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Watford 1 Leicester City 0 (12/02/2008) 12/02/2008

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five thunks from Leicester

1- What a complete turnaround in terms of defensive resilience.  Wolves in the cup was just seventeen days ago…

2- Doris.  Inhuman.

3- The Rookery really is rather fun on nights like this.

4- That Ben Alnwick looks a bit useful.

5- That O’Toole misses Charlton is kinda convenient;  Saturday’s Eustace/Bangura axis was surely due a rerun in any event.



1. Mark - 12/02/2008

We really did deserve that….Leciester hardly had a shot in anger such was the quality of our defending with Eustace and Al helping out.

A typical Darius game indeed..all over the place with his non-stop running.

We could have been well ahead before the harsh red card.

Excellent atmosphere which must have only helped!

2. JohnF - 13/02/2008

This was gripping edge of the seat stuff with the crowd really playing their part. The sending off was uncertain as far as I was concerned but Mariappa really has to be careful when he is last man as it was his mistake that caused the problem. Stand up and hold the man, don’t dive in. Thought the ref was rather lenient on Leicester and the linesman on the Rookery far side (from East Stand) really was quite poor. Fantastic effort from all of the team and a pity we couldn’t see more of Ainsworth who was just getting into his stride. Darius battled until he nearly dropped and Jobi worked so hard and played as well as he has all season. Defence and midfield all played together as a unit although Danny looked tired. Not good for the blood pressure though, particularly as the ref seemed to want to play until they scored.

3. Apperley 'Orn - 13/02/2008

Very sorry to have missed that last night, the atmosphere sounded unbelievable!

We’ve got that winning mentality back, the stubborn “you wanna beat us you’ll have to kill us first” type of approach that we had 2 years ago. What a turnaround – bring on Charlton…

4. NRC - 13/02/2008

What news of Smudger? Is he injured or just rested?

5. Jamie - 13/02/2008

I found it quite refreshing (despite not seeing any replays) that the linesman and ref conferred. I wish that happened more often as really between two sets of eyes they should at least be able to have an opinion. What concerns me so much is that the ref gave NOTHING at first, not even a foul. So to go from that to the other extreme and show a red card means that the linesman must have had a really compelling and strong story to tell. If that is the case why are the club already protesting? You can only conclude that the incident is not an open and shut case which serves to make the ref’s decision even madder. Where there is doubt he should err on caution.

The quicker the FA invites in rugby refs to advise the better.

6. Kev - 13/02/2008

“the linesman on the Rookery far side really was quite poor”
Cos’ he was waving aeroplanes? (Aidy Boothroyd, BBC site)

“The Rookery really is rather fun on nights like this.”

And even the East Stand awoke from its slumbers for the first time this season

7. AndyC - 13/02/2008

Yeah that was fun, although I hate the whole “5 mins of injury time so it’s goalie-and-kitchen-sink time in the penalty area”. Doris was impressive, terrorising and battling all the way.

Big Dan looks like he works well with Bromby, along with Sadler as well it’s a back 4 transformed.

After the home games since October the last 2 have been a breathe of fresh air. Bit of savvy in the transfer market and we’re looking in good form.

Night games always make the atmosphere a bit more intense

8. Nick B - 13/02/2008

Thought we were magnificent; an old fashioned joint enterprise between team and supporters.
Felt like I’d played the game afterwards, completely drained.

Why would the ref let the lino overrule him from that distance and why do we always seem to get attention seekers running the rous stand line? Ref had obviously read the Observer on Sunday as he was seeking out timewasting, as opposed to responding to it

Eustace is different class, just what we’ve been needing. Let’s hope he can stay fit

9. Kris - 13/02/2008

What a turn-around indeed. Is it due to the new faces, Marlon leaving or a combo?

Now for Charlton, Jay Demerit may be fit again – does he come in with Bromby shifting to right back? Or do we leave Jay out as the current back-4 has been fantastic?

IMHO it doesn’t matter as long as our midfield consists of Eustace and Bangura. With those two in midfield, either back-4 option will be enough to keep Charlton at bay I think.

Final thought – these 3 wins on the trot must be fantastic for building confidence. First we get revenge against Wolves, then we take Ipswich home record and finally we beat Leicester (to revenge the 4-1 drubbing) with 10 men for an hour or so.

10. DM - 13/02/2008

Much as Doris deservedly takes a lions share of the credit, mentions must got to the imperious back four (not even a sniff of a chance till the alamo in the final moments), Jobi McAnuff (who in his last two games has produced exactly the sort of performances we thought we’d see from him) and a very cool-handed managerial display from Mr Boothroyd. A few of us round our way wondered about the Stewart for Ellington change at the time, but it proved to be inspired.

Also, it should be said, Leicester were utterly awful in that 2nd half… if they had scored it would have been an affront, and if I were a fan of there’s, I’d have pelted them with rotted fruit given the chance….

Red card was an atrocious decision.. I have a freeze frame from Sky last night showing Bromby a good ten yards behind the incident… and also clearly showing that Clemence didn’t even have the ball at the moment he was fouled. Call me old fashioned, but surely a player has to have the ball to have a clear goalscoring opportunity ???

11. DW - 13/02/2008

What this season has shown more than anything is the difference that one player can make, be it Adam Johnson in the autumn or John Eustace now. A scientist may claim that the latter’s impact is masked/confused by the assured performances of Bromby and Sadler but since the relative decline of Mahon too many teams have walked through our midfield with impunity. Eustace didn’t flinch or loose one tackle last night and was for 90 minutes, shouting, cajoling and organising HIS troupes.

As mentioned by others, one can not write about last nights game without reference to Henderson, who surely now can be considered alongside recent local heroes, Mooney & HH. I honestly don’t think I have ever seen anyone run as he did last night including a 2 minute spell in which he attempted to sprint back and forth across the pitch to prevent defenders clearing the ball up filed.

