Sunday, May 12, 2013

Having missed out on automatic promotion the week previously and trailing 1-0 after the first leg of their play-off semi-final, Watford arrived at Vicarage Road knowing they had to beat Leicester City by two goals to reach Wembley and get another shot at securing their elevation to the Premier League.

The way in which the Hornets got back on aggregate terms in the 15th minute was sensational enough; Marco Cassetti lofting a curled through ball into the penalty area for Matej Vydra to crack a stunning left-footed volley beyond Kasper Schmeichel and into the far corner of the net.

Within four minutes though, the Foxes had the upper hand again as David Nugent capitalised on Watford's inability to deal with a set piece as he nodded in the equaliser from a corner.

Sensing the need to up the attacking ante, Gianfranco Zola replaced Lloyd Doyley with Fernando Forestieri in the 65th minute and switched to three up front. Within moments, the hosts were again level on aggregate as Vydra played a one-two with Troy Deeney before slotting home.

Deeney had a goal ruled out for offside with 12 minutes remaining but extra-time looked increasingly inevitable until the sixth minute of injury time when Anthony Knockaert went down in the penalty area following minimal contact from Cassetti.

And then within the space of 22 of the most remarkable seconds in English football history, this happened...