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Watford 2.v.1 Rovers

2 - 1
Blackburn Rovers

Vicarage Road

23rd January 2007. 19:45

Attendance: 13,766


Are you in need of three points? Do have problems scoring goals? Does it feel like everyone is against you? If that`s the case then call Blackburn Rovers today. Rovers are a club who are always prepared to help out an under-performing side who simply cannot buy a win. If you haven`t tasted victory in a while then play Rovers today!

Another derisory display against struggling opposition meant that Rovers London hoodoo struck again. A terribly under-par performance allowed one league win Watford claim all three points over a Rovers side who had won their last three away games against tougher opposition.

Rovers started brightly on a freezing January night with Bentley and Nonda both have half chances early on.

However, it was Watford, who needed some luck, who took the lead. A weaving run from Tommy Smith provided space for a cross to the back post. Damien Francis was put under pressure by Brett Emerton but the Aussie could only head the ball into his own net.

Watford rallied after finding themselves in front and surged forward in search of a second. Bouazza twice tested Friedel inside the area as Rovers began to look heavy legged.

Rovers were laborious in defence and profligate in front of goal. Both Benni McCarthy and David Bentley failed to show the kind of composure required in front of goal.

However, an equalising goal wasn`t far away and it arrived with the last kick, or more to the point, head f the first half. An excellent jinking run from David Bentley pulled him clear of two Watford defenders. He had time to look up and pick out the run of McCarthy whose bullet header crashed in off the underside of the crossbar.

The half ended all square and a marked improvement required from Rovers.

The opening exchanges of the second period can only be described as a damp squib. In front of a woeful 13,000 crowd both sides appeared reluctant to go for the win.

The only incident worthy of note was a foul on Robbie Savage by Al Bangoura. Rovers` Welsh firebrand tried to get to his feet but collapsed on the ankle that had taken the brunt of Bangoura`s force. He was replaced by Paul Gallagher.

Both sides continued to tentatively feel each other out but it was Watford who took the game to Rovers and re-gained the lead in the 70th minute.

Poor defending and marking from Rovers allowed Bouazza to return the ball into the box with interest after Rovers failed to clear initially. His centre was glanced home by the unmarked Jay Demeritt.

Watford then pressed in search of a third and decisive goal. Will Hoskins could have done better but shot straight at Friedel.

The away contingent was expecting a Rovers rally in pursuit of an equaliser but it never materialised. Matt Derbyshire, who had earlier replaced McCarthy, headed over after more good work from Rovers` man of the match David Bentley.

The game petered out in manor that epitomised Rovers display, limp, lethargic and laborious.

Star Player

David Bentley.

He provided a constant threat down Rovers' right.

Player Ratings

Friedel 7

Made some smart saves but was left exposed by Rovers' leaderless defence.

Emerton 6

Unlucky with the own goal.

McEveley 6

A quiet but solid display

Henchoz 5

A man of his experience should be leading the defence but he was off the pace far too often.

Khizanishvili 6

An accomplished centre back but he plays better with a leader next to him.

Bentley 7

Excellent wing play. Really starting to show off his full repitoire.

Gamst 5

Great form of late but a subdued display here.

Savage 6

All effort from the stand-in captain again but his night, and perhaps season, was cruelly brought to a premature end.

Mokoena 5

Worked hard but some sloppy passing almost cost Rovers.

McCarthy 6

Took his goal well but showed a distinct lack of composure on the night.

Nonda 5

Wasteful in front of goal again.

Gallagher 6

Gave Rovers creative options on the right when he replaced Savage.

Derbyshire 5

Looked promising again but failed with a header when he should have perhaps scored.

Date:Wednesday January 24 2007
Time: 9:52AM


In front of a woeful 13,000 crowd ........ must have felt like a home game for you.. j/k
24/01/2007 11:51:00
Funny col8...but it is in the main part true!
Hughes Da Man
24/01/2007 12:03:00
We took the game too lightly. A game we "should" win was almost taken as a game we "would" win at times. We'll bounce back from it. Good luck to Watford for the rest of the season I would very much like to see them stay up as they are a decent team. Bentley was superb from what I saw and England call up for a friendly surely can't be too far away???
Hughes Da Man
24/01/2007 12:05:00
it was a loss, but at least there was no damage done, aside from Sav being out. Never has the song "you're supposed to sing at home" been more fitting for rovers, the crowd is very difficult to get up (especially when theres as many away fans as home fans lol)and its usually only the Blackburn end that do the singing. Mind you the drummer dont help sometimes! Usually the away support is far more vocal than at home!
24/01/2007 12:36:00
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