Scott Arfield cancels out early Troy Deeney strike as Burnley earn potentially priceless point at Watford

Hornets held by promotion-chasing Clarets

Hornets held by promotion-chasing Clarets

First published in Sport
Last updated
by , Group Sports Editor

Watford were made to regret their failure to get a second goal as a late Scott Arfield equaliser edged Sean Dyche and his Burnley side another step closer to the Premier League following an entertaining 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road.

A superb strike from the excellent Troy Deeney had given the Hornets an early lead and the home side were to have the majority of the better chances that followed, with Ikechi Anya going closest to netting a second when he rounded Tom Heaton but couldn’t get a good enough contact on his attempted finish.

Manuel Almunia made a fine save to thwart Ben Mee but the Clarets were to avoid suffering back-to-back defeats for the first time this season when, with four minutes of normal time remaining, Arfield fired a low shot past the Watford keeper from the edge of the area.

Following last weekend’s 4-1 victory at Sheffield Wednesday there was no surprise that Beppe Sannino chose to leave his team largely unchanged, making just the one enforced change with Marco Cassetti returning for the injured Lloyd Doyley.

Former Hornets boss Dyche admitted his promotion-chasing Burnley squad was “probably stretched to our limits at the moment” and with Danny Ings, Dean Marney and Kieran Trippier already out of contention due to injury and suspension, he was forced into another two changes from the side that suffered a first home loss of the season against Premier League-bound Leicester City last Saturday.

Sam Vokes suffered a season-ending cruciate ligament injury against the Foxes and he was joined on the sidelines by Junior Stanislas. Their placed were taken by David Edgar and Keith Treacey in what looked to be a 4-4-1-1 formation with Ashley Barnes the only recognised striker.

In fact, the visitors’ shape was more of a 4-2-3-1 with Michael Kightly, Arfield and Treacey providing the support to lone front man Barnes.

However, the Hornets have made a habit of making quick starts to a game and they were at it again in the eighth minute when Deeney made it seven goals in as many games with a lovely strike.

Watford Observer:

Receiving the ball around 25 yards out, the striker advanced before hitting a right-footed shot that was powerful but also had enough finesse to dip over Heaton, who wasn’t that far off his line, to give Watford the lead in superb fashion.

It was Deeney’s 20th league goal of the campaign and ensured he became the first player from the Vicarage Road club to achieve that feat in consecutive seasons since Cliff Holton.

Watford Observer:

The visitors thought they had levelled five minutes later when Barnes got in front of the Hornets’ rearguard to stab a Treacey cross from the left past Almunia but the goal was ruled out for a tight offside decision.

The game was simmering nicely and Lewis McGugan wasn’t too far wide with an angled shot from the edge of the area before Deeney went closer still, connecting superbly with a right-foot shot when the ball dropped to him on the edge of the area and sending the ball narrowly over Heaton’s bar.

The hosts continued to be positive with McGugan drifting a cross in from the right which was just too strong for Mathias Ranegie to get his head on the end of it.

Watford Observer:

Barnes headed another good opening over for the Clarets following a Kightly cross from the right, although it was flagged offside, before the Hornets suffered a blow when Cristian Battocchio came off worse from what looked a blatant bodycheck by Mee.

Referee Stuart Atwell, back at Vicarage Road for the first time since the infamous ‘ghost goal’ episode against Reading, let play continue for a couple of minutes before the midfielder was allowed treatment. And it soon became clear the injury was apparently serious as a stretcher was called for.

Watford Observer:

After a delay of at least five minutes, Battocchio was carried off and replaced by Almen Abdi and there was no surprise when the fourth official signalled six minutes of stoppage time.

There was a further delay when Anya required treatment but there was still time for the Hornets to create one further opportunity in the half when McGugan created space for a shot in the 18-yard area before firing over.

But the opening half ended with Attwell the centre of attention, getting grief from both sets of fans after a decidedly unimpressive display in the opening 45 minutes.

Arfield had the first sight of a chance after the break when he fired wide from the edge of the area, but the Hornets were soon back on the front foot with Deeney finding space on the right side of the area and attempting to set up Ranegie, only to put the ball behind him. The attack was kept going but the home side were unable to work a strike on goal.

Watford Observer:

Attwell was the subject of more ironic jeers in the 56th minute when Kightly hit the side netting and a couple of minutes later McGugan tried an ambitious attempt from distance which flew over.

