Category Archives: March

13th March 2022- Premier League, Southampton 1 Watford 2

WFC.net Jon Marks Goal Commentary: 1  2

Attendance: 28,863

BBC Sport: Cucho Hernandez scored twice as Watford boosted their hopes of securing Premier League survival with victory over Southampton at St Mary’s.

Sky Sports: Watford opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Hernandez pounced on Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu’s weak back-pass and found the net from a tight angle after rounding goalkeeper Fraser Forster.

The Guardian: Watford piled down the left and Juraj Kucka’s delicious first-time cross dropped at the back post, where the unmarked Hernández smacked in his second. It could have been 3-0 a few minutes later had Kucka taken the imposing Moussa Sissoko’s pass in his stride.

Fran’s Watford Blog: The celebrations in the away end and among the players were joyous.  Cucho and Kamara took it in turns to get the away stand cheering and many of the players came over to hand their shirts to the Junior Hornets.  Their day out had been a cracker.

10th March 2022- Premier League, Wolverhampton Wanderers 4 Watford 0

Attendance: 29,658

BBC Sport: Roy Hodgson said his Watford team were “running out of time” to preserve their Premier League status after being thrashed at Wolves.

Sky Sports: Three of the goals came in the space of eight first-half minutes with Raul Jimenez and Daniel Podence finding the net either side of Cucho Hernandez’s own goal.

The Guardian: Rúben Neves’s sumptuous chip five minutes from time allowed Wolves to match their 4-0 win over Blackpool in 2011 on a night that Ben Foster will probably want to forget as Watford’s good run on the road came to an abrupt halt. The former West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper, who celebrated Watford’s FA Cup semi-final win over these opponents three years ago with a tweet mentioning Wo1ve5 in memory of the Baggies’ 5-1 win at Molineux in Mick McCarthy’s final game here in 2012, was harangued all evening long by the Wolves fans and gave away the ball for Daniel Podence to make it 3-0 in the 21st minute.

BHappy: Wolves barely need to be paying attention to find themselves 3-0 up.  Kamara is more eye-catchingly exposed for the second scrambling after a neglected opponent before the ball finds its way to Ait-Nouri, similarly neglected on Wolves’ left flank.  He sends a perfunctory ball across the face of goal and Cucho, of all people, inadvertently tucks it inside Ben Foster’s near post.

Fran’s Watford Blog: Don applauded the players at the end, but he is a better person than I am.  That performance had been soul-destroying.  There was just nothing to redeem it.  A lack of ideas, a lack of any cohesion.  A rag-tag group of players who didn’t look like they had met before that evening and certainly couldn’t find a teammate with a pass.  The mistakes for the goals were dreadful.  In all honestly, it was a performance that was characterised by a complete lack of confidence, and I don’t know how you remedy that.  The poor performance on the pitch is met by fury from many in the crowd which, while understandable, just makes the experience worse.

6th March 2022- Premier League, Watford 2 Arsenal 3

WFC.net Jon Marks Commentary: 1  2

Attendance: 21,142

BBC Sport: The Hornets, who remain in the relegation zone, thought they had taken the lead within the first 20 seconds as Emmanuel Dennis slotted home but he was offside.

Sky Sports: Martin Odegaard opened the scoring with the first of three beautifully-worked Arsenal goals when he slid a low finish past Ben Foster after exchanging passes with Saka in the early stages (5). Watford responded well, with Cucho Hernandez netting the pick of the afternoon’s goals when he slammed home a stunning overhead kick from Kiko Femenia’s right-wing cross (11).

The Guardian: Chances were missed at both ends after that and there was rancour when Watford’s fans showed loud disapproval at Roy Hodgson’s substitution of Louza. “I’ve got to keep trying to pick the team to win games and not the team the fans would like to see because I don’t trust their judgment all the time,” Hodgson said. “I don’t think I can ask any more of the players than what they gave today.”

