I Hate Watford! – 1/10/14

wat2I know, I really shouldn’t have said that, it’s a bit puerile and I should know better and be a bit more sportsmanlike and even handed in my post-match comments.

But, you know what, it is pretty damn hard to be calm and measured in what you write when you have just watched the Bees put in a wonderful performance against one of the Championship’s promotion favourites and totally undeservedly end up with absolutely nothing.

A point would have been a fair reward for all their efforts tonight, but yet another soft penalty just before halftime and a world class half volley from Vydra sent the Bees home empty handed.

That was hard enough to accept, but as I mentioned in my article yesterday, I had to be on my best behaviour, sat, as I was in amongst the Watford season ticket holders.

They soon twigged that I was a Brentford supporter and took great delight in joshing and patronising me at every opportunity, acknowledging how unlucky we were at the penalty award and remarking constantly about what a decent team we were, and at the final whistle I was told that we had really deserved a point.

Abuse I can handle, and, indeed, it is something that I expect at away grounds, but half-baked compliments and condescension from opposition supporters who I know are inwardly rejoicing at my team’s misfortune are just impossible for me to take.

Brentford replaced Pritchard with ex-Hornet Diagouraga, who joined Douglas in bolstering the midfield, but early on Brentford received a real chasing and were only saved from going behind by some desperate defending after a flurry of corners, and the ball rebounding off their crossbar from a close range header from Ighalo who was destined to have a far greater influence on the match later on in the half.

The Bees slowly grabbed a foothold into the game and went close through Douglas, who only half hit his excellent opportunity, before an electrifying run from Jota saw him dance inside from the left wing, leave two defenders in his wake and see his long ranger turned over the bar by Gomes.

watfJudge then hit a searing volley just wide from thirty yards.

So nil-nil it was at the break – or it would have been had referee Graham Salisbury not given a really soft penalty right on the interval when Tarkowski and Ighalo clashed and the forward went down very easily and in installments after the challenge.

Who knows whether it was the linesman who signalled for the penalty as the referee took an age to make up his mind before belatedly pointing to the spot, almost as an afterthought.

Ighalo made a total hash of his spot kick and insult was added to injury when he was fortunate enough to see the ball bounce off the diving Button which allowed him to plant the rebound into the net.

Watford had deserved to be in front after all their early pressure, but Brentford were by far the better team in the latter part of the first half and the goal came as a hammer blow at a time when they were dominating the game.

Mark Warburton described the penalty  award as “shocking” and “appalling” and it was just one more in a catalogue of decisions that have gone against Brentford so far this season.

Brentford continued to press after the break and twice the ball flashed across the home goal without anyone getting the crucial touch.

Gray’s shot was comfortably saved and Jota shot wide.

Finally the equaliser came after ten minutes of Brentford pressure, and what a beautifully worked goal it was.

Odebajo came inside off the left wing and passed the ball beyond Douglas to Judge. Douglas continued his run and Judge’s instant pass inside the defender was perfectly weighted for Douglas to take in his stride and from a difficult angle place his shot just inside the far post despite the best efforts of Gomes to push the shot wide.

The Bees were now in total control and a low cross almost found Gray in space at the far post.

Surely the goal was about to come, and come it did, for Watford, out of the blue and from their first shot of the second half when a cross from the right was half cleared and headed by Douglas seemingly out of the danger zone, but the ball was returned with interest by Vydra with an incredible and unstoppable half volley from just outside the penalty area.

Brentford took time to recover and the final twenty minutes were more even.

Odubajo’s trickery found him space as he turned inside but he blazed an acceptable chance high over.

The ball never seemed to fall Brentford’s way in and around the home penalty area and moves constantly broke down in the last third.

Pritchard replaced Diagouraga and Proschwitz came on for Jota without noticeable effect.

Watford ran the clock down and wasted time with impunity before they were reduced to ten men in injury time when Pudil held back Gray as he ran through on the right flank.

Button was up for the free kick which resulted in a full length save from Gomes from a well placed Bidwell header.

So near for the youngster who is still waiting for his first ever competitive goal for the Bees.

Watford then caught us out on the break and almost scored a third goal which would have been so cruel on a Brentford team that looked visibly distraught and crushed at the final whistle, worn out as they were by their efforts.

This really was an excellent performance and once the disappointment wears off there will be many positives to take from the match.

Brentford learned the hard way yet again that missed chances come back to haunt you as the opposition are sure to have a gifted player who will score a goal from nothing.

Vydra’s fulminating volley was the fourth goal scored against Brentford from outside the box in recent games, and each one has been totally unstoppable.

As for Mr Salisbury, his penalty decision was unspeakable and harsh beyond measure.

Surely at some point soon our luck will turn and referees will give us our fair share of decisions which are currently all going to the opposition.

I pride myself as being as objective as possible but it is getting beyond a joke now and decisions like last night’s are costing us dear.

We need to be more clinical and stop turning the ball over so cheaply in dangerous areas of the pitch.

I must sound like a broken record so often have I said that this season.

I am also concerned about our strike force.

Gray gave everything  and lasted for the entire match but Proschwitz again looked off the pace and Betinho remained on the bench.

He has been with us for the best part of a month now and we have seen him for barely a quarter of an hour in a forlorn hope late appearance as a substitute against Norwich.

We need him to contribute now as we are seriously underwhelming and short of numbers up front and Gray is running himself ragged without any support.

Goals are in short supply and our beautiful approach work deserves a better end result.

This was a frustrating evening as we could, and indeed should, have got something out of the game.

Mark Warburton will need to lift the squad before Saturday’s tough match against Reading.

Most of them looked out on their feet at the final whistle and it may well be that some changes will be necessary to rest some tired legs.

In a day or so I will be feeling happier about the quality of our football and overall performance, but for now I am totally resolute in my view that I hate Watford.

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4 thoughts on “I Hate Watford! – 1/10/14

  1. Actually I thought the ref had a very good game with the very notable exception of the penalty decision. Far too soft to give, in my opinion. Hopefully after a good night’s sleep you’ll remember that over a full season these things tend to balance out and we’ll get some critical decisions our way. In the meantime Team Brentford are doing everything right and we’ll be a comfortable Championship team by the end of the season. 🙂

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