Watford's 2-1 defeat at Wigan Athletic extends winless away run to 14 in all competitions

Picture: Action Images

Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport
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Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Group Sports Editor

Watford’s winless run away from home has extended to 14 matches in all competitions following this afternoon’s 2-1 defeat to Wigan Athletic.

Lewis McGugan had given the Hornets the lead in the first half only for Wigan to equalise four minutes later through Jean Beausejour.

And Martyn Waghorn’s goal just before the hour mark ensured the Golden Boys would not end their barren run on the road which sees Beppe Sannino’s men without an away win since October 5.

The result means Watford’s slim play-off hopes faded even further as they now find themselves 11 points below the top six with ten games remaining, although they do have a game in hand on many of the sides above them.

Watford made just the one change to their starting XI but it was an interesting one. Essaid Belkalem was handed his first start since October 19 at the expense of Lloyd Doyley, who was one of four centre halves on a substitutes bench which included the returning Samba Diakite.

Belkalem made a few well-time challenges and an excellent last-ditch block in the first half but Wigan also had plenty of joy down Watford’s right side, as David Faraoni struggled to cope with Beausejour and often left the Algerian international exposed.

Wigan handed former Watford defender Rob Kiernan his first start following four substitute appearances. Kiernan started at left-sided centre half in a 3-4-2-1 formation.

After a decent spell of possession from the visitors early on, Wigan had a dominant ten-minute spell where they created two excellent chances.

Faraoni failed to track the run of Beausejour, who was slipped in behind Belkalem, and Manuel Almunia needed to make an impressive stop when one-on-one.

Almunia then needed to parry away a miss-hit Beausejour cross before ex-Watford Under-18s’ captain Kiernan had a header cleared off the goal line from the resulting corner.

Waghorn also had a shot from distance comfortably saved in an opening quarter of an hour which the hosts dominated.

Watford did have a ten-minute spell of pressure where Ikechi Anya – who was again upfront – had a powerful shot deflected wide and then sent another shot over the bar. McGugan also had a 20-yard shot saved go wide.

Anya was lively and almost slipped strike partner Troy Deeney in on goal twice inside a minute.

But Wigan regained control and terrorised the Hornets’ right-hand side for a while.

Almunia was forced to save from McClean at point-blank range, the Wigan forward hit the side-netting soon after and then Belkalem made a superb last-ditch block when Waghorn reached the byline on the opposite flank.

So Watford’s goal on 36 minutes came slightly against the run of play as McGugan’s low strike nestled in the bottom corner from 15 yards out.

The advantage lasted just four minutes though as another attack down the left saw Beausejour through on goal and whilst Almunia did well to save his initial shot, the Wigan wing back headed in to the empty net for 1-1.

Wigan extended their lead just before the hour mark when a miss-hit James McArthur shot was well controlled by Waghorn and he swivelled to shoot into the bottom corner from close to the penalty spot.

The goal mouth action had reduced significant following the break and that remained the case until the final 15 minutes.

Watford chased the equaliser in the final quarter of an hour and Anya dragged wide from the edge of the area following a good run by Pudil.

The best Hornets chance of the second period also fell to Anya with six minutes remaining when he was able to hold off a Wigan defender before getting his shot away, only to see it go wide.

Battocchio almost reached a low Deeney cross in injury time and the striker thought he was set for an excellent chance himself only for the offside flag to go up.

In the end, Wigan arguably should have won the game by a greater margin when in the fifth minute of additional time the ball was laid off to McArthur but the midfielder shot wide from the edge of the area unchallenged.

Wigan have now won nine of their last ten matches in all competitions and sit fifth in the table, with a game in hand on most of the sides around them.

Wigan Athletic line-up: Al Habsi; Boyce, Ramis, Kiernan (Rogne 79); Perch, McArthur, Gomez, Beausejour; Waghorn (Collison 61), McClean (Powell 69); Fortune.

