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Watford v Albion - from Vicarage Road
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- WATFORD 2 ALBION 0
- Anya scores with angled shot (13)
- Forestieri adds gift second (60)
- Sub LuaLua hits the bar at 1-0
- Ulloa goal disallowed
- Six pages of coverage in The Argus tomorrow
Forestieri's final contribution was to get back and take the ball off LuaLua, whose threat ahd long since evaporated.
The Argentinean then went off to a standing ovation, replaced by new signing Park.
Ekstrand during the five added minutes but Stephens curled the free-kick over the bar.
Final: Watford 2 Albion 0
Watford were seeing it through with no problems. Battocchio made way for new boy Diakite for the final stages.
Stephens took the resulting corner from the left wing and Almunia came out to catch.
Att: 16,096 (1,998 away)
Albion were being caught in possesion deep in their own half too often. Greer was booked for a foul on one such occasion. Murray went for goal with the resulting free-kick and Kuszczak held his shot diving low to his right.
David made way for March in the 81st minute.
March instantly caused problems and teed up Bruno to deliver a dangerous cross which was headed away from Rodriguez at the far post.
It was end to end stuff now. Albion cleared a counter attack and LuaLua was off on a run. His shot took a deflection and went behind.
Ulloa got his head to David's resulting corner but Almunia saved easily.
Watford sent on Murray for the limping Merkel.
Tozser was booked for handball as he broke up a move just outside the Watford box.
David Lopez curled the free-kick into the wall. He then retrieved the rebound and fed Ward, whose deep cross creached Greer.
But, when Greer returned it across goal, Almunia rose to catch.
Albion thought they had the lifeline they needed when Ulloa rose in a congested goalmouth to head home David's free-kick. But the flag was up for offside.
Watford's front two combined nicely when a long free-kick was drilled forward. Deeney flicked on, Forestieri laid the ball off and Deeney, who had continued his run, volleyed high and wide.
Stephens had a go at the other end but shot well wide from outside the box.
The hosts extended their lead when Greer lost the ball just outside his own box. FORESTIERI got away, rounded the advancing Kuszczak and rolled the ball home.
Albion sent on striker Rodriguez for Orlandi.
But Watford were pressing for a third and Tozser curled a free-kick not far over.
Albion were having a reasonable spell. But Forestieri nicked the ball as Andrews dwelt in possession and a dangeorus counter saw Anya's low cross blocked behind.
But Albion dealt with the corner and David sent Orlandi away down the left. Ulloa got the ball with his back to goal and his volley on the turn was blocked. The loose ball ran to David just outside the box and he was cleary angry wth himself as he dragged his shot wide.
It was disappointing by David, whose passing had been behind most of his side's better moments.
LuaLua found enough space to get in a low cross which was cleared as far as Andrews, whose first-time shot sliced off the outside of his right foot and well wide.
There was a hint of danger when Stpehens crossed deep for Ulloa. Hall headed away as far David, who could not get proper contact on a 25-yard left-foot volley which ran through to Almunia.
Upson produced a good defensive header at the other end when Cassetti whipped in a cross.
There were no changes at half-time.
David produced a terrific crossfield pass to give LuaLua his first real run at the defence. The winger fizzed in a cross/shot which beat Almunia and came back off the bar. As the attack continued David sent a first-time volley on the turn into the side-netting.
Albion were on the front foot as the half ended.
Half: Watford 1 Albion 0
Forster-Caskey produced nice skill in a tight area and was fouled. He tried to continue but limped off a couple of minutes later, replaced by LuaLua.
Orlandi linked well with Ward down the left to get the latter charging forward. His cross looked to be heading for Ulloa until Almunia stretched to divert it - but as far as David, whose volley back into the danger area was neither a cross nor shot and went harmlessly behind.
It was a better spell from the Seagulls though and David had a cross headed away by Angella.
Then Orlandi got into the box and saw his cross charged down by Cassetti for a corner. Upson got his head to the flag kick but it went well over the bar.
David Lopez fired a low cross into the box in a rare moment of Albion promise. But it was cleared, as was a follow-up cross by Forster-Caskey.
But Albion remained jittery at the back. Greer and Bruno should have cut out a routine cross - delivered by Cassetti after beating Ward - but seemed to confuse each other and Forestieri was allowed a shot which went straight at Kuszczak.
Bruno won a corner as Albion responded but it came to nothing.
After their tentative start Watford were suddenly looking full of confidence - and the Seagulls very jittery.
Albion looked uneasy at the back. Upson gave the ball away in a vulnerable area and they had to funnel back quickly. But the eventual cross was straight at Kuszczak.
Watford were coming more into the match, though, and they went ahead when Merkel broke away and this time looked up to his left, where Anya was arriving. ANYA got in a low cross-shot which found a way across Kuszczak and inside the far post.
Albion strung together a nice move which got Forster-Caskey breaking away down the left but his cross was too far in front of Ulloa in the middle.
Stepehens earned applause from Albion fans for a bit of ball-winning and neat pass whch led to David looking for Ulloa over the top. Almunia came out of his box to clear - and the ball eventually ran to Forestieri for a low shot which Kuszczak dived to his right to hold on to.
Merkel had the first shot of the contest when Albion played themselves into trouble on the edge of their own box but his 25-yarder was dragged tamely wide with better options available.
Albion knocked the ball about neatly in the early stages and spent plenty of time at the far end of the field but with with no threat to Almunia's area.
No tweets ar extra little bits today unfortunately due to software issues.
The Rookery End,which we overlook here in the corner of Vicarage Road, is split halfway down the middle into a home section and the sold-out away area. Albion are defending that end in this half.
Almost set to go here in the sunshine. Three sides of Vicarage Road well populated, the other a building site. But a decent atmosphere.
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