Dyche made his first change in the 62nd minute as Ross Wallace came on for Treacey and the substitute had the opportunity to test Almunia after Kightly was adjudged to have been fouled on the edge of the area but his free-kick hit the wall.

Watford though, started to crank up their attacking play again around the 70-minute mark and Anya almost presented McGugan with a tap-in but his ball across goal from the right side of the area was put behind by Chris Baird. The pressure continued from the resultant corner as Gabriele Angella and Daniel Pudil both saw efforts blocked.

Watford Observer:

Both sides decided to make a second change in the 75th minutes as Davide Faraoni came on for Ranegie and Brian Stock replaced Jones. But the Hornets then needed a fine save from Almunia to keep them in front, diving high to his left to keep out a Mee header from a corner.

That could have made it 1-1 but the Hornets came so close to making it 2-0 soon after when McGugan put Anya through on goal, he rounded Heaton but didn’t make a clean contact with his attempted finish and as the ball trickled towards the unguarded net Baird was able to get back and clear.

Another opening came from the resultant corner as Daniel Tozser's delivery from the right was met by a far-post header from Pudil, Heaton athletically pushed it up in the air but the ball didn’t drop for a player in yellow.

Watford Observer:

But Watford were made to pay for their failure to score a second goal when the Clarets netted a potentially priceless equaliser with four minutes remaining when the ball was worked to Arfield on the edge of the penalty area and he twisted before sending a low 20-yard shot beyond Almunia.

The Hornets did have one last opportunity when Deeney tried to set Anya away inside the area but the ball fell back to the striker, who dragged his shot wide.

Watford Observer:

Watford: Almunia; Angella, Cassetti, Ekstrand; Anya, Battocchio (Abdi 43), Tozser, McGugan, Pudil; Deeney, Ranegie (Faraoni 75). Not used: Bond, Riera, Murray, Diakite, Hoban.

Burnley: Heaton; Baird, Duff, Shackell, Mee; Edgar, Jones (Stock 75); Kightly, Arfield, Treacey (Wallace 62); Barnes. Not used: Cisak, Long, Lafferty, Hewitt, Gilchrist.

Bookings: None.

Attendance: 16,182 (1,732 away).

Referee: Stuart Attwell.

Comments (15)

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5:34pm Sat 5 Apr 14

endean2 says...

what a shame ,nearly got a draw there!

what bad luck letting in the late goal, still I am sure its only a temporay
blip and we can iron out that little problem in no time.
what a shame ,nearly got a draw there! what bad luck letting in the late goal, still I am sure its only a temporay blip and we can iron out that little problem in no time. endean2
  • Score: -40

5:43pm Sat 5 Apr 14

LoveKeithDublin says...

A solid performance but yet again sannino makes a defensive sub with 15 to go and we concede. We lost momentum whey ranagie went off and we let them back into it. Be braver Beppe!
A solid performance but yet again sannino makes a defensive sub with 15 to go and we concede. We lost momentum whey ranagie went off and we let them back into it. Be braver Beppe! LoveKeithDublin
  • Score: 41

5:52pm Sat 5 Apr 14

neilhorn says...

endean2 wrote:
what a shame ,nearly got a draw there!

what bad luck letting in the late goal, still I am sure its only a temporay
blip and we can iron out that little problem in no time.
we did get a draw u mug
[quote][p][bold]endean2[/bold] wrote: what a shame ,nearly got a draw there! what bad luck letting in the late goal, still I am sure its only a temporay blip and we can iron out that little problem in no time.[/p][/quote]we did get a draw u mug neilhorn
  • Score: 27

6:24pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Feff says...

Will someone please tell Sannino that we play 90 minutes in England plus injury time and that bringing off strikers near the end, when winning, encourages the other team to attack. How many times does he have to be told this. Look at the number of points thrown away by this tactic. Pity. We could have made the play-offs.
Will someone please tell Sannino that we play 90 minutes in England plus injury time and that bringing off strikers near the end, when winning, encourages the other team to attack. How many times does he have to be told this. Look at the number of points thrown away by this tactic. Pity. We could have made the play-offs. Feff
  • Score: 22

6:30pm Sat 5 Apr 14

allgood says...

