February 12, 2014 by blake2108
Watford 1-0 Birmingham City
Watford came out 1-0 winners at Vicarage Road last night as Troy Deeney yet again found the back of the net against Blues.
The self-confessed Birmingham City supporter scored the only goal in the game, as he did in the home fixture on the opening day of the season.
And in truth last night’s affair was very similar to the Sky Bet Championship curtain raiser at St. Andrew’s with Blues on the whole being the better team.
The visitors started well with a Chris Burke effort almost creeping under Manuel Almunia’s crossbar and shortly after Paul Caddis saw his rasping 30-yard shot come back off the post.
Lee Clark’s men remained on top during the first half but fell behind against the run of play after 33 minutes as Deeney scored a deflected effort on the second attempt. Blues failing to clear their lines after good work by Fernando Forestieri
Chances were few and far between for either team after that, with both Almunia and Darren Randolph having very little to do.
Watford’s best chance in the second half saw a Forestieri header cleared off the line by Caddis from a Daniel Tozser corner, while Blues came closest to equalising in the fifth minute of added time when Will Packwood headed an Emyr Huws set piece narrowly wide to the despair of the 574 travelling fans.
Clark made two changes to the side who beat Charlton 2-0 in the capital on Saturday, with Brian Howard and Albert Rusnak coming in for Olly Lee and Lee Novak, however neither had great games in truth, Rusnak being replaced at half time by Reece Brown, who himself was relatively ineffective after coming on.
Despite his three goals in the two games since joining Blues, Macheda, who again lead the line for the away side, couldn’t repeat his weekend form.
Huws was yet again Birmingham’s shining star with another wonderful performance. The visitors’ best chances came through the Manchester City loanee’s set pieces and he ran the midfield, reading the game and passing impressively, of which Clark was full of praise.
Blues stay in 18th in the Sky Bet Championship despite the defeat, nine points clear of Charlton in 22nd, who have two games in hand. Blues will hope to make amends for last night when they face Clark’s old side Huddersfield Town at St. Andrew’s on Saturday.
Birmingham boss Lee Clark:
“We deserved something from the game without a shadow of a doubt. Our second-half performance was very, very good.
“First half I had too many regrets. I know we hit the post a couple of times from long-range efforts but we didn’t put them under enough pressure.
“We had some great set-play deliveries from the best player on the pitch by a million miles, Emyr Huws, the stand-out performer and we had some terrific situations from his set-plays but we played too much tippy-tappy football at the back and not getting the ball forward and playing in Watford’s half.”
Watford coach Beppe Sannino:
“That was an important win.
“We’re not focusing on the table at this moment in time, but it moves us in the right direction. Now we must recover well tonight and start looking ahead to Saturday.
“I would like to compliment my lads tonight. We made a couple of changes but we kept our focus and maintained our desire.”
“I think in the first half we were the better side on the pitch. We conceded one shot on goal when they hit the bar but I think, I’m not blaming anybody, but I think in the box for us there were a couple of times when maybe we deserved to have something.”
Starting line up:
Randolph; Caddis, Packwood, Martin, Robinson; Huws, Adeyemi (Lovenkrands 75′); Burke, Howard (Brown 46′), Rusnak (Novak 75′); Macheda.
Subs not used: Doyle, Lee, Shinnie, Blackett.
Man of the match: Emyr Huws