Stoke were given early impetus when Steven Fletcher converted Nick Powell’s low cross. But Watford drew level when Tom Cleverley’s shot was judged to have crossed the line after being tipped on to the bar by keeper Angus Gunn, who was himself then barged over the line by Joao Pedro after gathering the bouncing ball.
The Hornets’ black third kit is, as Ben Foster would say, “a thing of beauty”, but it’s not a particularly lucky strip right now. It’s now played two, lost two and no goals scored after the team followed up the 1-0 defeat at Reading with a repeat at Oakwell.
Watford carried a greater threat after the break without seriously discomfiting home keeper Jack Walton, but boss Vladimir lvic chose to keep £18.5m striker Andre Gray on the bench until the 76th minute.
Barnsley opened at a blistering pace. We’ve seen some aggressive pressing this season but this was something else altogether, rabid and ferocious. William Troost-Ekong’s third-minute booking was a bit harsh, but it reflected the degree to which we were already rattled. The home side capitalised… a slack pass from Wilmot didn’t reach Capoue, Alex Mowatt seized it and pinged a tremendous shot into the top corner. It wasn’t that far away from Ben Foster in truth as his reaction betrayed but it was a hell of a strike.
It was a far from Happy Halloween for the Hornets as Watford capped off a disappointing week with defeat to Barnsley at Oakwell. The podcast team try to work out what went wrong in a game that saw the visitors fail to register a single shot on target.
Ismaila Sarr headed home Kiko Femenia’s inch-perfect cross to open the scoring for the visitors against the run of play in the 52nd minute. But Wycombe, who lost their opening seven league matches coming into this fixture, were soon level as defender Anthony Stewart nodded in Joe Jacobson’s corner midway through the second half.
We can’t complain with a point, and no away point is a bad point. An away point at Wycombe might look a lot better in a month or two’s time than it does now. But we need to be able to score imperfect, scruffy goals if we’re going to be the cruelly effective side that we ought to be. We need a striker fit.
It was a tough night in Buckinghamshire for Watford who laboured to a draw against previously pointless Wycombe Wanderers, leaving supporters and Head Coach Vladimir Ivić pretty unimpressed. Download the new From the Rookery End to hear what Jon, Mike and Jas made of it, with The Athletic’s Watford correspondent Adam Leventhal also joining from the scene.
The Cherries – who were fortunate not to have Lloyd Kelly sent off early on – conceded the opener, when Croatian frontman Stipe Perica slid his first goal for the club since a summer move from Udinese (12).
The last home win in a game between the two sides came at Bournemouth in January 2015, abetted in part by an early (and later rescinded) red card for Gabriele Angella. There should have been an early red card here… with a crowd to bellow it’s objection, or had the challenge come ten minutes later then surely the Cherries would have been down to ten.
Watford v Boscombe. It’s a fixture that never seems to pass without incident, and the latest chapter in this unlikely rivalry was no different! Jon is joined by Mike and Colin who discuss an array of interesting referring decisions, a beautiful goal and a a heartbreaking equaliser, while The Athletic’s Watford corespondent Adam Leventhal hops on the line to share his views on Troy Deeney’s official foray into the world of broadcast and written media.
Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster had already made a number of fine saves by the time Ben Brereton pulled one back with a brilliant chest and volley from 25 yards out. The hosts were also fortunate not to have Christian Kabasele sent off after he hauled Adam Armstrong down when the Rovers striker had gone clean through.
Any concerns that the second half would calm down a bit were allayed within five minutes of the restart. An underhit Chalobah pass towards Sema was cut out, and Wilmot was caught slightly flat footed as Brereton escaped only to be pulled back by a welcome offside flag. That could have been a different second half. As it was, and with so much of our threat in the first half having come via the burning pace of Sarr and Femenía on the right, Blackburn telegraphed what was to come by giving Ken Sema all sorts of space to put a cross in on the left. He’s already demonstrated that he needs no space at all to cause damage from wide positions, so it was little surprise that a minute later his vicious cross was turned in by Lenihan.