Watford lie again but some old habits are hard to pass on

Sleamhnaíonn Mileta Rajovic an dara cúl ó Watford <i>(Image: PA)</i>” bad-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/MC9g.GVMH4CWrdjUMl.yww–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/watford_observer_147/ 7788ac75bc1a4e208880e5aea8295d05″ src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/MC9g.GVMH4CWrdjUMl.yww–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/watford_observer_147/7788ac7 5bc1a4e208880e5aea8295d05 “/></div>
<p><figcaption class=Mileta Rajovic slips in Watford’s second goal (Image: PA)

The home fans filing out before the game went into stoppage time obviously didn’t take into account that even though Watford’s head coach was changed, some habits are hard to break.

Tom Cleverley had a hand in seeing his side concede a minute into added time, leading 2-0 and going home from The Hawthorns with a point from a 2-2 draw.

However, it is a sign of the progress Watford have made in a very short time under Cleverley that the yellows will go home knowing they have conceded two points.

Again they played 3-5-2, and once again they looked very well drilled, organized and enthusiastic.

The home side broke away from the start and Dan Bachmann needed two great saves to prevent them from taking an early lead.

However, with the game settled, the Hornets kept the Baggies at arm’s length and, although they didn’t do too much going forward, they looked comfortable against a side that was unbeaten in seven games.

After half time Watford moved up a gear, got two goals and everything seemed set for a hopeless defeat.

Edo Kayembe’s fiercely-struck 20-yard controlled effort and Mileta Rajovic’s ever-so-popular 20-yarder from a handful of yards clearly made the home team, and their fans, clear.

If he stayed 2-0 for a while, that might be enough.

But when Albion got a goal back inside five minutes their tails were up, the volume in the stadium picked up and the clock needed to be monitored from then on.

Watford had chances to kill the game and, when they weren’t taken, they had that awful feeling that they were running out of steam faster than the seconds ticked by.

Minutes into stoppage time the home side equalized, and the game ended with Watford looking more uncomfortable than they had all afternoon.

It’s always painful to let the points go, especially when you’re a few goals ahead and the equalizer comes so late.

Once again, though, this was a committed, spirited display from Watford who knew their jobs well and did them well.

Albion have lost just three home games all season and are still very much in the relegation race, and Watford showed today – as they did on Friday – that they can mix it with the best teams. in the Championship.

After all, only the most optimistic of Hornets fans would have predicted that their side would not lose either game over Easter.

There were two changes to the starting line-up. Skipper Wes Hoedt returned from suspension in defense and Mattie Pollock dropped to the bench, while Ismael Kone replaced Yaser Asprilla on the bench.

Meanwhile, 17-year-old Zavier Massiah-Edwards was on the bench for the first time. The youngster is well known to Tom Cleverley after being a regular in the Under-18s and is a very attacking, skilful and tricky player.

Giorgi Chakvetdaze was not in the squad at all due to illness.

The first half started at a high pace but then slowed down and by the end of 45 minutes the game was taking the shape of the final day’s games.

Disaster was almost complete in the seventh minute when Francisco Sierranta lost the ball midway inside his own half and Thomas-Asante raced through on goal.

Bachmann made a brilliant save to deny him and then, when the ball ran loose, Johnston cut in but Ryan Porteous blocked his follow-up.

Watford’s first and only effort on target came soon after but Kayembe’s low 20-yard drive was straight at Palmer.

Bachmann then had great success again in the ninth minute when he got off his left and took a header from Thomas-Asante.

That was enough in terms of attempts at goal until the final minute of the half when Fellows attacked down the right and got to the sideline, but Thomas-Asante flashed his header wide.

The Hornets took the lead six minutes after the restart and really brought the game to life.

It was a brilliant strike from Kayembe, who controlled Tom Dele-Bashiru’s half-cleared corner on the D on the edge of the box and struck a low shot into the bottom corner.

Moments later Dele-Bashiru’s searing 25-yard drive was pushed away by Palmer, Emmanuel Dennis collected the loose ball on the left, danced on the byline and then hit the post with a low shot.

In the 65th minute Watford looked to take control of the game when they went 2-0 up.

It was a typical goal from Mileta Rajovic as the substitute slid in at the back post to convert a low cross from Lewis, who was released by a very clever pass from Asprilla.

Five minutes later, however, the home team were back in it.

Thomas-Asante slipped in behind the defense on the right and beat Bachmann at the near post with a well-struck shot.

However, Watford continued to press and Asprilla sent a shot straight at Palmer before Andrews saw the keeper hold onto his side-footed volley.

As the game wore on, the home team broke Watford’s hearts with the equaliser.

The Hornets defense was slow to close down Furlong when he received the ball just outside the box on the right and beat Bachmann with a rising shot into the far corner.

Watford: Bachmann; Porteous, Charles, Hoedt; Andrews, Dele-Bashiru, Kone (Asprilla 54), Kayembe (Livermore 84), Lewis; Bayo (Rajovic 54), Dennis (Martins 73). Elioch: Hamer, Ince, Pollock, Morris, Massiah-Edwards

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