Watford 1 : Burnley 1 – 5th April 2014

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A first visit to The Vic since 11th February & an infinitely more pleasant experience than the last time. It would have been even more satisfying if the Hornets had managed to take their chances & hang on for all three points. To most Watford fans (including The Witch & The Not So Big Man) this felt like a defeat & it certainly made for a sullen walk home. Personally, I was just worried the delayed finish meant we were going to miss our 515pm pizza delivery.

Sean Dyche, the Burnley team & their fans celebrated this point like it was a victory. Taken in context, it was certainly a good result for the Clarets, defeats for QPR (*sniggers*) & Derby (*shakes head ruefully*) meaning they were a step closer to automatic promotion.

A few thoughts then…

Deeney – great to see him back in fine, goal scoring form. Seven goals in seven games & 20 league goals for the second season in a row is some achievement. Especially when you consider he’s been plowing a lone furrough up front in a struggling side for most of this season. It was a great goal too, even if it was helped by taking a bit of a deflection off Shackell. I wonder if he’ll be at The Vic next season, he could certainly do a job for most Premier League sides.

Burnley – part of the reason they were so pleased with this result was the fact that they were missing so many key players. Six in total I believe, including prolific & talismanic strikers Vokes & Ings. While you could see the expected Dychean efficiency & organisation, the team was lacking any attacking guile. Kightly was their best player for sure but Ashley Barnes, playing the lone striker role, was lumpen & immobile at best. If & when they do get promoted, they’ll need a fair bit of investment in order to compete.

Attwell – I knew this guy had a bad reputation with both Watford & Derby fans (for the “ghost goal” & a shocking series of bad decisions in an East Midlands derby, respectively) but this was a truly absymal refereeing performance. It takes something for a ref to be booed off the pitch by both sets of fans at half time. When Mee body checked Battochio near the end of the first period, it was arguably a foul, but the Watford player was clearly badly injured. Yet Attwell let play go on before nonchalantly wandering over to check on the situation. Poor. Very poor. Looked like a bad injury for the lad & he seemed distraught as he was wheeled past us in our standard spot in the lower Rookery. And his energy in midfield was certainly missed for the rest of the game.

East Stand – I’ve been critical of progress with this in the past but it certainly seems to be coming on steadily. I reckon it looks pretty impressive now, so I’m looking forward to seeing it finished ready for the start of next season. Might even try a few games over there, although I suspect tickets in the Rookery may be a bit easier to come by next season.

Anyway, despite the sense of disappointment at the end, Watford should take heart from this performance. Time to try & finish off the season with a few more wins, then some focus on some decent recruits during the summer.

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