Yeovil Town and Watford played out a hard fought goalless draw at Huish Park tonight in the Sky Bet Championship.
Both sides had chances to win the game and also had a goal disallowed in a competitive match that had been rescheduled after being called off due to a waterlogged pitch on New Years Day. The Hornets had slightly more efforts on goal over the ninety minutes and felt they should have had a stoppage time penalty when Jamie McAllister appeared to handle in the box.
The point brings Yeovil a point closer to the group of clubs above them and with both Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday losing this evening, it makes Saturday’s big clash with another South Yorkshire side, Doncaster Rovers, a massive six pointer.
Manager Gary Johnson made two changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Millwall last Tuesday. Joel Grant dropped out of the squad completely and Kieffer Moore took a place on the bench with Joe Ralls earning a starting spot after his goal against the Lions and James Hayter coming in up front.
Yeovil had the ball in the Hornets net in the second minute but it was ruled out for offside. Joe Edwards burst forward and shot but his effort was going well wide till Ishmael Miller stuck a boot out and deflected it into the opposite corner of the net. Sadly for the Glovers, the assistant referee’s flag was raised for offside against Miller.
Miller was looking threatening every time he had the ball in the final third and forced a corner on seven minutes with some strong work down the flank. It wasn’t all one way traffic though and Alex Merkel lashed a shot over the bar before he too was denied by an offside flag and he finished into the corner of the net.
Tommy Lawrence was looking lively in a wide left midfield role and he fired a foot wide on eleven minutes before Joe Edwards went close with a side footed finish three minutes later. Marek Stech then
produced an acrobatic save to deny Merkel’s shot that bounced down and up off the skiddy turf.
Gabriele Angella went close with a long range effort and Merkel again shot over before birthday boy John Lundstram stung ex-Aesenal keeper Manuel Almunia’s fingers with a good effort.
Shane Duffy, with another strong showing at the heart of Yeovil’s defence, produced a fantastic last ditch tackle to deny prolific front man Troy Deeney as he was about to pull the trigger.
Watford started the second half as if they’d had a half time rocket from manager Giuseppe Sannino and dominated the early stages of the second half. But for all their possession and territorial advantage,
Stech didn’t have too much work to do. The chances were clocking up at the other end though with Lawrence curling his shot over and a Miller cross deflecting off a defender’s foot and looping on to the roof of the net.
Miller then failed to get enough power on his header to really trouble Almunia who then got down low to deny Joe Ralls’ free kick from twenty yards.
Johnson switched his attacking options in the final ten minutes, withdrawing Hayter and Lundstram to throw on Kieffer Moore and Adam Morgan. The main talking points of the closing stages though were about referee James Adcock. After giving Hornets defender Marco Cassetti a yellow card for a foul, the Italian then cynically stuck out a leg to trip up the flying Joe Edwards. As everyone on the pitch and in the stands expected the inevitable second yellow and subsequent red card, the official inexplicably chose to merely warn the defender rather than issue the cards.
Then in the last minute of three minutes stoppage time, a Watford cross into the box from the right flank seemed to be handled by Yeovil skipper McAllister but the assistant referee awarded the corner to the outrage of everyone connected with the Hornets.
The corner was cleared and ref Adcock blew for time on a game which once more turned out as a game the Glovers could have won but equally could have lost.