BHappy: These are strange times, however, and so here we are.  The Ukrainian flag displayed by the Rookery twice pre-match – first as teams entered the arena and second, hesitantly, as the teams alternated around the centre-circle in a co-ordinated show of solidarity with Ukraine – would not, it seems, have met the approval of Chinese broadcasters and by implication the Chinese government;  the former had declined to screen any Premier League matches this weekend in the light of such planned actions.  The flag display, whilst a fine thing and well co-ordinated, feels somehow inadequate in the circumstances.  It’s not quite standing in front of a tank, is it?  And yet the fact that a government feels strongly enough about controlling the narrative told to its people to effectively ban its broadcast is testament to the impact it can have – or at least that they believe it can have.  Well done all.

Fran’s Watford blog: Dennis really should have reduced the deficit when a low cross from Femenía reached him on the far post but he somehow miscontrolled and the ball spun away from goal.  The visitors made a couple of substitutions replacing Martinelli and Lacazette with Pépé and Nketiah.  Watford had a chance to strike back when a poor pass from the visitors reached Dennis who broke into the box but his pass to Kamara was intercepted.  Arsenal then broke down the other end and the substitute, Nketiah, had a shot that hit the post.  But the next goal of the game was scored by the Hornets as Sissoko brought the ball down in the box, beat the defender and squeezed the ball under Ramsdale to reduce the deficit to a single goal.  Each side made a substitution at that point with Cleverley making way for debutant Kalu for the home side and Holding replacing Ødegaard for the visitors.  When five minutes of added time was announced, it was the Hornet faithful cheering.  Could we get a point from this game?  Kalu had a great chance to grab the equaliser when he played a one-two with Sissoko and tried a shot from distance which was caught by Ramsdale.  Kalu impressed again with a lovely ball towards Dennis that was intercepted.  But the most notable thing during added time was the timewasting from the visitors which was most irritating when Tierney was thrown the ball by Hernandez and decided to drop it.  Cucho’s follow-up throw was a little more vigorous but did not merit the Arsenal player collapsing as if he had received an upper cut and shame on the referee for booking the Watford player for his opponent’s play-acting.  The final whistle went on a defeat for the Hornets that was greeted with applause from the home fans.

20th March 2021- Championship, Watford 3 Birmingham City 0

BBC Sport: Goals from Ken Sema, Nathaniel Chalobah and Andre Gray strengthened Watford’s Championship promotion charge as they saw off struggling Birmingham.

Sky Sports: It was a thoroughly-deserved victory for Xisco Munoz’s side, who made it five successive victories in the Championship.

BHappy: The headlines coming into this one related to the non-availability not only of Ismaïla Sarr but also of Philip Zinckernagel, both of whom picked up knocks at Rotherham in midweek.  Sarr’s absence ahead of a two week break no great surprise – a “minor” hamstring problem we’re advised.  Stepping back and considering the various options and realising that they were all pretty good limited any anxiety about the absence of perhaps our least replaceable weapon in Sarr, but it was still a bit of a surprise to see Isaac getting the nod.  Two years since his last League start which is remarkable in itself, perhaps only as remarkable as the fact that he’s clearly not out of last chances just yet.  As previously, I’m pleased about that… if he can mobilise his quality and physicality, pull the strings around the parcel a little tighter then we suddenly have a new £12million signing, as my brother pointed out at the outset.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/56383239

16th March 2021- Championship, Rotherham United 1 Watford 4

BBC Sport: Watford strengthened their grip on second place in the Championship as they scored four goals against relegation-threatened Rotherham.

Sky Sports: Chile international Francisco Sierralta opened the scoring with his first goal in English football and further efforts from Ismaila Sarr and Ken Sema put Xisco Munoz’s men firmly in the ascendancy at the break. After Michael Smith had a penalty saved for the Millers, Freddie Ladapo pulled a goal back in spectacular fashion but Dan Gosling swiftly responded to extinguish any hopes of a comeback.

BHappy: At the centre of much of it, and critical to all three of the first half goals, was Philip Zinckernagel.  The Dane’s startling record in Norway came with the caveat that, you know, it was in Norway;  a slight concern that he’d left Denmark at the age of 24 without having pulling up any trees.  He’s shown flashes of quality before now, but this was a startling performance… for the first, he cut back onto his right foot and dropped a cross onto Sierralta’s head.  The Chilean held off his marker to dump the ball past Blackman, stranded on his line, spent a couple of seconds recovering his senses and then rose with what is becoming a trademark two-fisted bellow.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/56329360