Watford 3:2 Leicester City
City suffered a needless 3-2 reverse at Vicarage Road on Saturday, due to a combination of defensive errors and wasted chances…
An unchanged City looked very hesitant in the opening stages of this game, played out in pouring rain.
Watford had already had a couple of far post chances before they took a 15th minute lead. A Mutch corner from the right found Eustace in a crowded penalty area, but he had time to prod the ball past Weale.
Seven minutes later it got worse for City when a ball forward saw Buckley outrunning City’s backline; Weale came out to challenge but missed and Buckley had the simple task of rolling the ball into an empty net.
City almost went 3-0 down when Davies blocked a Graham effort, in what must have been their worst performance since Eriksson took the reins.
Wellens forced Loach into a good save but City had little else to show for their efforts at the half time whistle.
Things could only get better in the second half, and they did.
City took control of the game and had pulled a goal back within five minutes of the restart.
Taylor handled a Naughton cross near the byeline and under th enoses of the 2,200 City fans. Their instant and unanimous “HANDBALL!” shout may have helped convince referee Kevin Wright to point to the spot.
Gallagher did the job from 12 yards, blasting his spot-kick into top right hand corner.
Gallagher should have levelled soon after this but fired his shot too close to Loach when sent clear on goal, and again when he got his head to a cross close in but sent it straight at the Hornet’s keeper.
Then Howard, on for Bednar, also headed straight at Loach when well placed.
In the 69th minute Gallagher finally got his second. City won a free-kick 22 yards out and Gallagher lifted it over the wall into the bottom left hand corner with Loach, caught a little out of position, being glared at by his defence.
The rest of the game saw some end to end stuff, with defences getting stretched. Doyley was foiled by a brave Weale save, while Abe sent an acrobatical overhead kick over the bar.
It was Watford who dug deepest and summoned up a winner in the 85th minute. A swinging cross from Mutch was headed beyond Weale from close in the spark some joyous celebrations among the home fans.
City couldn’t find a way through in five minutes time-added-on and were beaten by a side who wanted it more, and took their chances…
Watford: Loach, Doyley, Taylor, Taylor, Mariappa, Eustace, McGinn (Sordell 79 (Massey 88)), Cowie, Mutch, Buckley (Deeney 56), Graham. Subs Not Used: Gilmartin, Bennett, Jenkins, Hodson.
Leicester: Weale, Davies, Hobbs, Naughton, King (Oakley 63), Abe, Wellens, Cunningham, Gallagher, Vassell (Waghorn 77), Bednar (Howard 58). Subs Not Used: Dyer, Logan, Vitor, Morrison.
Referee: Kevin Wright (Cambridgeshire). Attendance: 14,449.