Last Time We Met...Watford
The first clash between Watford and Burnley in our promotion season of 2008-9 took place at Turf Moor on the night of Tuesday 30th September 2008 and what an absorbing game it turned out to be with the Clarets eventually coming out winners 3-2. We did not have the same fortune at Vicarage Road though in the return match also played on a Tuesday night on the 27th January 2009. We were comprehensively beaten 3-0 with questions now being asked about our play-offs chances and hopes.
The Clarets were stung twice by Watford in our match at Turf Moor and twice had to come from behind before finally swatting the pesky, buzzing Hornets 3 times to come out victors 3-2. The resilience shown by the team in a generally scrappy match with lots of stop-starts and countless throw- ins ensured we continued our march up the table hitting the play-offs positions for the first time. We were now sitting pretty in 4th spot after this game.
One man in the Watford team seemed to be causing us all the problems. Striker, Will Hoskins was determined to get the better of our defence and he could have had three goals in the first 15 minutes as the shell-shocked Clarets just couldn`t seem to get out of first gear. Luckily for Burnley he only managed one goal but with only 6 minutes on the clock the Clarets were 1-0 behind.
Alexander restored some sanity, scoring from the spot to equalise after the Clarets were awarded a penalty for handball after 25 minutes. However, with seconds remaining of time added on in the first half, the Hornets stung again and it was Hoskins again! 2-1 at half-time to Watford.
Whatever Coyle said to his men at half time must have worked! Within one minute Paterson had equalised as the Clarets now looked to put on the pressure and try and get ahead for the first time in this match. Some stunning play by Eagles feeding a superb pass to McCann led to Elliott heading home on 69 minutes from the Irish man`s cross and the score remained 3-2 to the Clarets.
Burnley: Jensen, Duff, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Alexander, Elliott (Blake 90), Gudjonsson, McCann, Thompson (Eagles 56), Paterson (Rodriguez 86).
Subs Not Used: Penny, Mahon.
Goals: Alexander 25 pen, Paterson 46, Elliott 69.
Watford: Lee, Mariappa, Bromby, Darren Ward, Harley, Eustace (Priskin 79), Williamson (Ainsworth 90), O'Toole, Sadler, Hoskins, Smith.
Subs Not Used: Tyler, DeMerit, Bangura.
Goals: Hoskins 6, 45.
Ref: Steve Bratt (W Midlands).
Most Clarets will want to forget the return game at Vicarage Road. The Clarets went down to struggling side Watford, 3-0 after dominating for much of the game. Some woeful defending severely criticised by Owen Coyle after the match was the main reason for this heavy defeat. The Clarets fell to a sucker punch after just two minutes when Jobi McAnuff put the Hornets ahead following a slip by McCann on a pretty poor pitch. Two late soft goals by Priskin on 78 and 90 minutes were enough to ensure that Watford inflicted the fifth league defeat on the trot for the Clarets.
The score line appeared to flatter Watford considering we had ten corners during the game compared to none for the Hornets but it`s no use having most of the possession, if basic defensive errors lead to you conceding three goals!
Coyle was not a happy bunny after the match, giving the defence in particular some deserved stick:
'The players know my feelings. If they are not going to defend properly, it might have to be a kid. It might have to be something as drastic as that, but I am not going to stand by and watch that defending week in and week out, I could probably go in myself at 42 and defend better than that. It's not on!'"
This defeat meant we dropped to 9th, still thankfully within spitting distance of the play-off places mainly due to other teams in the chasing pack also losing on the same night. Nevertheless the traditional festive slump was continuing into the New Year and most Clarets fans feared our bad run of form would continue. Thankfully it didn`t and the rest as they say was history!
Watford: Loach, Hoyte (Lee Williamson 71), Mariappa, Mike Williamson, Doyley, Cork, McAnuff, Smith, Jenkins, Rasiak (Harley 60), Hoskins (Priskin 76).
Subs Not Used: Lee, DeMerit.
Goals: McAnuff 2, Priskin 78, 90.
Burnley: Jensen, Alexander, Carlisle, Caldwell, Kalvenes, Gudjonsson (McDonald 79), Elliott, McCann, Eagles, Paterson (Rodriguez 79), Blake (Thompson 61).
Subs Not Used: Penny, Mahon.
Ref: James Linington
If you want to read more about these two games you can do so by clicking these links which takes you to our Match Archives:
2 Stings,3 Swats,4th Place!
Winter Woe Continues at Watford