Monthly Archives: January 2023

21st January 2023- Championship, Watford 1 Rotherham United 1

WFC.Net Goal Commentary: 1

Attendance: 18,911

BBC Sport: Watford were left to rue a host of missed chances as they were held to a draw by Rotherham. Mario Gaspar hit the outside of the post early on for the hosts, before Shane Ferguson gave the Millers the lead as he blasted in from close range. Vakoun Bayo grazed the Rotherham bar soon after, while Matheus Martins also struck the upright for the promotion-chasing Hornets shortly after the restart.

Sky Sports: Joao Ferreira rescued a point for Watford in a 1-1 draw with Rotherham but the result did little to help their automatic promotion chances. In addition to Ferreira’s superb equaliser from 20 yards, which cancelled out Shane Ferguson’s first-half opener, Watford clipped the visitors’ woodwork on two occasions on what proved to be a frustrating afternoon for the Vicarage Road crowd.

BHappy: Rotherham aren’t dirty or particularly defensive, but they are strong and organised and, frankly, bigger than us.  With new, young signings and promising youngsters and that we are relatively lightweight…  Choudhury, stamping all over the midfield once again, and Sierralta stand out for their ability to give some back but Koné, whilst he has a good touch and the nous to spot and execute a long range pass isn’t nearly robust enough.  We get bullied once again, as we have far too often this season;  there’s a lack of physical presence up front in particular, where we simply don’t have a target for a direct ball and aren’t clever enough in trying to play through, but also in midfield despite Hamza’s best efforts.

Fran’s Watford Blog: At half time, Richard Johnson was talking about the week that the Academy players have had with the appearances in the FA Cup, the Youth Cup win against Everton and the league appearances including Adeyemo’s tremendous goal against Blackpool.  One thing that he didn’t mention was an event that the under 15s attended on Monday at which Eve Kugler, a child Holocaust survivor, spoke of her experiences during the rise of Nazi Germany.  I was lucky enough to be invited to join them.  Eve kindly spent her 92nd birthday talking to the group.  Her story was both chilling and very moving.  It is wonderful that the club educate the youngsters in this history and encourage them to learn about different communities.

14th January 2023- Championship, Watford 2 Blackpool 0

WFC.Net Goal Commentary: 1  2

Attendance: 19,679

Official site: Watford fans inside The Vic marked the GT Matchday by paying tribute to the club’s greatest ever manager before kick-off, raising their scarves aloft as the teams walked out onto the pitch, while all in attendance honoured the late Gianluca Vialli with a minute’s applause.

BBC Sport: Teenage substitute Tobi Adeyemo helped send Watford up to third in the Championship with his first senior goal in a win against strugglers Blackpool.

Sky Sports: The striker, 17, looked as stunned as he was elated to have found the net in the 72nd minute – just four minutes after replacing Vakoun Bayo for his first taste of league action. 

BHappy: His celebration is magnificent, and mirrors the response in the stands – pure joy to start with, he has the armspan of an albatross.  Then giddy disbelief as he clutches his fingers to his scalp before being mobbed, youth team colleague Jack Grieves first on the scene from his touchline warm-up.  The youngster’s popularity is evident from the reaction of his teammates, who make a bee-line for the mob in the corner.

Fran’s Watford Blog: As if a goal from a 17 year-old making his league debut wasn’t pleasing enough, he scored it in the 72nd minute on the GT matchday.  I am sure that the great man was celebrating with the rest of us. 

7th January 2023- FA Cup Third Round, Reading 2 Watford 0

No programme was produced for the game.
Attendance: 7,954

BBC Sport: Goals from Kelvin Abrefa and Shane Long were enough to beat a below-par Watford side and earn Reading a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Fran’s Watford Blog: Before kick-off there was a minute’s applause in memory of Gianluca Vialli, whose tragically early death was announced this week.  The players also wore black armbands as a mark of respect for a man that was admired and loved throughout English (and Italian) football.

2nd January 2023- Championship, Norwich City 0 Watford 1

WFC.Net goal commentary: 1

Attendance: 26,587

BBC Sport: Vakoun Bayo’s late breakaway goal earned victory for Watford and left managerless Norwich City pondering a dismal home run which has now seen them win just once in nine Championship matches at Carrow Road.

Sky Sports: A careless loss of possession in midfield proved fatal for the hosts as Sarr broke clear on the left before squaring for the unmarked Bayo to sidefoot home from inside the six-yard box.

BHappy: This is far from a perfect performance.  But by god it’s inspiring stuff, as if we’ve saved up three games’ worth of bloody-mindedness and spent all our chips on a big blow out in Norfolk.  The game itself is wide open, frantic and breathless;  as such it suits down to the ground certain players who might have been exposed in a tighter encounter where one mistake might make the difference.

Fran’s Watford blog: The home side had a great chance to equalise with a shot from Nuñez that was deflected just wide.  Then, from a corner, Pukki had a shot that was just wide of the target.  Having scored so late, we didn’t think that we would have too long to hang on until the fourth official indicated that there was 9 minutes of added time.  Norwich had a great chance to salvage a point when Sara won a free-kick in a dangerous position.  He took it himself and his effort was close, bouncing off the far post.  The final whistle went to much merriment in the away end.  After the last couple of games, it was so lovely seeing the players celebrating with beaming smiles and shirts being thrown into the crowd.