Watford 3:1 Leicester City
City missed out on a Wembley Play-Off final in the most agonising way possible at Vicarage Road when Troy Deeney smashed home the decisive goal for Watford, seconds after Anothony Knockeart’s penalty miss in the 7th minute of injury time…
Nigel Pearson fielded an unchanged side again and City pressed forward right from the kick off gaining three corners in quick succession. Knockaert’s flag-kick found De Laet at the near post but his was blocked by Deeney.
But Watford looked dangerous going forward and a ball over the defence from Deeney set Vydra up but he snatched and missed the target as he had done in the first leg.
The lively Deeney then tested Schmeichel with a shot from the edge of the area.
This good spell for the Hornets was capped with a 15th minute opener, Vydra making no mistake this time with a stunning volley to square the tie. However City responded well to this set back and hit back with an equaliser just four minutes later.
James’ corner found Nugent at the far post and he sent a header beyond Almunia’s reach to restore City’s lead in the tie.
Deeney then forced another save from Schmeichel while Knockeart fired an effort over the bar.
City had preserved their advantage up to the three-quarter mark, and were 45 minutes from Wembley.
Early in the second half Knockaert sent a free kick narrowly over the bar and then a Nugent header went straight to Almunia.
On the hour both sides made a chance with swapping Kane for Wood and Zola introducing Forestieri for Doyley with more accent on attack.
It soon paid off for the home side when Vydra exchanged passes with Deeney before sending a precise low shot past Schmeichel to level the tie.
Pearson then brought Drinkwater on for Dyer.
The game entered a nervy last twenty minutes… Battocchio was denied by Schmeichel while Nugent and Kane both wasted well placed free-kicks sending them sailing over the crossbar.
As the 90 minutes came up Watford began to turn on the pressure, but this was broken up somewhat by a lengthy spell of treatment and it was City who were presented with a girt-wrapped ticket to Wembley with 97 minutes on the clock.
Knockaert surged into the penalty area on the right and went down under a challenge from Chalobah. It may have been a little harsh, but after a couple of seconds thought Michael Oliver pointed to the spot.
Knockeart’s spot kick was saved by Almunia, who also managed to block the Frenchman’s follow up effort.
To add insult to injury Watford then charged upfield, Forestieri floated a cross over from the right, Hogg nodded it back and smashed it into the net, sending Watford to Wembley seconds after the ball had been on their penalty spot.
It was a dramatic and devastating end to a season, but in truth on the day and over the campaign as a whole, Nigel Pearson’s man had fallen short.
Watford: Almunia, Deeney, Doyley (Forestieri 65), Briggs, Vydra, Anya, Abdi, Cassetti, Battocchio (Hogg 79), Chalobah, Ekstrand. Unused Subs: Bond, Eustace, Hall, Pudil, Geijo.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, King, Dyer (Drinkwater 67), Keane, James, Schlupp, Knockaert, Nugent, Wood (Kane 61). Unused Subs: Logan, Konchesky, Marshall, Vardy, Moore.
Referee: Michael Oliver. Attendance: 16,142.
You can now subscribe to The FOX for the 2013-14 season online via Paypal – just press the blue button…