Watford 1 - 2 Leeds Match Report.
Leeds defeated Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday and dashed the Hornets chances of automatic promotion. Nearly everything that could have possibily went wrong for the Hornets did during the match. Late drama at the KC stadium saw Caridff draw 2-2 with Hull leaving the Hornets knowing that a win would seal promotion to the Premier League. However, Ross McCormack socred a break away goal for Leeds breaking the Hornets hearts in the progress. Troy Deeney was sent off in the second half for a second yellow meaning that he will be suspended for The first leg of the Hornets play off match against Leicester. Before kick off, Gianfranco Zola made one change to the side that beat Leicester 2-1. Fernando Forestieri replaced Matej Vydra up front. However, late drama before kick off saw Manuel Almunia pulling out as a precaution due to a Hamstring problem meaning that Jonathan Bond came into take his place in the Hornets goal. Lloyd Doyley captained the side. This was a sign of things that were to come. Brian McDermott made three changes to the Leeds side with Adam Drury, Steve Morrison and Michael Brown replacing Stephen Warnock and the suspended El Hadji Diouf and Rodolph Austin. The Hornets faithul were in great voice and it was an electrifying atmosphere inside the ground before kick off. Stadium Announcer, Richard Short was in full voice to encouragin the Hornets fans to sing and chant the players names before kick off. Watford started the better early on and saw a few shots blocked by the Leeds defence. However, in the tenth minute play was stopped after Leeds striker Steve Morrision collided with Joel Ekstrand. After a long stoppage, Morrison was substitued and was replaced by Dominic Poleon. Two minutes and the Hornets appealed for a penalty after Jonathan Hogg seemed to be bought down by Michael Brown inside the penalty area after good build up play by Deeney and Forestieri. Referee Graham Salisbury waved play on with the Hornets faithul not pleased. It certainly looked like a penalty from where i was sitting in the Lower Rous. Then in the 20th minute, the biggest talking point of the game arose. Leeds tried to play in Poleon but Ikechi Anya tried to prevent Poleon getting to the ball. However, Poleon shoved Anya into the on rushing Bond who went down straight away. The injury looked serious. After recieving 14 minutes of treatment, Bond was stretchered off the pitch to a standing ovation. After, the match Zola confirmed that Bond had a broken nose and suffered from concussion. A picture was posted on twitter later on in the day of Bond recovering. This meant that 19 year old Jack Bonham (Who was meant to be sitting in the stands one hour before kick off) was bought on to make his proffesional debut with the Hornets fans singing 'That Boy Jack Bonham, he's one of our own' to encourage him. Then in the 42nd minute, Leeds took the lead. Ekstrand and Bonham failed to deal with a ball into the Hornets box and Ekstrands attempted clearence smashed into Poleon who then nipped around the two, to poke into the empty net. Poleon was then booed even more after celerbrating in front of the Rookery. Nathaniel Chalobah saw a 25 yard effort easily saved in the 44th minute. Then an amazing 16 minutes of added time was signalled by the Fourth Official. After 6 of those added minutes, Watford were level. Anya made a brilliant run, going past 3 Leeds Defenders before cutting in and rolling the ball to Abdi who curled a brilliant first time effort into the top corner giving Paddy Kenny no chance and sent the Home Crowd into wild celebrations. This put the Hornets on level terms and was Abdi's 12th goal of the season. Marco Cassetti then headed wide from a Hornets corner in the 10th minute of added time. Troy Deeney was then booked after Abdi fouled Brown for kicking the ball away in the final minute of added time.
Half Time - 1-1
During half time it was announced that Cardiff had gone 1-0 up. However, 5 minutes into the second half at Vicarage Road, Hull had scored 2 goals. The first 15 minutes of the second half were short of any action with neither team having a good chance to score. In the 60th minute, Abdi's shot was blocked and Leeds broke. Cassetti managed to Block Luke Varneys shot after Leeds broke away and it was 4 against 4. From the resulting Corner, Watford cleared only as far as a Leeds player who rolled the ball out to Michael Brown on the wing who was lately challenged by Troy Deeney. Referee Graham Salisbury had no option but to brandish a second yellow card and send Deeney off making matters even worse for the Hornets. Replays showed that Brown did make a meal of the challenge but Salisbury did make the right decision in miy opinion and i thought it was a second yellow as soon as i saw it at the game. Zola made his second change of the afternoon in the 63rd minute, with Matej Vydra replacing Ikechi Anya who had been the Hornets best player. Zola also changed the formation to 4,3,2 with Pudil playing at left back and Doyley playing at right back. Abdi saw a speculative effort go way over in the 71st minute. Then minutes later, the Horents nearly went ahead. Vydra cut inside from the left and saw a low deflected effort somehow cleared off the line by Paddy Kenny who made a remarkable save. I thought it was going in and was shocked when i saw Kenny make the save. Soon after Kenny's remarkable save, news filtered through that Cardiff had eqaulised in the final minute sending Vicarage Road into pandamonium as they knew that one more goal from the Hornets would send them up. Mark Yeates was then bought on for Jonathan Hogg with 8 minutes to go with The Hornets pushing for a equaliser. Abdi and Chalobah saw efforts saved by Paddy Kenny. Daniel Pudil also saw an header go wide. Then in the 89th minute, the Hornets hearts were broke. From a Watford corner, Leeds managed to clear and break away with Ross McCormak who was through one on one with Jack Bonham. With Doyley and Pudil in quick pursuit, McCormack tried to chip Bonham from 30 yards. However, the 19 year old could only help the ball into the net and put Leeds in front. Everyone in the ground was gutted and felt for Jack Bonham who must have had a lot of pressure on him. Watford pushed hard for another goal but their efforts were in vain and the players lay on the ground in dissapointment at the end of the match. The result saw Watford go in to the Play Offs and they secured a match against Leicester City.
Full Time - 1-2
Watford - Bond (GK)(Bonham 20 5), Doyley (C) 6, Ekstrand 6, Cassetti 7, Anya 8 (Vydra 63 6), Chalobah 6 , Hogg 6 (Yeates 82 5), Abdi 8, Pudil 7, Forestieri 7, Deeney 6.
Subs Not Used - Hall, Briggs, Geijo, Battochio.
Goals - Abdi 45 + 6
Yellow Cards - Deeney, Abdi
Red Cards - Deeney
My Watford Man Of THe Match - Ikechi Anya - The wing back was a constand menace to the Leeds defence who could not handle him. Was unlucky to be substituted as he was at the heart of all of Watfords best attacks.
Leeds - Kenny (GK), Peltier (C), Pearce, Lees, Drury, Varney, Green (Hall 90), Brown ( White 63), Tonge, Morrison (Poleon 10), McCormack
Subs not used - Cairns (GK), Warnock, Lenighan, Killock
Yellow Cards - Poleon, Brown.
Goals - Poleon (42), McCormack (89).
Possession - Watford 49%, Leeds 51%
Attendance - 16,968 (1999 Leeds Fans)
Referee - Graham Salisbury.