27th August 2023- Championship, Watford 0 Blackburn Rovers 1

Official site: Match dashboard


BBC: Blackburn rode their luck on the way to snatching a narrow win over a dominant Watford side in the Championship.

Sky: The only goal of the game came after 72 minutes, when Ryan Hedges took over after Lewis Travis could lead the counter no longer, controlled the ball with two neat flicks and fired in from the tightest of angles.

Watford Observer: Live Feed

While it would be unfair to describe the Hornets’ second straight defeat as a smash-and-grab raid for their opponents, the fact the Hornets had 24 goal attempts to the visitors’ five would suggest they did enough to at least secure a point. But of those just four were on target and goalkeeper Aynsley Pears was only forced into two saves of note, meaning it is now three-and-a-half league games since the Hornets last found the back of the net.

Head coach Valerien Ismael felt his side shouldn’t have lost to Blackburn, but also admitted they need to adapt when opponents change their style of play.

BHappy: Prior to kick-off there was tribute payed to Andy Rankin who passed away during the week.  I was surprised to hear that he made his last appearance in 1979, the year I started attending matches as my memory was of watching him for far longer than that.  He had been my first goalkeeping hero and I was very sad to hear of his passing.  The minute’s applause was heartfelt. On 30 minutes the big screen showed a photo of Matt Sillitoe, the PA announcer at Ewood Park, who has passed away at the age of 30.  All sides of the ground joined in the minute’s applause. At half time, Danny Webber and Neil Cox were at the side of the pitch remembering Jimmy Davis as it is 20 years since his passing.  Gangster’s Paradise was played over the tannoy as this was the song that Jimmy had sung for his initiation.  Danny was very emotional talking about his friend.  Jimmy is remembered for his bubbly personality and cheeky smile as much as for his great footballing talent.  Danny talked about what a hard worker he was, wanting everything that he did to be perfect.  This even extended to the song, which he had practised until it was perfect.  He was enjoying his performance so much that he had to be carried off the stage as he wouldn’t stop singing.  Jimmy had been a very popular member of the team and is greatly missed by all who knew him.

FTRE: We can sit here, at least Mike would, and quote that Watford haven’t scored a goal since the 43rd minute of the opening game… about 230 minutes. But Mike is on holiday so Jon, Jason, Jordi and DCW gathered post match in Mad Squirrel to disucss the match, the changes – some enforced, some the choice of Valerian – the difference performace in the first and second half plus how the players got along, particulary the latest signing Mileta Rajovic and what led to the the 0-1 home defeat.