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Wednesday 2-0 Watford

2 - 0

Hillsborough, Sheffield

13/09/08 - 3pm

Attendance: 17,066


Goals from Marcus Tudgay and Tommy Spurr helped Wednesday keep their early unbeaten record at home in the league in tact and move them up to fifth with a comfortable victory over a lacklustre Watford side.

Tudgay was on the end of a goalmouth scramble to power the ball by Mart Poom after 22 minutes before Spurr linked superbly with Etienne Esajas ten minutes in to the second half to fire a low effort in to the back of the net and bag all three points for Wednesday.

And it could have been more, against a poor-looking Watford side that failed to show anything of last season's form which helped them in to the Championship play-off spots.

Owls' boss Brian Laws was forced in to a number of changes ahead of the clash with the news that Mark Beevers missed out through injury, leaving Peter Gilbert to return to left-back and Spurr to move in to the centre of defence alongside Richard Wood, who kept the captain's armband despite the media revealing he had a transfer request turned down last week.

Jermaine Johnson took on the responsibility of the lead striker in a three-man attack, Marcus Tudgay and Etienne Esajas providing the support, while Sean McAllister, James O'Connor and Steve Watson made up the three-man midfield.

But the change in personnel and formation for the Owls brought little in the way of chances and flowing football as both sides struggled to get a hold of the game in a scrappy opening from both Wednesday and the Hornets.

Aidy Boothroyd's men had lost their tag of 'hoofballers' in their opening fixtures of the season, with some attractive football coming from the Vicarage Road men in their previous matches, although that wasn't visible to the 17,066 crowd inside Hillsborough - incidentally, the lowest at S6 in six years.

Wednesday finally clicked in to gear and tested Mart Poom for the first time when Etienne Esajas had a snap shot on goal, and it was the same man who caused the Hornets all kinds of problems minutes later when he weaved his way through the Watford defence only to be hacked down on the edge of the box - Tony McMahon flashing the resulting free-kick off-target.

But chances continued to be few and very far between, with Lee Grant a spectator for much of the first half as Watford struggled to carve out anything in the way of chances to trouble the Owls' number one.

But when the next chance did come - Tudgay wasted no time in bagging his third of the season and giving Wednesday the advantage in a match they were edging as he fired home from close range.

It came in typically sloppy fashion as a long McMahon throw-in caused havoc inside the Watford box, with the Hornets' defence, including former Owl and Blade Leigh Bromby, failing to clear their lines and Tudgay lashing the ball home from six-yards out.

The only chance that the visitors did manage was from a Lee Williamson free-kick after Richard Wood was cautioned for a poor challenge on the Watford attacker on the stroke of half-time.

But, as with most of the match, Grant only had to watch as the former Rotherham United midfielder sent his effort way over the bar and in to the Wednesday fans behind the goal in the Kop.

Half-Time: Wednesday 1-0 Watford

The game had been anything but a spectacle for the fans of both sides inside Hillsborough in the first 45 minutes but the fans and players alike will have been more than happy with the way the game was going.

The only thing Wednesday did know was that their visitors couldn't have been as bad in the second half, and they showed a marked improvement in the second half, but still couldn't break down the stubborn Wednesday defence.

Grant's biggest test of the match came as Jobi McAnuff was left free to dart inside the box and fire a powerful effort which went straight at Grant, and the Owls' stopper managed to divert the danger to safety.

But Watford's task was made even harder just ten minutes in to the restart when Spurr linked brilliantly with Esajas for the move of the match to double Wednesday's advantage and all but seal the three points.

Spurr came roaring down the left flank and exchanged a neat one-two with Esajas before powering his way in to the box and firing a low effort by Poom on 55 minutes to bag his second career goal for the club.

The youngster is making a name for himself with goals - his last, and first, a blockbuster of an effort against Plymouth last season which won the Wednesday goal of the season gong.

The goal all-but ended Watford's hopes and gave Wednesday a new confidence which could, and probably should, have seen them take all three points by more than just the two goals as Boothroyd's troops became increasingly frustrated.

Wood almost capped off a fine performance under pressure, and put the icing on the cake, but he could only see his effort stopped by Poom when he got on the end of a deep O'Connor corner, while Esajas also saw an effort go high and wide.

Full-Time: Wednesday 2-0 Watford

Wednesday: Grant, McMahon, Spurr, Wood, Gilbert, McAllister (Burton 76), O'Connor, Watson, Esajas (Small 85), Johnson (Clarke 85), Tudgay. Unused substitutes: O'Donnell, Smith.

Watford: Poom, Bromby, DeMerit, Eustace, Harley, Doyley, Williamson, O'Toole (Hoskins 64), McAnuff (Ainsworth 82), Priskin, Smith. Unused substitutes: Loach, Bangura, Mariappa.

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Date:Saturday September 13 2008
Time: 8:53PM

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a win and a clean sheet.oh happy days.
14/09/2008 08:38:00
Pretty damn good for my first view of 'live' Owls in over five years. The first 15 minutes were pretty shocking from both sides but after Marcus' scrambled goal we just got better and better. When Tommy waltzed through right in front of us and grabbed the second, well, that just made my day. Nice to meet Aussie, S8 Owls S8, NicNac and Nick and his mates.. icing on the cake when we checked our mobiles on the train back to discover we'd moved above the Blunts, who couldn't even manage a point against struggling Derby. A grand day out!
Auckland Owl
14/09/2008 10:19:00
The wedding and the Watford fan were a joy. 5th. C'mon!
14/09/2008 13:25:00
see our gates are well down this season maybe the board would like to rethink there price increases and poor telephone ticketing system as people choose to stay away rather than getting ripped off well done mr walker.
beverley owl
14/09/2008 16:44:00
A-men to that beverley. 3 tickets a game i need to buy, so i went to dobies-sodding-garden-c***ing-world instead and being as radio sheffield should be renamed radio donny i couldnt even listen to it. grrrr. be there sat tho
14/09/2008 18:22:00
What a result!! Pretty good performance too I thought. Nice to see we're managing to grab those crappy goal-mouth scramble goals that last season just wouldn't have gone in. BFL - in response to an earlier post, I didn't think Bromby did much at all really and I, fpr one, rated him when he was with us. Surprised at how ineffective he was. Shame...though not so much of a shame today...but a shame that someone who I thought was pretty promising looks to be a nothing player now. Great result for us though!
15/09/2008 11:18:00
Must add too that I thought Spurr had a great game! I'm certainly not one of his biggest fans but thought he did well at centre half for us and a goal to boot! Can't ask for more than that - well done Tommy!
15/09/2008 11:19:00
PS. Wasn't Spurr's goal as result of some neat interchange between him and Gilbert???
15/09/2008 11:22:00
Ok 6th
15/09/2008 12:56:00
6th now QPR thumped Southampton...
15/09/2008 16:27:00
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