Subs not used: Carson, McManaman, Maynard, Tunnicliffe.

Watford line-up: Almunia; Belkalem (Ekstrand 72), Cassetti, Angella; Faraoni, Battocchio, Tozser, McGugan (Diakite 81), Pudil; Anya, Deeney.

Subs not used: Bond, Hoban, Neill, Doyley, Merkel.

Referee: Scott Duncan.

Attendance: 14,556 (802).

Comments (19)

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6:35pm Sat 22 Mar 14

The BestTrip2011 says...

To be fair, I didn't really expect us to get much against one of the most in-form teams in the league.
That said, having taken the lead, it's disappointing at our inability to hold onto it!
For me, Belkalem doesn't cut it.
To be fair, I didn't really expect us to get much against one of the most in-form teams in the league. That said, having taken the lead, it's disappointing at our inability to hold onto it! For me, Belkalem doesn't cut it. The BestTrip2011
  • Score: 16

6:43pm Sat 22 Mar 14

WessexLad says...

Bizarre subs. With Beausejour creating havoc down the right, according to the 3CR commentary, it should have been Doyley for Faraoni. Then, when we are chasing the game, why Diakite and not Merkel?
Bizarre subs. With Beausejour creating havoc down the right, according to the 3CR commentary, it should have been Doyley for Faraoni. Then, when we are chasing the game, why Diakite and not Merkel? WessexLad
  • Score: 16

7:18pm Sat 22 Mar 14

manc hornet says...

Much better performance than at Bolton and again Anya worked hard throughout but overall we lacked bite in front of goal. Great noise from the Hornets fans. Agree don't understand why Lloyd was not on. Good value at only fifteen quid to get in.
Much better performance than at Bolton and again Anya worked hard throughout but overall we lacked bite in front of goal. Great noise from the Hornets fans. Agree don't understand why Lloyd was not on. Good value at only fifteen quid to get in. manc hornet
  • Score: 10

7:48pm Sat 22 Mar 14

Hornet Cornet says...

Anyone fancy a cuddle?
Anyone fancy a cuddle? Hornet Cornet
  • Score: 2

8:40pm Sat 22 Mar 14

croxley46 says...

WHY Belkalem ahead of Doyley?
WHY Ekstrand instead of Doyley when Belkalem subbed?
WHY Faraone at RWB? - can't defend.
WHY didn't Merkel start?
WHY on earth put Diakite on? - I see he was booked (surprise, surprise) during his 9 mins on the pitch. Is there an agreement with 'Arry at QPR that he must play?
A new manager/coach for next season please Signor Pozzo.
WHY Belkalem ahead of Doyley? WHY Ekstrand instead of Doyley when Belkalem subbed? WHY Faraone at RWB? - can't defend. WHY didn't Merkel start? WHY on earth put Diakite on? - I see he was booked (surprise, surprise) during his 9 mins on the pitch. Is there an agreement with 'Arry at QPR that he must play? A new manager/coach for next season please Signor Pozzo. croxley46
  • Score: 8

9:38pm Sat 22 Mar 14

Hornet Cornet says...

croxley46 wrote:
WHY Belkalem ahead of Doyley?
WHY Ekstrand instead of Doyley when Belkalem subbed?
WHY Faraone at RWB? - can't defend.
WHY didn't Merkel start?
WHY on earth put Diakite on? - I see he was booked (surprise, surprise) during his 9 mins on the pitch. Is there an agreement with 'Arry at QPR that he must play?
A new manager/coach for next season please Signor Pozzo.
Interesting points.

Unfortunately, you are a donkey

HC
[quote][p][bold]croxley46[/bold] wrote: WHY Belkalem ahead of Doyley? WHY Ekstrand instead of Doyley when Belkalem subbed? WHY Faraone at RWB? - can't defend. WHY didn't Merkel start? WHY on earth put Diakite on? - I see he was booked (surprise, surprise) during his 9 mins on the pitch. Is there an agreement with 'Arry at QPR that he must play? A new manager/coach for next season please Signor Pozzo.[/p][/quote]Interesting points. Unfortunately, you are a donkey HC Hornet Cornet
  • Score: -19

10:43pm Sat 22 Mar 14

matey_from_brighton says...

