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Watford end winless run after Fernando Forestieri sparks fightback against Huddersfield Town
5:11pm Saturday 29th September 2012 in Sport
Watford ended their five-game winless run with a 3-2 victory over Huddersfield Town as Troy Deeney scored the deciding goal from the penalty spot with just minutes remaining.
Huddersfield went into the contest second in the table and despite arguably their worst display of the season, led 1-0 at the break through Oliver Norwood’s free kick, which Manuel Almunia will feel he should have saved.
Fernando Forestieri was to prove the difference in the second half and he equalised with a deflected strike.
The final ten minutes were to be dramatic and once again, the Argentine-born player was in the thick of the action.
He played a part in Fitz Hall’s goal on 83 minutes and then when Alan Lee equalised less than 60 seconds later, Forestieri won the penalty which Deeney converted with three minutes of normal time remaining to secure victory.
Watford made four changes for today’s game, with Deeney, Hall and Tommie Hoban making their first starts of the season. Jonathan Hogg also returned after missing last week’s draw with Bristol City due to illness.
Nyron Nosworthy, Mark Yeates, Sean Murray and Matej Vydra made way as the Hornets started in a 3-5-2 formation.
Hoban and Hall joined Neuton in the centre of defence, Nathaniel Chalobah sat in front of them and Forestieri started up top with Deeney.
Nosworthy was left out due to a hamstring problem and Vydra had a knee injury according to the club.
Huddersfield included Jermaine Beckford in their starting XI after the Leicester City striker completed a loan move yesterday.
Neuton has struggled to adapt to English football so far and a Hudderfield attacker was put through inside the defender twice inside the first four minutes.
Hoban was making his first appearance since his debut in the final game of the 2010/11 season and was fortunate his air-kick was not punished as Beckford scuffed his shot and it was blocked for a corner.
Huddersfield almost scored from the subsequent corner as Keith Southern met the delivery and had his header saved by Manuel Almunia.
Watford looked very shaky defensively and Danny Ward soon had a shot from distance deflected wide.
But on the ball, the visitors looked comfortable and moved it well. A hopeful pass over the Huddersfield defenders resulted in Deeney out-muscling Anthony Gerrard and turning in the box. His shot was blocked for a corner and then Marco Cassetti headed Forestieri’s delivery powerfully over the bar.
Deeney started superbly and was causing real problems for the centre half. The striker released Cassetti on the right and the veteran cut on to his left foot and fired wide of the far post.
The Hornets went even closer a few minutes later when Neuton set Forestieri free as the forward beat the offside trap, cut back inside the recovering defender and curled his side agonisingly wide.
Watford were now the better side but they went behind midway through the half when Abdi was penalised and Norwood beat Almunia with a free kick from more than 30 yards. The ball was moving and Almunia got his hand to the strike but the former Arsenal goalkeeper should have stopped the long-range effort.
The number of chances reduced for a while but then there was a frantic finish to the half.
Deeney continued to be a threat but failed to trouble Alex Smithies with his next effort, a tame header from Cassetti’s cross.
The striker did almost equalise when Jack Hunt chested the ball back to his keeper, unaware Deeney was lurking behind him. Smithies just beat the 24-year-old to the ball, which then landed at the feet of Forestieri but, with the goal gaping, his touch was heavy and it was cleared.
Southern flashed a volley wide from distance shortly before the break and then Almunia had to save low to his right after Lee Novak once again became goal side of Neuton and fired a powerful shot towards the far post.
Watford started the second half brightly and had a few nearly moments, with a Cassetti cross just cleared before Deeney arrived and the striker tackled just as he was set to shoot.
The best opportunity fell to Forestieri though as Abdi mishit a cross and Chalobah glanced the ball to the Argentine, but the forward sliced his shot from ten yards wide of the goal.
It had been all Watford but Huddersfield improved slightly and minutes after he forced Almunia to punch a free kick, Norwood had a goal-bound shot blocked by Hoban.
Beckford forced Almunia to save low down but it wasn’t long before Watford scored the equaliser they arguably deserved.
Hall’s slide challenge in midfield resulted in the ball rolling to Forestieri. The forward cut on to his right foot 20 yards from goal and his shot was deflected into the far corner.
Forestieri almost grabbed a second moments later when he drove into the box, once again cut inside and smashed a rising shot over the bar.
The Argentine was the standout performer in the second half, although he should have done better after creating space inside the box as Smithies was left with a simple stop.
Forestieri was almost released when Chalobah turned well deep inside his own half and picked out the run of the forward with a 50-yard pass, only for Smithies to rush out and head clear.
Watford finally grabbed the goal their display deserved when more good work from Forestieri, saw Cassetti cross and Hall apply the finish at the far post.
But below-par Huddersfield went straight up the other end and equalised when Lee headed powerfully into the bottom corner from Novak’s cross.
Forestieri was going to the floor a little too easily for the locals liking but there certainly seemed like contact when he was brought down in the box for the deciding penalty – although his fall was exaggerated.
Deeney stepped up and converted the penalty down the middle of the goal with minutes left on the clock.
Huddersfield sent a few crosses into the Watford box but the visitors saw out the game with few problems.
Huddersfield: Smithies, Hunt, Clarke, Gerrard, Dixon; Ward, Southern, Norwood (Arfield 79), Clayton (Scannell 72); Beckford (Lee 79), Novak.
Subs: Bennett, Woods, Wallace, Spencer.
Watford: Almunia; Hoban, Hall, Neuton; Cassetti, Hogg, Chalobah (Smith 81), Abdi (Yeates 76), Pudil; Forestieri (Murray 90+1), Deeney.
Subs: Bond, Iwelumo, Forsyth, Doyley.
Referee: Gary Sutton.