Feff wrote:
Will someone please tell Sannino that we play 90 minutes in England plus injury time and that bringing off strikers near the end, when winning, encourages the other team to attack. How many times does he have to be told this. Look at the number of points thrown away by this tactic. Pity. We could have made the play-offs.
It's the Italian way. We started wasting time early in the second half.
[quote][p][bold]Feff[/bold] wrote: Will someone please tell Sannino that we play 90 minutes in England plus injury time and that bringing off strikers near the end, when winning, encourages the other team to attack. How many times does he have to be told this. Look at the number of points thrown away by this tactic. Pity. We could have made the play-offs.[/p][/quote]It's the Italian way. We started wasting time early in the second half. allgood
  • Score: 11

6:32pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Man from Pinner says...

Very good game we deserved to win. Best performance from McGugan for a long time. He looked absolute quality. With Abdi and Toszer alongside him we have a middle three to fear.Trust Bottochio not to seriously hurt. Was playing well before the foul Mr Attwood missed. There again he seemed to miss a lot. Exactly why he as appointed to the game mystifies me. As part of end of game time wasting Burnley player chopped down one of ours; no booking. Faroani stumbles into a Burnley player; the only booking of the game. Poor referring from a poor ref.
However a performance from Watford that promises much for the future.
Very good game we deserved to win. Best performance from McGugan for a long time. He looked absolute quality. With Abdi and Toszer alongside him we have a middle three to fear.Trust Bottochio not to seriously hurt. Was playing well before the foul Mr Attwood missed. There again he seemed to miss a lot. Exactly why he as appointed to the game mystifies me. As part of end of game time wasting Burnley player chopped down one of ours; no booking. Faroani stumbles into a Burnley player; the only booking of the game. Poor referring from a poor ref. However a performance from Watford that promises much for the future. Man from Pinner
  • Score: 19

6:40pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Ramageland says...

Well that was pretty frustrating! Burnley were there for the taking but we kept backing off when we could have kept pressing and got a second. Much as I like Dyche, his teams aren't particularly pleasant on the eye. They work so hard that it was never going to be easy to see it out by going defensive. Thought we played quite well though and mcgugan was excellent, as were toszer, Anya and Deeney. The only problem for me is that Cassetti, Angella and Ekstand don't like being bullied and get pushed around too easily, and resort to arm waving and moaning at the ref. Man up, it's the Championship!!!!

Oh yeah, sh*t ref!
Well that was pretty frustrating! Burnley were there for the taking but we kept backing off when we could have kept pressing and got a second. Much as I like Dyche, his teams aren't particularly pleasant on the eye. They work so hard that it was never going to be easy to see it out by going defensive. Thought we played quite well though and mcgugan was excellent, as were toszer, Anya and Deeney. The only problem for me is that Cassetti, Angella and Ekstand don't like being bullied and get pushed around too easily, and resort to arm waving and moaning at the ref. Man up, it's the Championship!!!! Oh yeah, sh*t ref! Ramageland
  • Score: 4

6:49pm Sat 5 Apr 14

grahamwfc says...

surprise package for playyoffs will be Bournemouth, manged by Burnleys previous manager.I think a win today & we would still have caught Reading who have to play Bournemouth, eicester, Wigan, Middlesbrough, Doncaster & Burnley. I think we will finish 7th on 69 points, so close yet so far, today was a must win. Didn't have a problem with subbing of Ranegie personally & we kept same shape with Anya going up alongside Troy to use his pace against their sluggish back four. But for a slip after rounding the keeper and scuffing his shot it would have paid off & Beppe would have been a tactical genius I guess. such are the fine lines between success & failure,
Troy showed that he is unplayable at this level when on his game - WE NEED TO KEEP HIM. Jury out on Ranegie for me purely on his work ethic, we need Fessi back.
surprise package for playyoffs will be Bournemouth, manged by Burnleys previous manager.I think a win today & we would still have caught Reading who have to play Bournemouth, eicester, Wigan, Middlesbrough, Doncaster & Burnley. I think we will finish 7th on 69 points, so close yet so far, today was a must win. Didn't have a problem with subbing of Ranegie personally & we kept same shape with Anya going up alongside Troy to use his pace against their sluggish back four. But for a slip after rounding the keeper and scuffing his shot it would have paid off & Beppe would have been a tactical genius I guess. such are the fine lines between success & failure, Troy showed that he is unplayable at this level when on his game - WE NEED TO KEEP HIM. Jury out on Ranegie for me purely on his work ethic, we need Fessi back. grahamwfc
  • Score: 15

6:51pm Sat 5 Apr 14

The Happy Hornet says...

