Donaldson brace guides Blues to victory over Watford

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November 6, 2014 by bluenosebible

Birmingham City 2-1 Watford

Written by: Oliver Osborn

In Gary Rowett’s first home game in charge, Clayton Donaldson scored a brace to secure all three points for Birmingham City over Watford at St. Andrews.

The striker scored in the open and final five minutes of the game to see off the league leaders and give Blues their first win at home since August.

Fernando Forestieri did equalise for the Hornets just minutes after Donaldson gave the home side an early lead, but the defeat sees Watford lose their place at the top of the league.

New Blues boss Rowett was given a great reception as he walked out onto the St. Andrews turf before the game, but even he’d have been surprised by Donaldson giving his side the lead just 80 seconds into the match.

Stephen Gleeson found the striker with a low cross into the box before the former Brentford man poked an effort towards goal.

Clayton-Donaldson-scores-after-just-80-secondsThe shot took a deflection off Joel Ekstrand and wrong footed goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes to give the home side the perfect start.

Conceding so early woke the visitors up and Slavisa Jokanovic’s side started to grow into the match.

With their own first chance of the match, the league leaders were back level through Forestieri in just the seventh minute.

A pull back from Lloyd Doyley found the Italian and the striker’s first shot was saved by Blues ‘keeper Darren Randolph.

But the goalkeeper couldn’t clear the ball out of danger and the ball came back to Forestieri to smash home his fourth goal of the season.

The goal settled the Hornets down and put them more at ease while they dominated possession.

It was Blues though that spurned the next great chance of the game as Andrew Shinnie’s free header from six yards out was headed wide after Paul Caddis’ cross.

Winger David Cotterill went close with a curling shot from the edge of the box, but his effort flew just past the post and not far away from the top right corner of Gomes’ goal.

As half-time approached boyhood Bluenose Troy Deeney was denied by a superb save from Randolph as the Irishman got a fingertip onto the striker’s shot which looked destined for the top corner.

The entertaining first 45 minutes was met with a tightly contested second where both sides gave little away.

Koby Arthur almost forced an own goal from Tommie Hoban after his cross was well cleared off the line by the centre-half.

JS50137093With five minutes to go, Clayton Donaldson scored his second of the night to give Blues what could be a vital three points.

Credit has to go to Gary Rowett for gambling with bringing Wes Thomas on as the extra striker against the side who were top of the league.

Thomas worked hard to chase down a lost cause to start the goal off and played it back to David Cotterill.

The winger’s cross was inch perfect and all Donaldson had to do was make a yard of space for himself and find the target; he did exactly that.

Watford pressed late on to find an equaliser, but the home side managed to hang on until the full-time whistle was blown.

The confirmation of the victory was met with a loud chorus of Keep Right On from the Bluenoses that were fantastic all night.

They’ll be hoping the side can continue their good start under Rowett with a good result at home to Cardiff on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Watford travel to Ipswich after just one win in their last four games.

Birmingham manager Gary Rowett: “I certainly think we shouldn’t play with any fear here. You could see the pressure on one or two at some stage but I felt they overcame it very well.

“The crowd will get behind you but only if you give them something. They were ready to grab something and that performance will have encouraged them.”

Watford head coach Slavisa Jokanovic: “I am disappointed because it wasn’t a good result for us. We tried to take control of the game and we had possession of the ball but we played slowly.

“We made some changes because we had some injured people and Fernando didn’t start the last game. It’s not an excuse, I don’t believe my team was tired.”

Starting line up: Randolph; Caddis, Morrison, Robinson, Grounds; Davis, Gleeson; Arthur (Gray 74′), Shinnie (Thomas 79′), Cotterill; Donaldson

Subs not used: Doyle, Edgar, Eardley, Reilly, Shea

 

Man of the match: Clayton Donaldson

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