I quite like Sannini BUT
Faraoni is not good enough for this level of football.
Belkalem should NOT have been in the team (although surprisingly enough he played quite well).

Hoban and Doyley should have started. What is the Hoban problem? He played a good half at home to Brighon and hasn't figured since. Anyone know? He has been unused but on the bench ever since.

McGugan gets stick, but once again is our main goal threat so until we find better (Abdi hopefully) he should get credit scoring again.

It is frustrating watching us lose by small margins but even more annoying is the knowledge that some players are being picked even though they are just not good enough.

Our good home run will probably end on Tuesday because Blackburn are better than their league position suggests and wont rollover like Blackpool and Barnsley did.

800 fans today though is decent support, so well done everyone who went.
I quite like Sannini BUT Faraoni is not good enough for this level of football. Belkalem should NOT have been in the team (although surprisingly enough he played quite well). Hoban and Doyley should have started. What is the Hoban problem? He played a good half at home to Brighon and hasn't figured since. Anyone know? He has been unused but on the bench ever since. McGugan gets stick, but once again is our main goal threat so until we find better (Abdi hopefully) he should get credit scoring again. It is frustrating watching us lose by small margins but even more annoying is the knowledge that some players are being picked even though they are just not good enough. Our good home run will probably end on Tuesday because Blackburn are better than their league position suggests and wont rollover like Blackpool and Barnsley did. 800 fans today though is decent support, so well done everyone who went. matey_from_brighton
  • Score: 7

12:33am Sun 23 Mar 14

the jesterwestport says...

7. Posts w t f where are the yellow army? Beaten by possibly best team in championship at the Mo!! Reminds me of Man utd fans nowhere to be seen now..... Hornet Paddy and always will be. Yellow army!!!!!! We could be Leeds Apr Sheffield utd Charlton Portsmouth. Luv the horns and I'm passed who cares!!!!
7. Posts w t f where are the yellow army? Beaten by possibly best team in championship at the Mo!! Reminds me of Man utd fans nowhere to be seen now..... Hornet Paddy and always will be. Yellow army!!!!!! We could be Leeds Apr Sheffield utd Charlton Portsmouth. Luv the horns and I'm passed who cares!!!! the jesterwestport
  • Score: -4

12:35am Sun 23 Mar 14

the jesterwestport says...

Pisssed I ment to say!!!!-
Pisssed I ment to say!!!!- the jesterwestport
  • Score: -5

12:49am Sun 23 Mar 14

Ron Wigg says...

To be fair I didn't expect a result against a very in form and decent Wigan team. That said, it is our awful away form why I cannot see us reaching the play offs, we have come a long way at home these past few months but I feel it is time to accept finishing in a safe mid-table position, then move forwards during the summer. I think Beppe has done an excellent job of steadying the ship and he should be truly thanked for that. It is always great to dream of play offs, but it would take something like eight wins for us to have a chance and I think this season it will be another club who finished with a strong run in.
I'm not down about today at all, I would love to see Wigan go up through the play offs, at the expense of QP Ha.
To be fair I didn't expect a result against a very in form and decent Wigan team. That said, it is our awful away form why I cannot see us reaching the play offs, we have come a long way at home these past few months but I feel it is time to accept finishing in a safe mid-table position, then move forwards during the summer. I think Beppe has done an excellent job of steadying the ship and he should be truly thanked for that. It is always great to dream of play offs, but it would take something like eight wins for us to have a chance and I think this season it will be another club who finished with a strong run in. I'm not down about today at all, I would love to see Wigan go up through the play offs, at the expense of QP Ha. Ron Wigg
  • Score: 7

