over the Gunners at Vicarage Road for the first time in 30 years.

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