It’s not often a celebration is a bigger talking point than two goals but Lloyd Dyer’s reaction when he opened the scoring during Watford’s 2-0 win at Rotherham United was intriguing and, if you’re a Hornets fan, a little worrying.
The winger, who was a second half substitute, lashed home from close range to put the Golden Boys ahead in the 74th minute.
Instead of celebrating with the supporters, he ran halfway across the pitch before yelling at the Watford bench, presumably at head coach Beppe Sannino.
Gianni Munari struck late on to complete the win but Dyer’s celebration suggests all is not right in the Hornets dressing room.
There were five changes to the Watford side which started at Norwich City and Watford lined up in a 4-4-2 formation.
Tommie Hoban, who was deployed at left-back, came in for the suspended Joel Ekstrand. Right-back Juan Carlos Parades and central defenders Gabriel Tamas and Gabriele Angella completed the defence.
Ikechi Anya, Munari, Keith Andrews and Diego Fabbini made up the midfield. They replaced Daniel Pudil, Almen Abdi, Daniel Tozser and Lewis McGugan.
Troy Deeney and Matej Vydra led the Hornets attack for the third league game in succession.
Rotherham started brightly. Alex Revell fired wide for the hosts before Ben Pringle curled an effort into the arms of Heurelho Gomes after Paredes lost possession 20 yards from goal.
Watford relied on counter attacking in the opening stages but had little to show for their efforts bar one Vydra free kick which comfortably cleared the crossbar.
The Hornets began to control possession as the opening period progressed but struggled to break down the Millers’ defence.
But Watford felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the 25th minute. Deeney chased down a headed back pass and knocked the ball past the onrushing Adam Collin.
The goalkeeper didn’t connect with the ball and Deeney went to ground. However, referee David Webb allowed play to continue and the Millers cleared.
The hosts’ best chance of the first half came via Pringle. The winger cut in onto his left football and fired towards goal. Gomes was alert and pushed the ball wide. Craig Morgan headed over the crossbar from the resultant corner.
On several occasions Sannino’s side ventured into promising positions only for attacks to break down.
Vydra and Anya were both wasteful with final passes which would’ve created clear chances for the visitors.
Rotherham twice came close towards the end of the half. Paul Taylor whipped a shot over the crossbar and Lee Frecklington had a shot deflected narrowly wide by Gomes.
At the start of the second period, the home side created an opportunity to break the deadlock. Clever footwork from Pringle allowed him space to pick out Taylor. The winger had drifted into the penalty area but his shot from 15 yards was well over.
The central midfield partnership of Andrews and Munari was solid but neither are creative players and that meant Deeney and Vydra lacked service.
The Czech Repulic international was replaced by Odion Ighalo on the hour mark and the Nigerian had the ball in the net inside a minute. However, poor judgement from the striker meant he was well offside when Anya crossed.
Chances were sparse throughout the second period. Munari thrashed a shot well over and Taylor curled over a free kick from the edge of the Watford area after Tamas had been cautioned for fouling Michael Tidser.
Watford had rarely tested Millers goalkeeper Collin but his first meaningful save of the contest led to Watford going ahead.
Deeney’s flick on was collected by Igaho whose deflected shot was only parried by Collins. Dyer, who’d replaced Fabbrini in the 65th minute, pounced and fired into the roof of the net.
He then began to celebrate and vent his anger at the same time.
Rotherham looked to hit back immediately and substitute John Swift came close. The Chelsea loanee collected the ball on the edge of the area and his strike landed on the roof of the net.
Igahlo felt he should’ve had a penalty after tumbling in the area and Deeney had a deflected shot saved.
With three minutes remaining, Watford secured victory. Hoban cleverly jinked his way past Broadfoot and crossed low into the six yard box. Munari was left unmarked and the Italian had the easiest of finishes.
Rotherham attempted to fight back and Taylor sent a half volley over from close range. However, the Millers were beaten.
It was an effective display from the Hornets. They weren’t at their fluent best and didn’t control possession but it’s an elusive away win, only their second since last October.
And that will send the travelling Watford supporters home happy. But are the players?
Rotherham United: Collin, Broadfoot, Morgan, Arnason, Skarz; Smallwood, Green (Tidser 64); Taylor, Frecklington (Swift 76), Pringle (Derbyshire 76); Revell.
Rotherham United substitutes not used: Loach, Wood, Bowery, Newton, Derbyshire.
Watford: Gomes; Paredes, Angella, Tamas, Hoban; Anya (Tozser 79), Andrews, Munari, Fabbrini (Dyer 65); Deeney, Vydra (Ighalo 60).
Watford substitutes not used: Bond, Forestieri, Doyley, Abdi.
Attendance: 9,361 (1.088)