11:37am Sun 23 Mar 14

Boosey says...

croxley46 wrote:
WHY Belkalem ahead of Doyley?
WHY Ekstrand instead of Doyley when Belkalem subbed?
WHY Faraone at RWB? - can't defend.
WHY didn't Merkel start?
WHY on earth put Diakite on? - I see he was booked (surprise, surprise) during his 9 mins on the pitch. Is there an agreement with 'Arry at QPR that he must play?
A new manager/coach for next season please Signor Pozzo.
Duxbury has quoted Beppe still here next season, I'll have your ticket please.
[quote][p][bold]croxley46[/bold] wrote: WHY Belkalem ahead of Doyley? WHY Ekstrand instead of Doyley when Belkalem subbed? WHY Faraone at RWB? - can't defend. WHY didn't Merkel start? WHY on earth put Diakite on? - I see he was booked (surprise, surprise) during his 9 mins on the pitch. Is there an agreement with 'Arry at QPR that he must play? A new manager/coach for next season please Signor Pozzo.[/p][/quote]Duxbury has quoted Beppe still here next season, I'll have your ticket please. Boosey
  • Score: 6

12:23pm Sun 23 Mar 14

Feff says...

Play-offs? You must be joking. The players are simply not good enough and nor is the manager/coach. This season we played pretty football under Zola and lost. Since Zola's "resignation" the results have improved, at least at home, but the football has gone back a few years, and is now like that played in Boothroyd's last season. Rogers, Mackay and, of course, Dyche were way ahead of Beppe in tactics. Sorry, he has to go along with most of the team unless we want to fight off relegation next season. Mid-table, surely, is all we can hope for with this lot.
Play-offs? You must be joking. The players are simply not good enough and nor is the manager/coach. This season we played pretty football under Zola and lost. Since Zola's "resignation" the results have improved, at least at home, but the football has gone back a few years, and is now like that played in Boothroyd's last season. Rogers, Mackay and, of course, Dyche were way ahead of Beppe in tactics. Sorry, he has to go along with most of the team unless we want to fight off relegation next season. Mid-table, surely, is all we can hope for with this lot. Feff
  • Score: -7

2:27pm Sun 23 Mar 14

Cuetip says...

A stable defense that closes the back door is crucial in going forward. Pick and mix has never been seen to work. The QPR man is more of a liability than an asset .
A stable defense that closes the back door is crucial in going forward. Pick and mix has never been seen to work. The QPR man is more of a liability than an asset . Cuetip
  • Score: 3

2:34pm Sun 23 Mar 14

mickallen57 says...

Sorry Feff these players are good enough and so is the coach .In my opinion all we need is time. It will come (success ) but these players will have to gel and Beppe had to start somewhere and he started from the back. This time next season we will be up there just like Leicester did in the top two. COYH
Sorry Feff these players are good enough and so is the coach .In my opinion all we need is time. It will come (success ) but these players will have to gel and Beppe had to start somewhere and he started from the back. This time next season we will be up there just like Leicester did in the top two. COYH mickallen57
  • Score: 5

2:42pm Sun 23 Mar 14

mickallen57 says...

Ron Wigg wrote:
To be fair I didn't expect a result against a very in form and decent Wigan team. That said, it is our awful away form why I cannot see us reaching the play offs, we have come a long way at home these past few months but I feel it is time to accept finishing in a safe mid-table position, then move forwards during the summer. I think Beppe has done an excellent job of steadying the ship and he should be truly thanked for that. It is always great to dream of play offs, but it would take something like eight wins for us to have a chance and I think this season it will be another club who finished with a strong run in.
I'm not down about today at all, I would love to see Wigan go up through the play offs, at the expense of QP Ha.
Great post Ron couldn't agree more. p.s Are you the man himself or just a fan .
[quote][p][bold]Ron Wigg[/bold] wrote: To be fair I didn't expect a result against a very in form and decent Wigan team. That said, it is our awful away form why I cannot see us reaching the play offs, we have come a long way at home these past few months but I feel it is time to accept finishing in a safe mid-table position, then move forwards during the summer. I think Beppe has done an excellent job of steadying the ship and he should be truly thanked for that. It is always great to dream of play offs, but it would take something like eight wins for us to have a chance and I think this season it will be another club who finished with a strong run in. I'm not down about today at all, I would love to see Wigan go up through the play offs, at the expense of QP Ha.[/p][/quote]Great post Ron couldn't agree more. p.s Are you the man himself or just a fan . mickallen57
  • Score: 5

