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Watford 3-2 Leicester

Watford
3 - 2
Leicester

Vicarage Road

04/12/10 - 3 p.m

Attendance: 14,449

Referee:

Danny Graham's late header handed Watford all three points at Vicarage Road despite a spirited second half comeback from Leicester.

The Foxes found themselves two goals down at half time thanks to goals from John Eustace and Will Buckley, but Paul Gallagher's brace in the second period levelled the tie.

And Graham struck the killer blow with just five minutes of normal time remaining to condemn Sven-Goran Eriksson to just his third league defeat in charge of Leicester.

Eriksson named an unchanged side for the match, sticking with the team that swept aside Nottingham Forest on Monday evening.

It was the Hornets who sprung out of the traps quickest, however, Malky Mackay's side making the best of a scrappy encounter early doors.

A succession of corners threatened the Leicester penalty area, and it wasn't long before Watford reaped their rewards and broke the deadlock.

A looping corner found its way to captain John Eustace inside the box, the midfielder's resulting volley flying past everybody into the net.

Foxes centre back Jack Hobbs was in the thick of the action as City looked to halt the wave of Hornets attacks, but it was the young defender's error which allowed Watford to double their lead.

In a calamitous moment for Leicester, Hobbs was dispossessed in a dangerous position before goalkeeper Chris Weale's poor judgement error allowed Will Buckley to finish off into an empty net.

The second goal appeared to finally wake City up, and Eriksson's side slowly began to get a foothold in the game. Richie Wellens tested Scott Loach with ten first half minutes remaining, before Roman Bednar side-footed comically wide of goal. Luckily for him, the offside flag had already been raised.

But as it was Leicester went into the break two goals down after a dismal half of football, giving Eriksson the opportunity to settle his side down before the re-start.

And sure enough the Foxes produced a superb response, pulling one back five minutes after the break. Kyle Naughton's cross was handled inside the area, allowing Paul Gallagher the chance to smash his penalty past Loach.

From here on it was all Leicester, and Gallagher could have levelled things up just two minutes later when his weak effort was saved comfortably by Loach.

Steve Howard was introduced for Roman Bednar just before the hour mark, and five minutes later Matt Oakley entered the fray at the surprise expense of Andy King.

With Leicester seeking an equaliser there were naturally openings for Watford, and the game burst into life in frantic fashion.

Substitute Troy Deeney could have extended Watford's lead with 25 minutes to go, but the striker dragged his shot wide of Chris Weale's goal.

But in the 69th minute, the Foxes drew level. Paul Gallagher's superb free-kick flew past Loach in the Watford goal, setting up an intriguing finish at Vicarage Road.

Weale was called into a fine double save in the 75th minute when he dived superbly at the feet of Lloyd Doyley before saving the rebound to keep the tie level.

Leicester could and should have grabbed a dramatic third soon after when Jack Hobbs' header inside the area found Yuki Abe, but the Japanese midfielder's acrobatic effort flew over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

And the Foxes duly paid the price. After piling on the pressure with their next attack, Watford worked the ball to Jordan Mutch on the right side, his eventual cross being met by the head Danny Graham for an impressive match winner.

Leicester couldn't conjure a response in the remaining minutes, giving Watford the victory that sees them leapfrog their Championship rivals to 10th place.

On another afternoon it could have been Eriksson's men walking away from Vicarage Road with all the points, but a combination of poor defending and lack of finishing once again cost Leicester dear.


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Writer:JBFox
Date:Saturday December 4 2010
Time: 10:38PM

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