McGugan again cost us the game, his lazyness in going out to to close down the player with the ball has cost us several times this season. It was nice to see Abdi back, he looked off the pace, but that is to be expected considering he hasn't played a full competitive 90 minute game since August.
I do hope Battocchino's injury is not as serious as it looked as he has improved immensely since he has been given game time. Things are improving and I think we will mount a serious challenge next year if we can keep Deeney and make Tozser a permanent signing.
McGugan again cost us the game, his lazyness in going out to to close down the player with the ball has cost us several times this season. It was nice to see Abdi back, he looked off the pace, but that is to be expected considering he hasn't played a full competitive 90 minute game since August. I do hope Battocchino's injury is not as serious as it looked as he has improved immensely since he has been given game time. Things are improving and I think we will mount a serious challenge next year if we can keep Deeney and make Tozser a permanent signing. The Happy Hornet
  • Score: -42

6:52pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Poppet Bear says...

LoveKeithDublin wrote:
A solid performance but yet again sannino makes a defensive sub with 15 to go and we concede. We lost momentum whey ranagie went off and we let them back into it. Be braver Beppe!
How many times are we going to do this. Spot messing around with the team late in the game !!!!!!!!!
[quote][p][bold]LoveKeithDublin[/bold] wrote: A solid performance but yet again sannino makes a defensive sub with 15 to go and we concede. We lost momentum whey ranagie went off and we let them back into it. Be braver Beppe![/p][/quote]How many times are we going to do this. Spot messing around with the team late in the game !!!!!!!!! Poppet Bear
  • Score: 10

6:54pm Sat 5 Apr 14

grahamwfc says...

The Happy Hornet wrote:
McGugan again cost us the game, his lazyness in going out to to close down the player with the ball has cost us several times this season. It was nice to see Abdi back, he looked off the pace, but that is to be expected considering he hasn't played a full competitive 90 minute game since August.
I do hope Battocchino's injury is not as serious as it looked as he has improved immensely since he has been given game time. Things are improving and I think we will mount a serious challenge next year if we can keep Deeney and make Tozser a permanent signing.
I thought Mcgugan had a good game & lazy is certainly not an adjective to label him with today.
[quote][p][bold]The Happy Hornet[/bold] wrote: McGugan again cost us the game, his lazyness in going out to to close down the player with the ball has cost us several times this season. It was nice to see Abdi back, he looked off the pace, but that is to be expected considering he hasn't played a full competitive 90 minute game since August. I do hope Battocchino's injury is not as serious as it looked as he has improved immensely since he has been given game time. Things are improving and I think we will mount a serious challenge next year if we can keep Deeney and make Tozser a permanent signing.[/p][/quote]I thought Mcgugan had a good game & lazy is certainly not an adjective to label him with today. grahamwfc
  • Score: 51

6:58pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Bobbyhowfield says...

LoveKeithDublin wrote:
A solid performance but yet again sannino makes a defensive sub with 15 to go and we concede. We lost momentum whey ranagie went off and we let them back into it. Be braver Beppe!
Sannino moved Anya up front because Renegie wasted 3 good chances in the second half. A very good move which nearly paid off.
I don't think we sat back at all and could have got a couple more with a bit more composure.
[quote][p][bold]LoveKeithDublin[/bold] wrote: A solid performance but yet again sannino makes a defensive sub with 15 to go and we concede. We lost momentum whey ranagie went off and we let them back into it. Be braver Beppe![/p][/quote]Sannino moved Anya up front because Renegie wasted 3 good chances in the second half. A very good move which nearly paid off. I don't think we sat back at all and could have got a couple more with a bit more composure. Bobbyhowfield
  • Score: 19

11:46pm Sat 5 Apr 14

matey_from_brighton says...

