I came into this game not expecting a lot , after catching the game on Saturday. As usual breaks don’t really suit us and our poor showing in the transfer market didn’t exactly inspire confidence either. And then we had CatGate. I’m not going there. It’s been done to death everywhere and the club need to make a stand and ensure the correct disciplinary procedures are undertaken.
I was surprised how busy it was outside the ground so skipped in early, and caught the now customary light show. Despite the empty seats shown in the photo, it was pretty much a full house come kick off.
The game itself was very reminiscent of the Palace games last year (no surprises with Mr Hodgson taking up the reins at Watford recently) . Watford were compact and disciplined , and broke well. We were stifled somewhat, but just needed to break a line or 2 to get the upper hand.
Watford fans were enjoying themselves booing Zouma at every opportunity, and at one point chanting RSPCA ! He actually played well, but maybe against a home crowd this weekend coming at Leicester it may be more of an issue. Easy to ignore when you are miles from the support.
We were very poor. Rice was out of sorts, and everyone else seemed between 5 and 6 /10. Watford were on top , no doubt, but didn’t have that clinical last touch, or bit of magic.
Benrahma had one chance saved when Bowen made a great run and pass to leave him in the box unattended. And that’s that.
0-0 half time and my pre-match prediction of that very score was coming to fruition.
Second half was better for West Ham, but Watford were no way out of it. Both teams had chances but they were mainly of the lash it goalward variety.
About the hour mark, the game took a subtle change and West ham were getting that ball into the box to a player more often, . We kept prodding and were getting better chances but still nothing clear cut. Rice was head and shoulders above his first half performance. Lanzini and Fornals were very busy, and Antonio was still a little lost.
And then the stars aligned with Jarrod Bowen receiving the ball from the sub Lanzini, and getting a lucky deflection to break the deadlock.
And then it went back to stalemate again for the remaining 20 minutes.
So not the most exciting game and we rode our luck, but that’s 2 games on the spin where we have ground out a result despite being the worse team. Are we lucky, or are we trying harder ?
MOTM Dawson. Big Daws does it again, got his head in where it was needed (probably with some extra motivation, bearing in mind the opposition), and at one point in the first half went on a unheralded mazy run past 2 opposition players to hold possession, when Zouma was down injured.