After the break the game opened up, and Ben Watson rattled the crossbar for Watford with a half-volley from 10 yards on 51 minutes. The Hornets were much improved in the second half, with Ikechi Anya heavily involved after a quiet first 45 minutes.
Watford, who had not created a single chance of their own, were handed one a minute before time. Boruc gathered a routine back pass from Sylvain Distin, but as he attempted to play it back to the defender Ighalo intercepted, skipped past Boruc and rolled the ball into an empty net, for his fifth goal of the season.
It’s been seventeeen years since I came to Dean Court. That was a very different time, a different set of circumstances altogether. Everything’s changed since then, the teams, the sport, the profile of the fixture. Hell, even Dean Court itself has been picked up, rotated ninety degrees and plonked down again. It’s small, of course… small for it’s current lofty status. Half the capacity of the Vic, which is hardly a colosseum in this environment itself. And as such it feels almost as if it belongs in 1997, back when we played at stadiums this size, nestled into a well to do area of large houses and shady avenues as a sort of afterthought, a discarded multi-vehicle garage abandoned between the houses. Bournemouth aren’t above their station…
It was a classic game of two halves. We had been completely woeful in the first period, Bournemouth having most of the possession and any time that Watford did pass the ball forward, it was swept up by the Bournemouth defence. In the second half, we were snapping in to tackles and not allowing the opposition to have any time on the ball while our balls upfield were finding their men with Ighalo and Deeney finally having some success in holding the ball up. Bournemouth won’t have won any more friends among the Watford faithful as they lived up to their reputation for theatrics. But a draw was a fair result and I was more than happy to leave with a point.