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Watford lose to injury time goal for second consecutive game after Jordan Rhodes hits Blackburn Rovers' winner
Watford lost due to an injury-time goal for the second consecutive game after Jordon Rhodes’ late strike handed Blackburn Rovers all three points at Ewood Park.
It was a game of very few clear-cut chances and the balance of play was pretty even for most of the contest.
Colin Kazim-Richards missed a second-half penalty and it looked as though the Hornets were set to secure a well-earned point until Rhodes struck the winner in the second minute of injury time.
Watford made four changes this afternoon as Jean-Alain Fanchone made his debut in place of the suspended Daniel Pudil, Connor Smith started due to Nathaniel Chalobah’s red card on Tuesday night and forwards Troy Deeney and Fernando Forestieri replaced Matej Vydra and Alex Geijo.
Blackburn were on the front foot to begin with and had a couple of corners but Watford started the contest reasonably themselves and enjoyed a few attacks of their own.
The first real opportunity came around a quarter of an hour into the contest when Morten Gamst Pedersen picked out Grant Hanley at the far post and with Manuel Almunia out of position, the defender may have scored had Tommie Hoban not headed the ball away in time. Pedersen fired over soon after.
Forestieri was picking the ball up in dangerous areas and he was the first player to test Paul Robinson with a low drive which the former England keeper comfortably held.
There were no clear-cut chances in the opening half an hour; the next decent effort was a 35-yard strike from Jason Lowe and that was quickly followed by an in-swinging free kick from Pedersen, both of which Almunia held with ease.
Blackburn started to take control of the game and Hoban needed to block again when Pedersen had a shot towards goal after Fanchone was beaten in the air by Bradley Orr.
Rovers were creating decent openings but they were often amounting to nothing, such as when Colin Kazim-Richards sent a dangerous delivery across the face of the goal but none of his team-mates were able to provide the final touch.
Watford enjoyed a positive spell with around ten minutes of the first half left to play. After a period of Hornets possession, a wayward clearance from the home side was intercepted by Fanchone and his right-footed effort from 20 yards was deflected wide. Yeates also had a free kick blocked.
There were again very few chances created at the beginning of the second half. Watford should have tested Robinson when great work from Fitz Hall on the left saw him tee up Hoban but the defender could not make contact with his flick from close range.
Fanchone was not afraid to take on the defenders and after bursting into the box, he hit the side netting with a powerful strike from 12 yards.
Blackburn then had a couple of efforts in quick succession but on both occasions they did not trouble Almunia. First Kazim-Richards headed straight at the goalkeeper and then Martin Olsson’s lovely delivery was headed over by Rhodes.
Fanchone had a solid debut and he was next to try his luck; sending a free kick narrowly wide.
It looked as though the visitors were set to go behind after conceding a penalty for handball for the second game running. Once again it was for a goal-bound strike which seemed to hit the arm of a Watford player but this time, after arguing over who would take it, Kazim-Richards slipped as he struck the ball and it rebounded off the crossbar.
Watford made a couple of changes and one of them, Cristian Battocchio, slipped in Deeney following a counter-attack and the striker may have scored had Scott Dann not made a last-ditch challenge.
Both sides were searching for a winner and Blackburn sent in a few dangerous crosses but it looked like it was heading for a draw.
But in the second minute of injury time, a shot from outside the box was controlled by Rhodes ten yards out and the striker showed quick feet before powerfully firing a shot into the bottom corner to hand Blackburn three points.
Blackburn: Robinson; Orr, Dann, G Hanley, Givet (Olsson 56); Kazim-Richards, Lowe, Etuhu, Pedersen (Gomes 78); Rochina; Rhodes.
Subs: Kean, Formica, Murphy, R Hanley, Rosado.
Watford: Almunia; Hoban, Hall, Doyley; Cassetti,Yeates (Battochio 81), Hogg, Smith, Fanchone (Ekstrand 74); Forestieri (Geijo 85), Deeney.
Subs: Bond, Murray, Vydra, Anya.
Referee: Carl Boyeson.
Attendance: 13,233 (584).