Watford 0-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • November 23, 2013 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/750ec

Jermaine Beckford struck for the fifth time in six games, to give Bolton a 1-0 victory against Watford at Vicarage Road.

Beckford struck in the 27th minute, as he capitalised on a glaring effort from Hornets goalkeeper Manuel Almunia before striking the ball home from close range.

That gave Bolton a third successive away league victory, something they hadn't done since November 2008 - under the management of Gary Megson.

Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman made one change to the side that beat Millwall before the international break, with Darren Pratley coming in to replace Robert Hall. He took up the attacking midfield position, behind Beckford, while Neil Danns moved over to the right-hand side of midfield.

The opening stages of the game failed to produce any clear-cut chances for either side, although three players did enter the book inside the first 15 minutes. Javier Acuna and Marco Cassetti were booked for the hosts, while Beckford entered the referee's notebook for a late challenge on Almunia.

Aside from those early cautions, the first chance of the game had arrived on 10 minutes - as Andy Lonergan made a meal of a ball into the box. He dropped the ball straight at the feet of Fernando Forestieri, but the Hornets forward could only put the ball behind for a goal kick.

Beckford headed over the bar on the quarter-hour, after a good ball into the box by Danns, before Joel Ekstrand volleyed over the Bolton crossbar from a corner at the other end.

An acrobatic effort from Danns sailed harmlessly wide of goal as the game approached the midway stage of the first-half, and he saw another shot blocked just moments later. Inbetween those two attempts, Beckford did well to block a goalbound shot from George Thorne inside the Wanderers box.

With 27 minutes on the clock, the visitors took the lead. Almunia looked set to make a comfortable claim from Danns' cross into the Watford penalty area, but the former Arsenal goalkeeper dropped the ball straight at the feet of Beckford - who fired home from inside the six-yard box, for his fifth goal in his last six outings.

Watford went in search of an immediate reply, but Nyron Nosworthy's shot was high and wide of Lonergan's goal.

Josh McEachran shot wide in the latter stages of the half, while an Acuna free-kick almost found row Z of the home supporters, as the Trotters took their one-goal lead into the break.

The hosts made one change at the start of the second period, as substitute goalkeeper Jonathan Bond came on for Almunia - with illness being given as the reason for the swap.

The first opportunity after the restart fell the way of the Hornets, as Marco Faraoni picked out the run of Forestieri. The Argentine forward failed to get his attempt on target, however, as his shot from the right failed to trouble Lonergan.

Lonergan's first, and only, save of the afternoon arrived on the hour, as he flew to his right-hand side to palm away a stinging strike from the edge of the box.

Watford were then hit on the counter-attack and were a matter of inches away from falling two behind. Lee Chung-Yong broke clear of the Hornets defence and attempted to chip the ball over Bond, but the ball sailed narrowly over the top of the crossbar and the score remained at 1-0.

With his side struggling to get out of their own half, Freedman introduced Andre Moritz in the place of Pratley for the final 15 minutes. That chance had an instant impact, as the Brazilian playmaker picked out the run of Danns. The on-loan Leicester City midfielder's shot looked destined for the bottom corner, but for outstretched hand of Bond.

Forestieri volleyed over from a Diego Fabbrini cross, as the game entered the final 10 minutes, while Danns had another attempt deflected onto the roof of the net at the other end.

Daniel Pudil had two chances to bring the scores level in stoppage time, but he headed over the top of the crossbar before shooting wide with his second chance - as Wanderers emerged victorious for the third game in a row.

Bolton return to action next Saturday, when they hit the road again. The next stop for Freedman's side is the Riverside Stadium, where they will face Middlesbrough in what will be Aitor Karanka's first home game in charge of the club.

Watford: Almunia (Bond 46), Cassetti, Nosworthy (Fabbrini 56), Ekstrand, Faraoni, Thorne, Battocchio, McEachran, Pudil, Forestieri, Acuna (Mensah 80)
Subs Not Used: Bellerin, Iriney, Smith, O'Nein
Booked: Acuna, Cassetti

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, McNaughton, Ream, Mills, Baptiste, Chung-Yong, Spearing, Pratley (Moritz 75), Danns (Hall 90), Kamara, Beckford (Ngog 85)
Subs Not Used: Eagles, Knight, Wheater, Lee-Barrett
Booked: Beckford
Goals: Beckford 27

Referee: Brendan Malone
Attendance: 15,247

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22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
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