grahamwfc wrote:
surprise package for playyoffs will be Bournemouth, manged by Burnleys previous manager.I think a win today & we would still have caught Reading who have to play Bournemouth, eicester, Wigan, Middlesbrough, Doncaster & Burnley. I think we will finish 7th on 69 points, so close yet so far, today was a must win. Didn't have a problem with subbing of Ranegie personally & we kept same shape with Anya going up alongside Troy to use his pace against their sluggish back four. But for a slip after rounding the keeper and scuffing his shot it would have paid off & Beppe would have been a tactical genius I guess. such are the fine lines between success & failure,
Troy showed that he is unplayable at this level when on his game - WE NEED TO KEEP HIM. Jury out on Ranegie for me purely on his work ethic, we need Fessi back.
Correct. Ranegie will not spend all game running around, getting tackles in, misplacing easy passes then running 30 yards to foul the opponent to try and get it back. However if you want someone to link up with his fellow striker and show some intelligence in possession then Ranegie is doing just that and Deeney is reaping the benefit. I like Forestieri but the difficult thing for Bepe is going to be when and where he plays him when fit.
[quote][p][bold]grahamwfc[/bold] wrote: surprise package for playyoffs will be Bournemouth, manged by Burnleys previous manager.I think a win today & we would still have caught Reading who have to play Bournemouth, eicester, Wigan, Middlesbrough, Doncaster & Burnley. I think we will finish 7th on 69 points, so close yet so far, today was a must win. Didn't have a problem with subbing of Ranegie personally & we kept same shape with Anya going up alongside Troy to use his pace against their sluggish back four. But for a slip after rounding the keeper and scuffing his shot it would have paid off & Beppe would have been a tactical genius I guess. such are the fine lines between success & failure, Troy showed that he is unplayable at this level when on his game - WE NEED TO KEEP HIM. Jury out on Ranegie for me purely on his work ethic, we need Fessi back.[/p][/quote]Correct. Ranegie will not spend all game running around, getting tackles in, misplacing easy passes then running 30 yards to foul the opponent to try and get it back. However if you want someone to link up with his fellow striker and show some intelligence in possession then Ranegie is doing just that and Deeney is reaping the benefit. I like Forestieri but the difficult thing for Bepe is going to be when and where he plays him when fit. matey_from_brighton
  • Score: 8

10:56am Sun 6 Apr 14

allgood says...

grahamwfc wrote:
The Happy Hornet wrote:
McGugan again cost us the game, his lazyness in going out to to close down the player with the ball has cost us several times this season. It was nice to see Abdi back, he looked off the pace, but that is to be expected considering he hasn't played a full competitive 90 minute game since August.
I do hope Battocchino's injury is not as serious as it looked as he has improved immensely since he has been given game time. Things are improving and I think we will mount a serious challenge next year if we can keep Deeney and make Tozser a permanent signing.
I thought Mcgugan had a good game & lazy is certainly not an adjective to label him with today.
Mcgugan had a great first half and terrible second, summed up his season.
The team is taking shape for next season no wholesale signings this time please, just a bit of tweaking.
[quote][p][bold]grahamwfc[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Happy Hornet[/bold] wrote: McGugan again cost us the game, his lazyness in going out to to close down the player with the ball has cost us several times this season. It was nice to see Abdi back, he looked off the pace, but that is to be expected considering he hasn't played a full competitive 90 minute game since August. I do hope Battocchino's injury is not as serious as it looked as he has improved immensely since he has been given game time. Things are improving and I think we will mount a serious challenge next year if we can keep Deeney and make Tozser a permanent signing.[/p][/quote]I thought Mcgugan had a good game & lazy is certainly not an adjective to label him with today.[/p][/quote]Mcgugan had a great first half and terrible second, summed up his season. The team is taking shape for next season no wholesale signings this time please, just a bit of tweaking. allgood
  • Score: 1

7:00pm Sun 6 Apr 14

Harry's Bar says...

A quality game for this level with a near full strength side. Frustrating that we couldn't have held on but after Anya's miss the equaliser was almost inevitable. Cassetti was unfortunately at fault, missing the interception. Saninno's coached in Italy for 20 years so it's hard to change but I'm not sure our defence is good enough yet to defend one goal leads. Also, Angella has got to stop thinking he's Franz Beckenbaur and just play simple passes along the deck. Still not completely convinced by Ranegie, just doesn't look fit enough. When he loses the ball he just stands there. Encouraging performance overall and if we had our shooting boots on could have won comfortably.
A quality game for this level with a near full strength side. Frustrating that we couldn't have held on but after Anya's miss the equaliser was almost inevitable. Cassetti was unfortunately at fault, missing the interception. Saninno's coached in Italy for 20 years so it's hard to change but I'm not sure our defence is good enough yet to defend one goal leads. Also, Angella has got to stop thinking he's Franz Beckenbaur and just play simple passes along the deck. Still not completely convinced by Ranegie, just doesn't look fit enough. When he loses the ball he just stands there. Encouraging performance overall and if we had our shooting boots on could have won comfortably. Harry's Bar
  • Score: -2

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