4:35pm Sun 23 Mar 14

Ron Wigg says...

mickallen57 wrote:
Ron Wigg wrote:
To be fair I didn't expect a result against a very in form and decent Wigan team. That said, it is our awful away form why I cannot see us reaching the play offs, we have come a long way at home these past few months but I feel it is time to accept finishing in a safe mid-table position, then move forwards during the summer. I think Beppe has done an excellent job of steadying the ship and he should be truly thanked for that. It is always great to dream of play offs, but it would take something like eight wins for us to have a chance and I think this season it will be another club who finished with a strong run in.
I'm not down about today at all, I would love to see Wigan go up through the play offs, at the expense of QP Ha.
Great post Ron couldn't agree more. p.s Are you the man himself or just a fan .
Thanks Mick, I am just a fan. I remember Ron scoring a crucial FA Cup equalizer against Oxford. Apparently he went on to teach and coach I the USA but sadly passed away from cancer a few years ago. By all accounts he was a really good guy and much loved man.
[quote][p][bold]mickallen57[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ron Wigg[/bold] wrote: To be fair I didn't expect a result against a very in form and decent Wigan team. That said, it is our awful away form why I cannot see us reaching the play offs, we have come a long way at home these past few months but I feel it is time to accept finishing in a safe mid-table position, then move forwards during the summer. I think Beppe has done an excellent job of steadying the ship and he should be truly thanked for that. It is always great to dream of play offs, but it would take something like eight wins for us to have a chance and I think this season it will be another club who finished with a strong run in. I'm not down about today at all, I would love to see Wigan go up through the play offs, at the expense of QP Ha.[/p][/quote]Great post Ron couldn't agree more. p.s Are you the man himself or just a fan .[/p][/quote]Thanks Mick, I am just a fan. I remember Ron scoring a crucial FA Cup equalizer against Oxford. Apparently he went on to teach and coach I the USA but sadly passed away from cancer a few years ago. By all accounts he was a really good guy and much loved man. Ron Wigg
  • Score: 3

6:30pm Sun 23 Mar 14

d.j.smith says...

Went down to Wigan from Glasgow by train. Watford travelling fans FANTASTIC! Even when 2-1 down and not playing particularly well the support was amazing and can teach the moaners on here a thing or two. Deeney as always ran his socks off but he needs support. Without a second striker we never looked like scoring despite playing much better in closing 15 minutes and putting them under real pressure. Like others mystified by the non-use of Hoban
Went down to Wigan from Glasgow by train. Watford travelling fans FANTASTIC! Even when 2-1 down and not playing particularly well the support was amazing and can teach the moaners on here a thing or two. Deeney as always ran his socks off but he needs support. Without a second striker we never looked like scoring despite playing much better in closing 15 minutes and putting them under real pressure. Like others mystified by the non-use of Hoban d.j.smith
  • Score: 7

8:47pm Sun 23 Mar 14

MJ1 says...

