Watford 3-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • August 09, 2014 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/d8878

Bolton began the new season in the worst possible way, as a number of individual errors played their part in a 3-0 defeat at Watford.

Goals inside the opening 23 minutes from Troy Deeney and Matej Vydra put the Hornets in complete control of the game, before Fernando Forestieri came off the bench to complete the scoring with 10 minutes to go.

Wanderers did have chances of their own, with Lee Chung-Yong heading against a post late on, but the eight-match unbeaten away run in which they concluded last season - their best since October 2001 - comes to an end.

Dougie Freedman made two changes to the Bolton side that lost to Vitesse Arnhem last Sunday, with Lee Chung-Yong and Craig Davies taking the places of Liam Feeney and Jermaine Beckford - who both took up places on the bench.

Match referee Carl Boyeson got the new season underway and Watford should have been ahead inside the opening minute, but Deeney somehow dragged his shot wide after breaking clear of the Bolton defence.

Daniel Pudil was next to try his luck for the Hornets, but he too shot wide of the target, while Darren Pratley was denied a clean run on goal by a last-ditch challenge at the other end.

Juan Carlos Paredes almost forced Medo Kamara into heading past his own goalkeeper on the quarter-hour, moments before the home side took the lead - with 17 minutes played.

Just as he did earlier in the game, Deeney escaped the attention of both Tim Ream and Matt Mills before lofting the ball beyond an onrushing Andy Lonergan to break the deadlock for the first time this season.

Danns came close to sliding home an equaliser five minutes later, but Watford were soon back on the attack and doubled their advantage with just 24 minutes on the clock.

Vydra was too quick for Dean Moxey and, after getting away from the debutant, he eased past Ream before slotting the ball past Lonergan from close range.

Almen Abdi fired over the crossbar as Watford went in search of a third, before Mills headed a free-kick from Jay Spearing straight at Heurelho Gomes on 35 minutes - with Wanderers' first attempt on target in the game.

At the other end, Mills did just enough to prevent Deeney from getting his second of the afternoon, before Abdi brought a smart stop out of Lonergan with a stinging drive from the edge of the box - ensuring the score remained at 2-0 going into the break.

There was one change to the Wanderers side at the start of the second half, as Feeney came on in place of Pratley, and they were almost even further behind inside the opening 30 seconds, as Paredes saw a shot cannon back off the crossbar.

Ironic cheers came from the visitors' end as their side won an early corner, from which a deflected strike from Spearing flashed inches wide of Gomes' post.

There was another deflected strike moments later, this time at the other end, as Vydra's attempt rolled agonisingly wide of the target with Lonergan stranded.

Abdi came close just before the hour, before Gomes pulled off a fine save to tip a Feeney shot behind for a corner. From the resulting cross into the box, Mills rose unopposed but couldn't direct his header on target.

An injury to Moxey saw him replaced by Dorian Dervite on the hour, as a debutant came on for a debutant. He took up a central position alongside Mills in defence, with Ream moving out to the left.

An ambitious volley from Davies troubled the spectators in row Z, before Gomes pulled off the save of the game to turn Chung-Yong's curling attempt over the top.

Beckford replaced Danns in the 68th minute and should have scored with his first touch of the ball, but he couldn't bring Chung-Yong's pass under control and the chance was gone.

The former Leeds United forward was proving to be Bolton's most likely goalscorer as the game approached the final 10 minutes, but his shooting was below-par. Having wriggled away from two Watford defenders and with the goal at his mercy, Beckford's shot struck the side netting - much to the dismay of the travelling supporters behind the goal.

To make matters worse, the hosts had the ball in the net just 60 seconds later as Forestieri broke clear of the Wanderers defence, following a mistake from Dervite, and rolled a shot into the bottom corner to put the game beyond any doubt.

Gomes produced a stunning save to push a Chung-Yong header on to the post straight from the kick-off, while Dervite header over from the resulting corner. Chung-Yong had another chance to score a consolation in stoppage time, but he lost concentration at the vital moment and sliced a shot horrible wide of the target.

Defeat means Bolton have failed to win any of their opening day fixtures since returning to the Championship in 2012. Next up is a Capital One Cup first round tie against Bury, who visit the Macron Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Watford: Gomes, Tamas, Ekstrand, Angella, Paredes, Abdi, McGugan (Munari 70), Tozser, Pudil (Dyer 83), Deeney, Vydra (Forestieri 79)
Subs Not Used: Doyley, Ranegie, Bond, Hoban
Goals: Deeney 17, Vydra 23, Forestieri 80

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, McNaughton, Mills, Ream, Moxey (Dervite 60), Spearing, Kamara, Chung-Yong, Pratley (Feeney 46), Danns (Beckford 68), C Davies
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Trotter, Wheater, Wilkinson

Referee: Carl Boyeson
Attendance: 15,546

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
20 Peterborough United 3 1
21 Bristol Rovers 3 1
22 Southend United 3 0
23 Bolton Wanderers 3 -11
24 Bury 0 -12
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