Wednesday 0-1 Watford
22/12/07 - 15:00
JOBI McAnuff's strike six minutes in to the game gave out-of-sorts Watford all three points and leave Wednesday looking over their shoulder at the relegation spots following a less-than-festive clash at Hillsborough on Saturday.
The Owls went in to the clash with a number of injuries to key players, with Lee Bullen coming in to replace Frank Simek at right-back, while Marcus Tudgay and Wade Small started in attack with Akpo Sodje still out through injury and Deon Burton only fit for a place on the bench.
Both sides were low on confidence going in to the game following a poor string of results but it was Wednesday who made the brighter start as Glenn Whelan fired a powerful effort straight in to the arms of Richard Lee in the Hornets goal.
But it was Watford who broke the deadlock with their first attack of the game on six minutes as former Crystal Palace man McAnuff burst through the middle of the Wednesday defence to place a low effort by Lee Grant before wheeling away in celebration.
Wednesday had suffered a similar poor start in the reverse clash at Vicarage Road which saw Watford bag two goals in the opening 16 minutes a few months back.
Owls boss Brian Laws wasn't prepared to suffer the same fate again, and a tough tackling period livened the quiet Hillsborough faithful up, before Wednesday started to find some form in the latter third of the pitch.
A ball from Whelan saw Steve Watson slice an effort from the edge of the box to Marcus Tudgay at the far post, but the former Derby man couldn't make a clean connection and the ball ran harmlessly out of play.
Jermaine Johnson caused the Hornets all kinds of problems last time out and his pace was again causing problems for the Watford defence throughout the first half, but his final product wasn't enough to trouble Lee in goal.
The chances for the Owls were falling to Tudgay, and he came even closer to levelling the scores ten minutes before the break as he got on theend of a Small cross before powering his effort just wide of goal.
Half-Time: Wednesday 0-1 Watford
Wednesday, keen to get some much-needed points on the board going in to the hectic Christmas schedule, came out and made the brighter start in the second half, enjoying their best spell of pressure throughout the match but failing to find a way through the stubborn Watford back four.
Tudgay was again at the centre of the Wednesday attack, and again seeing his effort fail to find the back of the net, as his low, long range effort, was well tipped wide by the impressive Lee.
Jermaine Johnson again went on another one of his trademark runs before firing a low effort which was well blocked by the Watford defender.
Laws made two changes to try and change the game, with Yoann Folly replacing Watson and Deon Burton replacing Johnson, but if anything, the changes seemed to kill the Owls' attacking threat, with little coming their way of a leveller.
Wednesday did have a golden chance through a Watford passback, but Whelan fired straight in to the Watford wall from inside the box.
Full-Time: Wednesday 0-1 Watford
Wednesday: Grant, Bullen (c), Michael Johnson, Hinds, Spurr, Jermaine Johnson (Burton 69), Whelan, Watson ( Folly 69), O'Brien (Esajas 83), Small, Tudgay. Unused subs: Beevers, Lunt.
Watford: Lee, Doyley, Jackson, DeMerit (c), Stewart, Smith, Francis, O'Toole, McAnuff (Williamson 80), King, Ellington (Henderson 72). Unused subs: Poom, Shittu, Ainsworth.
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