For the second time in less than two weeks, Barnsley lose a game to a goal scored with less than a minute on the clock. Luke Steele pushed John Eustace‘s effort onto the bar, but with the Reds ‘keeper still recovering from the save, Eustace was able to tuck the ball into the net at the second attempt from a yard or so out.
With both teams having very little to play for as the season draw to a close, there was always a danger that this game wouldn’t deliver much entertainment. It was by no means a classic but both teams had opportunities to add to the goal scored after just 40 seconds.
Barnsley had to withstand some fairly heavy pressure in the opening stages of the game as the Hornets won a number of corners and produced good deliveries into the box, fortunately for the Reds no Watford players were able any meaningful contact to test Luke Steele.
Full backs Matt Hill and Kieran Trippier have been excellent in recent weeks in getting forward and providing some much-needed width to the Barnsley team. Hill having a couple of opportunities to score, and Trippier whipping in an inviting cross for Andy Gray but the experienced Barnsley striker was unable to make the necessary contact.
Barnsley began to control the game and Scott Loach in the Watford net had to be alert on a number of occasions as the Reds had a series of decent attempts.
With the big local derby against Doncaster Rovers scheduled less than 48 hours after the end of this game, Mark Robins decided to remove Marlon Harewood from the action and replace him with Ruben Noble-Lazarus. The youngster has seen a number of introductions from the bench in recent weeks and is looking increasingly comfortable in playing for the first team. As an attacking player, Noble-Lazarus will be judged on goals if he is to live up to the hype surrounding him and he almost called Scott Loach into action with a 30-yard shot which went just wide of the post.
Butterfield and Mellis were again impressive in midfield where Barnsley’s creative play was good, just the final ball or shot not producing the goal as has been the case for a number of months.
Watford v Barnsley Highlights
Click here to see highlights of the game Video is courtesy of the BBC and will be available for around 7 days after the game.
Watford: Loach, Hodson, Eustace, Taylor, Mariappa, Cowie, Deeney, Graham, Doyley, Sordell (Weimann 53), Mingoia (Drinkwater 75).
Subs not used: Gilmartin, Buckley, Bennett, Massey, Thompson.
Barnsley: Steele, Shackell, Doyle, Foster, Haynes, Harewood (Noble-Lazarus), Trippier, Mellis (Hassell 57), Butterfield, Gray (Clark 82), Hill.
Subs not used: Preece, McEveley, O’Brien, Arismendi.
Venue: Vicarage Road
Attendance: 14,098 (623 away)
- Watford v Barnsley : Match Preview (barnsleyfc.com)