Kuqi header earns Swans victory

Shefki Kuqi's early header gave Swansea an important 1-0 win at Watford which had ramifications at both ends of the Championship table.

Last Updated: 09/03/10 at 23:09 Post Comment

Kuqi: Netted the winner

Kuqi: Netted the winner

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

The former Ipswich striker had already spurned two good chances when he headed the winner at Vicarage Road as Paulo Sousa's side strengthened their hold on a play-off place.

However the visitors were indebted to a pair of goal-line clearances from skipper Alan Tate as they shut out Watford - who are now right in the thick of a battle against relegation.

Malky Mackay's side find themselves just two points above the relegation zone in a congested table and will need to make the most of the visit of doomed Peterborough on Saturday to stave off the threat of the drop into League One.

Kuqi capped a frenetic first 45 minutes in which both sides should have scored at least twice with the solitary goal as the Swans made it an incredible 23 goals conceded in 35 league games.

John Eustace had the first shot of the night but hit the roof of the stand behind the goal from 25 yards before Danny Graham saw a header cleared from off the line by Tate as Watford made a lively start.

Centre-half Martin Taylor saw a shot blocked from a deep free-kick before Craig Beattie came close to giving the Swans the lead in their first attack.

Darren Pratley flicked on a long pass and after shrugging off the attentions of Adrian Mariappa, Beattie drilled in a powerful effort which Watford's highly-rated goalkeeper Scott Loach did well to beat out at the near post.

That chance sparked Swansea into the life and Pratley then crossed for Kuqi to climb above Loach but the Finn saw his weak header crash against the base of the post.

Kuqi again should have done better minutes later when he headed an excellent cross from Cedric van der Gun straight at Loach, but did finally score at the third time of asking in the 18th minute.

Angel Rangel cut out a pass by Watford midfielder Henri Lansbury and started a lightning-quick counter attack.

Pratley found Beattie in space on the right and his fine early ball found Kuqi inside the six-yard box.

England Under-21 keeper Loach got a strong hand to his diving header but the ball found its way into the net.

Only an agile save from Dorus De Vries prevented Jon Harley from heading the home side level as the home side made a bright response and Tate made his second crucial clearance from under his own crossbar to volley Jay DeMerit's header clear before half-time.

The opening of the second period failed to live up to the first as both sides struggled to control the ball on a difficult surface.

DeMerit headed over from a long throw as the home side attempted to exert some pressure while the Swans were content to rely on their extraordinary defensive record to see out the win.

And De Vries was able to record another clean sheet after keeping out a late effort from Heidar Helguson as Sousa celebrated three more points.

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.

More Match Results

Tuesday, 16 September 2014
20:00
Bolton 3-2 Rotherham Report
Reading 3-2 Millwall Report
19:45
Birmingham 0-2 Sheff Wed Report
Blackpool 0-1 Watford  
Bournemth 1-3 Leeds Report
Brentford 0-3 Norwich Report
Cardiff 0-1 M'boro Report
Charlton 1-1 Wolves Report
Huddersfld 0-0 Wigan Report
Ipswich 2-0 Brighton Report

Sky Bet Championship

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Norwich 7 10 16
2 Watford 7 7 15
3 N Forest 6 8 14
4 Wolves 7 4 14
5 Charlton 7 3 13
6 Reading 7 1 13
7 Sheff Wed 7 3 12
8 M'boro 7 2 12
9 Ipswich 7 3 11
10 Brentford 7 0 11
11 Blackburn 6 0 10
12 Millwall 7 0 10
13 Leeds 7 -3 10
14 Derby 6 4 9
15 Bournemth 7 1 8
16 Wigan 7 1 8
17 Cardiff 7 -1 8
18 Brighton 7 -2 7
19 Rotherham 7 -4 7
20 Birmingham 7 -7 6
21 Bolton 7 -5 5
22 Huddersfld 7 -8 5
23 Blackpool 7 -7 1
24 Fulham 6 -10 1

Updated Tue, 16 Sep 2014

Footer 365

Premier League: Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez battling testicular cancer

Newcastle United winger Jonas Gutierrez has revealed he has been receiving treatment for testicular cancer.

Champions League: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits Dortmund deserved victory

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits his side were 'average' following their 2-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

Champions League: Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers praises side after Ludogorets win

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers praised his side's character as they battled to a late 2-1 win over Ludogorets.

Mail Box

Who's More Miserable - Baggies Or Mags?

There's not a lot to choose between the misery of West Brom fans and the misery of Newcastle fans. We have mails on them, 'only QPR' and lots on Man United...

Forget it, Ronaldo Won't Come Back

A varied morning mailbox, with thoughts on Ronaldo, Daley Blind = Michael Carrick, Ed Woodward redemption, stick with Pardew, QPR's name change and marbles...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property