12. Matt Rowson - 13/02/2008

DM – not QUITE no sniff of a chance. The red card came from a rare Mariappa mistake which had let them in. Otherwise, Mariappa was terrific and Demerit doesn’t get back in for me.

13. DM - 13/02/2008

Ah yes, I was thinking more of the 2nd half, backs to the wall part of the game.

DeMerit doesn’t get back in for me either, but that’s because the Bromby-Shittu axis needs no interruption as much as Mariappa’s form. In fact, such is Bromby’s influence on the back four, I think it’s one of DeMerit and Shittu with the ex-blade from here on….

14. Mick G. - 13/02/2008

Henderson was absolutely terrific last night – covering every inch of that pitch.

The back 4/5 were awesome. Despite Leicester having most of the territory, they never had a sniff of Lee’s goal.

Midfield was excellent and coped with the chopping and changing of personnel.
Inspired and calmly taken decisions on the substitutions.

Crowd and atmosphere were fantastic – where are the boo-boys now??

A tremendous evening all round.Great.

15. Apperley 'Orn - 13/02/2008

Indeed, it would seem a place on the bench is the best that Demerit can hope for at the moment – who would have thought that a few weeks ago?

16. Simon - 13/02/2008

I’ll admit to not having seen a replay (but then, neither had the ref and lino) but my thought on the sending off was rather different to most.

What I saw (from the East stand, just outside that box) was O’Toole see Clement going through onto what was going to be a simple through ball. O’Toole realised that he wasn’t going to catch Clement and thought that Clement would be in a decent position. He therefore grabbed a hefty handful of shirt and ensured Clement wouldn’t get there.

Possibly the decision was questionable as Bromby may have got round to cover (as I say I’ve not seen a replay but my immediate reaction at the time was that Clement would have been through on goal provided the pass wasn’t mis-hit). If you ask me though, O’Toole comitted a cynical foul and, whether or not the decision was harsh, I’d rather see players sent off for that sort of thing than, for example, goalkeepers who accidently slide out of the box and don’t quite let go of the ball in time.

I thought the officials got a load else wrong, mind !

17. stephen hoffman - 13/02/2008

jamie the ref was right in front of the incident the linesman 40 yards away he had a worse view than the ref , so how could he make the ref’s decision for him , also i sit in the upper rous and clemence did a two footed lunge on ellington the lino was right opposite that -and that was a red card offence , and he didn’t give that.

18. stephen hoffman - 13/02/2008

btw maybe this is just me , but i believe the luck did slightly even itself up considering i swear near the beginning of second half a leceister guy headed it and it looked like Lee took the ball over the line , maybe that’s just me, did anyone else think that?

19. Back from Hammerau - 13/02/2008

It was lucky we scored when we did because I felt there was a danger of us picking up a second red card (a la Blackburn) as everyone was so steamed up by the perceived injustice of the sending-off.
A great performance 1-11 (or 4-39?). It was a great tribute to their fitness that players like Henderson and Eustace lasted so well given all the work they put in.

20. Markymark - 13/02/2008

Agreed Matt, one doesnot change the back four after the last 3 performances!
Al Bangura will fill JJs boots nicely particularly for an away game.
A few weeks ago I was quite rightly slating Mariappa now even at RB he’s a diiferent player!

21. stephen hoffman - 14/02/2008

mark you weren’t rightly slating marriapa he’s generally played well in defence minus the odd bad performance when’s he’s been in defence , he hasn’t been given a chance this season till now , so to criticise him two weeks ago when the guy aint been given a proper chance is short sighted.

22. Johnny Boy ( formly JohnM, but there are too many of us) - 14/02/2008

Some observations from my seat near the benches:
– Aidy down on the touchline from the start for the last two games and in sole control with the occaisonal defferential word from Malky, none of that ‘up in the directors’ box stuff any more.
– Leicester bench, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have a clue, appeared to be ruling by committee – never a good approach.

Also, impressed how Jordan reacted when he came on, very positive especially for someone who has effectively been dropped. Can,t wait till Lloyds needed, he will be so fired up probably score that ellusive goal.

23. billyo - 14/02/2008

And almost two years ago to the day that we all believed we could go up during our last promotion campaign. Then the opposition was Leeds and like now the team and supporters rallied around after a harsh dismissal (or two). It bodes well that this time we still came away with three points, and I hope that means we’ll do better than third this time around. Come on!

24. Adam F - 15/02/2008

I actually think Llody (unfortunately, seeing as he is my second favourite current player) will never score a first team goal. HOWEVER, if he does, i want to be there for a number of reasons:

1) i would like to see what type of goal this man can actually put in the net
2) he must have an amazing celebration up his sleeve
3) the crowd will go mental
4) i will go mental
5) the whole team will go mental
6) i want to be there and tell my grandkids ‘i was there on the day that lloyd doyley scored.
7) presumably if lloyd is scoring, then we’ll win the game very comfortably (and therefore i would want to be at that game!)

nuff said i reckon. up lloyd!!!

ps – just for the record, richard lee is my favourite. i’ve always been a fan. love the little man to bits. what a player. and he just looks like he’s a really nice guy to boot!

25. Greg - 15/02/2008

Is it me or is John Eustace very very similar to the Mahon of a couple of years ago. Also if it was the 1970s I reckon Hendo would be playing for England by now. And could anyone tell me if Tommy Smith is back for tomorrow?

26. Adam F - 16/02/2008

From the bbc website:

…Watford welcome back captain Jay DeMerit, who has recovered from a groin injury, along with Tommy Smith….

Don’t know if this is reliable or not???

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