croxley46 wrote:
WHY Belkalem ahead of Doyley?
WHY Ekstrand instead of Doyley when Belkalem subbed?
WHY Faraone at RWB? - can't defend.
WHY didn't Merkel start?
WHY on earth put Diakite on? - I see he was booked (surprise, surprise) during his 9 mins on the pitch. Is there an agreement with 'Arry at QPR that he must play?
A new manager/coach for next season please Signor Pozzo.
The answer is probably Pozzo rather than Beppe. We have a flawed model in that the owners move players to Watford in oder to give them experience and hope they will improve. So the manager's selection is compromised as it was under Zola. Hence the selection of Faraoni and Belkalem who are frankly not going to make it. And if Diakite is the answer it must have been a stupid question.
[quote][p][bold]croxley46[/bold] wrote: WHY Belkalem ahead of Doyley? WHY Ekstrand instead of Doyley when Belkalem subbed? WHY Faraone at RWB? - can't defend. WHY didn't Merkel start? WHY on earth put Diakite on? - I see he was booked (surprise, surprise) during his 9 mins on the pitch. Is there an agreement with 'Arry at QPR that he must play? A new manager/coach for next season please Signor Pozzo.[/p][/quote]The answer is probably Pozzo rather than Beppe. We have a flawed model in that the owners move players to Watford in oder to give them experience and hope they will improve. So the manager's selection is compromised as it was under Zola. Hence the selection of Faraoni and Belkalem who are frankly not going to make it. And if Diakite is the answer it must have been a stupid question. MJ1
  • Score: 4

7:20pm Mon 24 Mar 14

mickallen57 says...

Ron Wigg wrote:
mickallen57 wrote:
Ron Wigg wrote:
To be fair I didn't expect a result against a very in form and decent Wigan team. That said, it is our awful away form why I cannot see us reaching the play offs, we have come a long way at home these past few months but I feel it is time to accept finishing in a safe mid-table position, then move forwards during the summer. I think Beppe has done an excellent job of steadying the ship and he should be truly thanked for that. It is always great to dream of play offs, but it would take something like eight wins for us to have a chance and I think this season it will be another club who finished with a strong run in.
I'm not down about today at all, I would love to see Wigan go up through the play offs, at the expense of QP Ha.
Great post Ron couldn't agree more. p.s Are you the man himself or just a fan .
Thanks Mick, I am just a fan. I remember Ron scoring a crucial FA Cup equalizer against Oxford. Apparently he went on to teach and coach I the USA but sadly passed away from cancer a few years ago. By all accounts he was a really good guy and much loved man.
Hi Ron yes he was a lovely man .As kids he lived around the corner from us and every time we saw him we stopped and asked the latest news or congratulated on a goal scored. He always had time for us and had a word or two . I am sure me and my brothers must have driven him mad, but if we did he was gracious enough not to show it . Great memories thanks for stirring them up Ron. COYH
[quote][p][bold]Ron Wigg[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mickallen57[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ron Wigg[/bold] wrote: To be fair I didn't expect a result against a very in form and decent Wigan team. That said, it is our awful away form why I cannot see us reaching the play offs, we have come a long way at home these past few months but I feel it is time to accept finishing in a safe mid-table position, then move forwards during the summer. I think Beppe has done an excellent job of steadying the ship and he should be truly thanked for that. It is always great to dream of play offs, but it would take something like eight wins for us to have a chance and I think this season it will be another club who finished with a strong run in. I'm not down about today at all, I would love to see Wigan go up through the play offs, at the expense of QP Ha.[/p][/quote]Great post Ron couldn't agree more. p.s Are you the man himself or just a fan .[/p][/quote]Thanks Mick, I am just a fan. I remember Ron scoring a crucial FA Cup equalizer against Oxford. Apparently he went on to teach and coach I the USA but sadly passed away from cancer a few years ago. By all accounts he was a really good guy and much loved man.[/p][/quote]Hi Ron yes he was a lovely man .As kids he lived around the corner from us and every time we saw him we stopped and asked the latest news or congratulated on a goal scored. He always had time for us and had a word or two . I am sure me and my brothers must have driven him mad, but if we did he was gracious enough not to show it . Great memories thanks for stirring them up Ron. COYH mickallen57
  • Score: 0

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