Watford 3 - 3 Burnley Match Report.
Sam Vokes scored a last minute equaliser for Burnley as Watford were held to a 3-3 draw at Vicarage Road on Good Friday in a enthralling and open game between the clubs. Captain Troy Deeney and Fernando Forestieri (X2) were the goal scorers for the Hornets as Sean Dyche secured 1 point on his Vicarage Road return. All of the Hornets goals were brilliant finishes and I feel that the goals would not have been criticized if they were seen in the Premier League. However, the hornets defending was not brilliant and would have been disappointed with aspects of all of the three Burnley goals. Dyche was given a good reception by the Hornets fans when he came out of the tunnel. Before kick off, Matej Vydra received his Player Of The Year award from Hornets legend Luther Blissett. Gianfranco Zola made 5 changes from the side that lost to Barnsley 1-0 two weeks before. Nyron Nosworthy was ruled out through injury so Fitz Hall returned in the heart of the defence. Also, Matthew Briggs replaced Lloyd Doyley who was on the bench due to his international performance during the week. Alemen Abdi and Nathaniel Chalobah replaced Mark Yeates and Jonathan Hogg whilst Fernando Forestieri replaced Matej Vydra who was also on the bench after he played the full 90 minutes during the 2 Czech Republic matches during mid week. This meant that Troy Deeney captained the side. Burnley also made a change. Danny Ings replaced Ben Mee who was out through suspension. The match kicked off and fans were just starting to chant "Gianfranco" whilst some others took to their seats when the Hornets went behind. Danny Ings passed to Ross Wallace who saw his shot blocked by the Hornets. But the ball fell to Charlie Austin who was left all alone and sweeped the ball home from close range to send the Clarets ahead after just 41 seconds. Jonathan Bond had no chance and it was poor defending from the hornets to leave the proflic Austin unmarked in the box. It was the worst possible start for the hornets. But to their credit they replied five minutes later. Ikechi Anya came in from the left wing and passed to Fernando Forestieri who played the first time pass back to Anya. Anya then passed to Troy Deeney who was 25 yards out. He took a touch before letting fly with a powerful shot. The ball went in to the corner of the goal to make it 1-1 to the joy of the Hornets fans. This was Deeney's 15th Goal of the season and what a goal it was. Lee Grant in the Burnley goal had no chance. It was an exciting start to an open game with both sides attackers causing problems for both sets of defenders. Jonathan Bond then made his first save in the seventh minute when he saved a header from Austin. Watford then nearly had a second in the 17th minute. Forestieri hit a powerful and swerving shot which caused all sorts of problems for Lee Grant who made an inconvincing save. But just over 5 minutes later and Burnley were ahead again from the penalty spot. Marco Cassetti could not cope with the pace of Kacanicklic down the right hand side of the pitch. After a clever back heel from Austin, Kacaniklic was in and Cassetti bundled into him meaning that the Swede hit the ground. Referee David Coote pointed to the spot immediately. The Hornets could have little complaint in my point of view. The Hornets defending was poor in the first half. They could not contain Austin at all. Austin it was who was going to take the penalty and he smashed the ball into the net with a little help from the crossbar. This made it 1-2 to Burnley. But just five minutes later and the Hornets were level again from Forestieri. After a free kick, the ball found its way to Fitz Hall who was 25 yards out. The tall defender played a through ball into Forestieri who side stepped two Burnley defenders before rifleing the ball home sending this Hornets fans wild causing them to sing "Oh Forestieri". This made it 2-2 and was the Argentines 6th goal of the season. Referee David Coote then should have booked Ross Wallace who was pulling back Abdi. Then when the whistle blew, Wallace pushed Abdi who was not pleased. Then Wallace made an attempt to headbutt the swiss midfielder. Coote or the linesman somehow did not see and Wallace was not even cautioned. The Hornets had two good chances to take the lead before the break. First, the goal was gaping for Anya after Grant had saved a Deeney effort. But the wing back snapped at the effort instead of taking a touch and saw his shot go wide of the target. On the stroke of half time the Hornets went even closer. Abdi's deflected pass found Deeney in the penalty area and with Grant rushing out from his goal, the striker tried a lob. The ball looked destined to go in but it hit the crossbar. It was so unlucky from Deeney. Half time arrived and it was an open and enthralling affair. Referee David Coote was booed off at half time after an inconsistent performance.
Half Time - 2-2
Soon after half time, Marco Cassetti limped off with an injury and was replaced by Lloyd Doyley. Abdi went close in the 56th minute from a free kick after Kevin Long had bought down Forestieri. The Swiss midfielder lines up the ball and his free kick rippled the side netting. A minute later and Briggs (Who was now at wing back) was free down the right flank and his low cross evaded Deeney. All it needed was a touch and the Hornets would have been ahead. Burnley went down the other end and should have scored through Alex Kacaniklic. A poor throw from Bond went straight to a Burnley player who passed to Kacanicklic who was all alone but his tame effort was straight at Bond. He really should have done better. Burnley then made their first substitution with Brian Stock replacing Marvin Bartley with the 62nd minute. Grant then made a superb save in the 66th minute after he kept out Deeney again after the striker met a Matthew Briggs cross. Matej Vydra then replaced Ikechi Anya with 20 minutes left. The Hornets then took the lead in the 72nd minute. Cristian Battochio hit a cross which Deeney missed but the ball fell to Forestieri. Forestieri created some space before curling a lovely effort in to the bottom hand corner of Grants goal to make it 3-2 to the hornets and to send the Hornets fans in to delight prompting them to sing "Oh Forestieri". This was the Argentines 7th goal of the season and his second during the match. Burnley then made their final two changes with ten minutes to go with Sam Vokes and Martin Patterson replacing Alex Kacaniklic and Ross Wallace. Then Deeney was replaced in the dieing minutes by Alex Geijo. But with 2 minutes of stoppage time to go, Burnley equalized. A long punt up the pitch was met by Austin whose header found its way to Sam Vokes after poor defending by Matthew Briggs. Vokes took a touch before firing the ball home giving Bond no chance. It was a disappointing afternoon from Bond as he genuinely did not have much to do but spent half of the time picking the ball out of the net.
Full Time - 3-3.
Watford - Bond (GK) 6 , Ekstrand 6 , Hall 7, Briggs 5, Anya 6 (Vydra 68), Chalobah 7, Battochio 7, Abdi 7, Cassetti 6 (Doyley 49 6), Deeney (C) 8 (Geijo 90), Forestieri 8.
Subs Not Used - Bonham (GK), Yeates, Hogg, Pudil.
Goals - Deeney 6, Forestieri (29, 72).
Bookings - Briggs.
Burnley - Grant (GK), Trippier, Long, Shackell (C), Lafferty, Wallace (Patterson 78) , McCann, Bartley (Stock 62), Kacaniklic (Vokes 78), Ings, Austin.
Subs Not Used - Jensen (GK), Duff, Stanislas, Mills.
Goals - Austin (1, 24 Pen), Vokes (90 +3)
Bookings - Long, Lafferty, McCann.
My Man Of The Match - Troy Deeney - Hard to choose between Deeney and Forestieri because they were both brilliant. But i went for Deeney as he was a constant threat to the Burnley defence and lead the line confidently. His strength and power caused problems throughout. Brilliant goal.
Possesion - Watford - 47%, Burnley 53%.
Attendance - 15,435 (523 Burnley Fans)
Referee - David Coote.