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.
100 Greatest Watford Wins- No.56: It was November and the Hornets had not won any of their 10 league games since promotion. They weren’t in the bottom three but only because they had scraped together a few draws. It was getting to the stage of the season when they desperately needed a win.
As I sat alone on the beach at 6-30 PM in pitch darkness eating my fish and chips, I did briefly wonder what the hell I was doing in a near deserted seaside town in the freezing cold on a weeknight. That question was answered over the next couple of hours as the Hornets produced a magnificent display that sent the considerable travelling contingent into raptures and increased the pressure on the beleaguered Alvin Martin.
BSAD report: This was a critical game. At last able to field a side that bears some relation to the one we’d like to see, we needed to get back on the right track. Shame, then, that the good people of Watford couldn’t be bothered to turn up and support their team. Seven thousand seems a bit optimistic to me – there were huge gaps in the North and South stands and for periods of the match we were actually outsung by Southend. It’s difficult to see how we can persuade the players to make an effort when the town obviously doesn’t give a toss anymore.