|What I.Saw - Watford Win A One-Off?|
Fri 14th Sep 2012 14:46 by I.Saw
It’s not often you are lucky enough to watch your team put five deserved goals past the opposition - the Watford clash was one such day and there was no suggestion of what was to come.
All the talk beforehand by the manager had been about the number of passes the team were making, the pass completion rate and the workrate of the players last time out.
This time it was no different. Derby passed the ball!
Between defenders and midfielders then back again with aplomb. Possession football without penetration! Indeed it took all of ten minutes for the first shot off target to be made.
It looked like an afternoon for a snooze in the sun.
The goal sparked Watford into trying something new, like playing in the Derby half of the pitch. Meanwhile the Rams again passed and passed, twenty minutes of controlled measured football that left the Hornet’s keeper, Manuel Almunia, untroubled and us nodding again.
Another free kick, another goal, this time Paul Coutts’ lofted ball was met by an unmarked Jeff Hedrick and we led by two.
Our first goal from open play added a third. Ward found Connor Sammon in the central channel and our new striker out muscled Carl Dickinson to the ball and despite being under pressure Sammon beat the keeper in style. An excellently taken goal showing exactly the type of finishing we have been lacking for a number of years.
We thought we had a fourth on the stroke of half time, another free kick, Coutts floated and Keogh headed but this time the cross bar came to the rescue.
Rarely had we seen the Rams leading at half time by such a margin, would we keep the pace for the second half?
We had little time to wait. Ward’s free kick, a low shot this time, was palmed by Almunia and Will Hughes was in the right place to steer the ball over the line.
Four became five as Coutts reached the byeline and pulled the ball back for Sammon, it passed the ex-Wigan man by but found Ward perfectly positioned to tap the ball into the back of the net.
Credit should also be given to Watford though as they continued to attack the Rams rearguard. We became a little flustered, Gareth Roberts carrying a knock was replaced by Jake Buxton with James O’Connor moving over to left back. And the Hornets scored, Matej Vydra slotting home after Marco Cassetti and Ikechi Anya had sliced through our defence.
Five one then, hardworking Hughes was replaced by Michael Jabobs who never got a free kick or corner to show off his dead ball skills.
Finally, man of the match, Craig Bryson is replaced by Connor Doyle, Doyle had three touches which not even the harshest of critics could fault and then the game was over.
Over a pint we reflected, Derby strengths – dead balls, possession, workrate. Against a team more organised than Watford ragged backline it won’t be as easy, the result I reckon is a one-off – then again I’d love to be wrong!
Fielding 5 -
Nothing to do all afternoon.
Brayford 6 –
Got forward well without really threatening.
Roberts 6 –
We look balanced with him, unbalanced without.
Keogh 7 –
Mopped up at the back and scored a goal.
O’Connor 7 –
Solid and steady a good game. Coutts 8 – adjusting to the pace of the championship, excellent crosser of the ball and free kick taker.
Hendrick 7 –
Covers a lot of ground in the centre.
Bryson 9 –
Man of the match, controlled the midfield.
Hughes 7 – played in a more holding role and didn’t get forward that much, still a good performance added to a goal.
Ward 7 –
two free kicks resulted in goals and a tap in.
Sammon 8 –
All energy and a goal, not sure you could ask much more.
Buxton 5, Jacobs 6, Doyle 5.
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