Category Archives: April

29th April 2023- Championship, Sunderland 2 Watford 2

WFC.Net goal commentary: 1  2

Attendance: 44,944

BBC Sport: Sunderland kept their play-off hopes alive as they fought back from 2-0 down to earn a stoppage-time draw with Watford at the Stadium of Light.

Sky Sports: Christian Kabasele and Ryan Porteous headed Watford into a two-goal lead but Sunderland came fighting back, with Luke O’Nien halving the deficit before Roberts’ moment of brilliance deep into stoppage time.

BHappy: If there’s criticism to be levelled based on this game in particular, Chris Wilder’s ultra-conservative substitutions…  Bacuna for Asprilla, Ngakia for Sarr, Hoedt for Andrews… bear consideration.  The last quarter of the game saw a now exhausted and isolated Davis as our only outlet, pressure invited further as Sunderland chased the game.  Much easier to assess those decisions after the match of course.  We were two minutes from a fine and unexpected win… and it wasn’t as if the bench (or the squad, given availability) was overburdened with viable attacking options.  Aráujo would surely have required Davis to stay on the pitch to have a chance of being worthwhile.

Fran’s Watford Blog: The players were applauded off after what had been a spirited performance against a team who had something to play for.  It may be that we benefitted from the absence of João Pedro as we tend to rely on him too much and he ends up trying to do everything which often means he is not where he should be.  It was a great shame that, after taking a two-goal lead, panic in the defence allowed the home side to take a share of the points, but it was a decent game of football and, for the first time in a while, my heart was racing during the game as it felt like it meant something, and I really cared.

22nd April 2023- Championship, Hull City 1 Watford 0

Attendance: 20,666

BBC Sport: Ozan Tufan’s penalty ensured Hull ended Watford’s Championship play-off hopes. The Hornets are winless in eight on the road and, having sat third on 20 January, slipped into the bottom half three points ahead of the Tigers.

Sky Sports: Wilder can have no complaints as Watford lacked passion and energy, most notably in the first half, and rarely threatened Hull goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

Fran’s Watford Blog: It had been another terrible game.  Hull were abysmal, they had two shots on goal all afternoon and the only one on target was the penalty.  But they still beat us.  Darlow did have to make a couple of saves, but I never felt that we would get anything out of the game.

From the Rookery End: With the dust settled on another Watford defeat, Mike, Jon and Jas gathered to take a look at some of the issues encircling Vicarage Road at the moment.

19th April 2023- Championship, Watford 1 Cardiff City 3

WFC.Net goal commentary: 1

Attendance: 17,005

BBC Sport: Sory Kaba’s stunning overhead strike sealed a vital win for Cardiff City in their Championship survival fight. Cardiff came from behind at Vicarage Road after Ismaila Sarr tapped in his 11th of the season for an early Watford lead.

Sky Sports: Etete netted just after the half-hour mark. The summer signing from Cheltenham accepted Andy Rinomhota’s pass on the right of the box and negotiated his way past challengers before slotting across Bachmann from a tight angle. Cardiff stunned Watford by taking the lead four minutes later. Ryan Wintle’s drive was blocked by a defender but Kipre was first to the rebound and instantly smashed an unstoppable shot beyond Bachmann from the right of the box.

Fran’s Watford Blog: It had been a dreadful half of football.  As too often, an early goal was followed by lots of pretty possession with no goal-scoring chances created and then a complete collapse when the visitors scored. 

Watford Observer: Chris Wilder spent more than 20 minutes talking in his press conference after the defeat to Cardiff, and pulled no punches as he assessed the game and the wider picture at Vicarage Road.

15th April 2023- Championship, Watford 2 Bristol City 0

WFC.Net Goal Commentary: 1  2

Attendance: 19,148

BBC Sport: The Hornets got off to a great start when Harry Cornick’s own goal gave them a sixth-minute lead, but were grateful to goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann who made a number of first-half saves. City should have levelled early in the second half when Nahki Wells saw an effort saved, but soon after they were 2-0 down thanks Joao Pedro’s powerful effort.

Sky Sports: While the home side rarely looked convincing and saw their woodwork struck twice in the second half, Watford nevertheless still retain a chance of making the play-offs.

