PNE and Hornets share the spoils

Watford edged a point closer to safety with a 1-1 draw at Preston, but will be disappointed not to have beaten a lacklustre North End.

Last Updated: 03/04/10 at 17:56 Post Comment

Buckley: Netted his first goal for the Hornets

Buckley: Netted his first goal for the Hornets

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Will Buckley's first goal for the Hornets gave Malky Mackay's men a deserved lead at the break, but the home side improved in the second period and skipper Callum Davidson evened proceedings.

Crystal Palace's draw with Middlesbrough means Watford remain a point above the drop zone despite winning just once in their last 11 outings.

After a dour opening, the home side had their first chance in the 17th minute when Paul Coutts lifted a measured ball over the Watford defence to release overlapping full-back Billy Jones. His attempted cut-back was deflected onto the outside of the post by Jon Harley.

Waford failed to fully clear the resulting corner and when the ball returned to the area Jon Parkin volleyed narrowly wide.

It was from the aftermath of another set piece that Watford nearly opened the scoring.

Harley collected possession after a Tom Cleverley corner had been cleared, and his raking ball to the back post found Buckley whose nod back was headed over by Martin Taylor.

Watford were becoming calmer in possession as their dead ball work continued to cause Preston problems. A half-clearance was collected by Cleverley who fizzed the ball towards the far post where Harley stabbed goalwards and Andy Lonergan saved excellently.

Buckley had a penalty claim rejected and received a yellow card for simulation in the 30th minute after going down under St Ledger's challenge, but the impressive former Rochdale winger cut a happier figure five minutes later.

Adrian Mariappa's ball forward was nodded down by Heidar Helguson to Buckley who this time skipped past St Ledger before lashing across Lonergan into the top corner.

At half-time Preston replaced the disappointing Parkin with Neil Mellor, but it was on-loan Manchester United midfielder Matthew James who helped them establish the greater control of possession that led to a 53rd minute.

Keith Treacy, on for the injured Chris Sedgwick, found space on the right wing and crossed for Davidson to head home at the far post.

Watford responded to draw the save of the match from Lonergan in the 64th minute.

John Eustace's diving header from Henri Lansbury's arching cross appeared to have gone beyond the North End keeper, but he somehow scooped the ball to safety with his right glove before pouncing gratefully upon it.

The Hornets piled forward in search of a vital win, peppering the Preston penalty area, but James' searching cross field ball found Ross Wallace on the counter attack with 15 minutes remaining and the Scot squared to Mellor who fizzed a 20 yard effort narrowly over.

Lansbury departed after a crunching challenge from Treacy with five minutes remaining and from the resultant free-kick substitute Danny Graham bundled home Helguson's knock down, but the linesman's flag was raised.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Jose Mourinho: Cesc Fabregas not in PFA team 'strange'

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says it is 'strange' that the PFA Team of the Year has no place for Cesc Fabregas.

Chelsea captain John Terry: We are definitely not boring

Chelsea captain John Terry claims that nobody will remember their defensive performances in the title run-in.

Javier Hernandez is hard to drop on current form, says Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti admits Javier Hernandez's starting position is non-negotiable given his current form.

Mail Box

Mail From Fan Who Craves Relegation...

In this case it's a Sunderland fan who just wants to see a clear-out. We also have mails about Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton. It's long and it's sexy...

Is This What Arsenal Fans Feel Like?

'It's all well with the short and pretty passes, but we did absolute f*** all up front,' writes one Man United fan. We have mails on Chelsea, Brendan Rodgers and...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company