Tag Archives: Dec29

29th December 2018- Premier League, Watford 1 Newcastle United 1

Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary   Goals: 1

Relive our coverage of Watford’s final game of 2018 against Newcastle United

Watford vs Newcastle United: Abdoulaye Doucoure salvages a point

Watford vs Newcastle United: Javi Gracia defends decision to make six changes

Our Watford player ratings against Newcastle United

A selection of images from Watford’s draw with Newcastle United

The Watford manager made six changes to his starting XI as his side played a third Premier League game in eight days. When asked if that was too many he said: “If you see the result you can say that, but I don’t agree.

Salomon Rondon gave the visitors a surprise lead in the first half (29) shortly after Gerard Deulofeu squandered a great opportunity to put the hosts in front. But Watford grabbed a deserved equaliser through substitute Doucoure (82), who converted his powerful header from close range.

The visitors will feel they should have finished Watford off in the second half as Rondon headed over from Ritchie’s cross and the latter player shot straight at Foster. But they lacked a cutting edge and while they played with plenty of heart it was not enough to hold on as Watford, who had failed to offer much of note themselves, eventually exposed poor defending eight minutes from the end.

Doucouré gave the hosts more security and thrust in midfield when introduced by Gracia and headed an equaliser from 10 yards after a rare accurate delivery by Deulofeu.

Newcastle hit us with their stock goal and it’s a Neal Ardley to Heidar Helguson tribute act. Matt Ritchie swings a beast of a cross in from the left to our far post and Rondón rises to dump a header past the helpless Ben Foster. Newcastle aren’t a great side, Ray Lewington’s Watford side weren’t great either however lovable but that goal more than kept us up and it’ll keep them up too.

That is the second time that we have played Newcastle this season and the second time that we have come away frustrated.  The visitors were certainly more impressive than they had been at St James’ Park, but we should have challenged them more.  They had come to put 10 men behind the ball and Watford just couldn’t find a way to break them down.  While there had been a lot of changes, the starting XI should have been good enough to create more than they did in the first half.  The performance was considerably better when Deeney and Doucouré came on.  They battled more when the opposition had the ball and we generally looked more dangerous.  We also missed Holebas’s attacking prowess.

Newcastle came with a game plan and it almost paid off. Watford were too slow and couldn’t breakdown a resolute defence.

29th December 2013- Championship, Watford 0 Queens Park Rangers 0

QPR lost further ground on Championship leaders Leicester after being held to a goalless draw at Watford.

Watford were similarly shot shy, with their best moment coming eight minutes after the interval when Troy Deeney and Diego Fabbrini combined neatly but the latter’s tame shot was dropped on by Robert Green in the Rangers goal. Three minutes earlier the visitors had also gone as close as they would all afternoon, with Matt Phillips drawing a fine save from Manuel Almunia.

Watford are unbeaten in three matches under recently-appointed head coach Giuseppe Sannino and have only conceded one goal since the Italian’s arrival.

Nil-nil draws come in a variety of flavours.  There are the ones where a draw suits at least one of the two sides down to the ground, often the away side, such that if it hasn’t quite been the aim at the outset it’s deemed a more than acceptable eventuality.  There are those where a lack of quality is the dominant characteristic, a nil-nil by default.  There are those much more open games which are nil-nil in name only, by virtue of neither side quite getting around to scoring.  And there are, as my co-editor would wish me to recognise in his continuing absence, occasional total aberrations where even a goalless scoreline flatters an encounter so devoid of anything as to sap the collective will to live of those present – Scarborough (A, 1995) the example most frequently cited in textbooks.


29th December 2007- Championship, Watford 2 Queens Park Rangers 4

QPR’s remarkable victory leaves Watford without a home win since 20 October.

QPR now sit 19th in the Championship, a long way from Watford who, after a seventh home league game without a win, are on the slide. The manager, Aidy Boothroyd, is trying to quell talk of a crisis but the captain, Jay DeMerit, admits the club’s hopes of going straight back into the Premier League are fragile. “We are a little bit nervous at home – it feels as though there is more pressure,” he said. “A team that is near the top of the table should be winning at home. Our jobs aren’t safe; we have to play well in order to keep them.”

What a jolly splendid sunset over the Rous Stand.


29th December 2000- New Division One, Barnsley 0 Watford 1

The Guardian, 30 Dec 2000

BSAD: We scavenged for something approaching food to keep our fuel levels up. A futile exercise in the vicinity of Oakwell, as any previous visitor can testify. In the ground, they were selling something edible, allegedly…in such crisis conditions, you make do with whatever. We huddled together for warmth, discussing the conditions grimly and trying not to think too hard about television sets and cans of lager. Thankfully, a football match started, which was at least a distraction.

BSAD: This morning I turned on the radio again, just to confirm the score you understand, and the headline news was about the New Years Honours list. Now if I may I would like to propose some far more deserving candidates. They are the Watford supporters who journeyed to Oakwell. “The Watford contingent is so small you can count them,” said the man on the radio, but sadly he refrained from doing so. So how about giving those fans O.B.E.s – Our Bloody ‘Eroes. Well, it’s Christmas and it’s the best I can do.


29th December 1998- New Division One, Norwich City 1 Watford 1

The game was changed completely by two crucial substitutions, at least one and arguably both of which only GT would have pulled off. More than a few eyebrows were raised when Mooney appeared on the right side of midfield at the start of the second half, but we shouldn’t have doubted the great man. Fugelstad, the Norwegian left-back, had had a fine first half abetted by a fitful display from the substituted Gudmundsson… but he was in for a nightmare of a 45 minutes. Just as Samuel Jackson or Jim Carrey manipulate every role to their own particular style, so Mooney took to his new position like a raging pit-bull. He announced his arrival by bundling through the hapless Fugelstad on the edge of the area to beat the keeper with a shot which crashed off the upright from a tight angle.