Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Watford KO'd

Newcastle Utd 2 - 0 Watford

Amir Khan may have been in Toon to fight on Saturday night, and David Haye presented to the crowd, but the real fighting heroes were those in black and white stripes on Saturday.

Once again, the old adage about a good defence proved as important on the pitch as in the ring as we overcame a spirited Watford side. Despite an early scare when Steven Taylor was forced to clear off the line, we took the lead with a swift counter after twenty minutes in the first half with Peter Lovenkrands' second goal in successive games.

A slightly underhit Watford back pass gave Homer some work to do, but rather than pass up on the opportunity, he rushed to close down visiting 'keeper Scott Loach, sliding in to hook the ball square before the keeper to get his boot to it. With the ball falling nicely to him in front of an unguarded net, Lovenkrands was left with a simple tap-in to give us a lead.

With the visitors giving us a competitive game in the middle of the park, the match looked to have swung in their favour when Kevin Nolan was sent off early in the second half for his second bookable offence.

Down to ten men, manager of the month for November Chris Hughton shuffled his pack, opting to rely on the lone striker who has served us well in recent away performances, with Nicky Butt on to bolster the midfield.

With a cohesion to our defensive lines, the team were able to withstand some sustained Watford pressure, and Steve Harper was equal to anything they could throw at him.

With Watford pushing forward for an equaliser, substitute Fabrice Pancrate knocked the stuffing out of the Hornets. He controlled the ball in the box with his right foot and, with two defenders on him, turned sharply to create space before hammering the ball into the roof of the net with his left foot.

That goal signalled the knock-out, and with other results going our way - particularly Derby's injury-time equaliser against the Baggies - it made for an excellent weekend all round.

Other reports: BBC


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