BHappy: Earlier in the half, a “Pozzo Out!” banner made its way solemnly along the foot of the Lower GT.  Those responsible, whilst surely not hoping for yet another defeat, might have had mixed emotions at the state of the game and would surely have enjoyed noisier support had the scoreline been reversed.  As it was there was a rumble of appreciation from the Rookery which had died away by the time the banner reached the halfway line.  Indeed, a slightly surreal accompaniment was provided by a youngster behind us who gleefully rolled through the João Pedro “always believe in your soul” song in utter indifference to the dwindling protest to his left as it made a rather painful journey down the north end of the pitch.

Fran’s Watford Blog: Once the teams had been announced, Richard Walker said, “Please put your hands together for former Watford manager and current Bristol City manager, Nigel Pearson.”  The applause for Nigel was very appreciative and it was good to see him wave to the home crowd to acknowledge it.

10th April 2023- Championship, Coventry City 2 Watford 2

WFC.Net goal commentary: 1  2

Attendance: 21,112

BBC Sport: Watford’s failure to leave Coventry with maximum points after looking comfortable at 2-0 up will hurt their chances of reaching the play-offs, as a run of just two wins from 14 games now leaves them six points adrift of the top six with five games to play.

Sky Sports: the home side were frustrated in their attempts to find a winner and felt they should have had a penalty when Brooke Norton-Cuffy appeared to be tripped in the penalty area with nine minutes left.

Fran’s Watford Blog: At the final whistle there was a smattering of half-hearted boos from the away end.  The mood then deteriorated as some very angry people started telling the players what they thought of them.  One of the most irate was someone that I have met on trains to games many times over the years who has always struck me as very mild-mannered.  I have to say that I was really surprised and rather saddened at that level of anger after what had been a much more encouraging performance.  Despite that, the players came over to applaud the travelling fans and most of the fans applauded back.  I couldn’t help thinking that if the halves of the game had been reversed, we would have all been going home rather pleased with the performance.  The first half had been the best that I have seen in some weeks.  There was so much more coherence in the play and evidence of a team playing together.  Sadly, as soon as Coventry scored, the confidence disappeared, and I feared that we would end up badly beaten.  In the end, it was a decent game for neutrals and a well won point on the road.  I was very impressed with Andrews.  Let’s hope that we now see more of the youngsters given a run out and a positive end to the season.

7th April 2023- Championship, Watford 2 Huddersfield Town 3

WFC.Net goal commentary: 1  2

Attendance: 19,511

BBC Sport: Huddersfield Town beat a faltering Watford to make it three wins on the bounce and haul themselves out of the Championship relegation zone.

Sky Sports: Watford made two changes to the side that lost at local rivals Luton, with Joao Ferreira and Yaser Asprilla coming into the starting line-up.

Frans Watford Blog: Many of those that remained were chanting “We want Pozzo out.”  There was five minutes of added time and something to cheer about as Sarr found Assombalonga on the right, he broke into the box and shot past Vaclík.  There was no celebration of the goal by the players, João Pedro picked the ball out of the net and ran back to the centre circle to expedite the restart.  It then got really nasty.  First Sarr was impeded in the box and went down.  It wasn’t a penalty and Helik showed his displeasure with some cross words.  Then Hogg fouled João Pedro and there was a lot of pushing and shoving, but only Choudhury was booked.  There was another niggly foul, this time on Assombalonga and Bachmann, who was up for the free kick was complaining vociferously so was booked.  What followed was ridiculous.  The free kick dropped, and Bachmann went in for the ball with a flying kick that Hong Kong Phooey would have been proud of.  He almost took Pearson’s head off.  There was no surprise when the referee showed a second yellow.  Dan continued to argue as he walked off the pitch and had to be pushed off by his teammates, although he threw his gloves back on.  He gave his shirt to Choudhury who looked completely baffled but, after consultation with Chris Wilder, Hamza put it on and went to stand in the vicinity of the goal, although he had not retrieved the gloves.  The final whistle went straight after the restart, so his barehanded keeping skills were not tested.

Anger and acrimony as dreadful Watford crash to Terriers defeat

Recap: Watford 2 Huddersfield Town 3

He was nowhere near as scatching or angry as he was after last week’s defeat at Luton, but Chris Wilder was still clearly hurting when he spoke to the media after yesterday’s defeat against Huddersfield.

We’ve seen Watford lose a few times this season but today was different. There was a shift in emotions and patience.