Hot Hornets punish poor Pompey

Watford moved into the Championship play-off places after a dominant display in a 3-0 win over a depleted Portsmouth side.

Last Updated: 01/01/11 at 19:29

Graham: On target for Watford

Graham: On target for Watford

Left-back Andrew Taylor's first career goal put the Hornets on course for victory before strike pairing Marvin Sordell and Danny Graham scored in the second half.

Malky Mackay's side are up to sixth place in the table and could yet prove unlikely promotion candidates.

In contrast Steve Cotterill's visitors were without four key players due to a variety of problems and matters were made worse when Greg Halford was dismissed in added time.

Striker Dave Kitson was suspended while Liam Lawrence was ineligible as he waits to finalise a permanent move from Stoke.

Midfielders Michael Brown and Richard Hughes were also left out as a further appearance would trigger an automatic contract extension on their Premier League wages - which the club cannot afford.

Cotterill could only name four substitutes but his side came close to an opener inside 90 seconds when Dave Nugent fired over from 25 yards.

Nadir Ciftci then fired tamely at Hornets goalkeeper Scott Loach after a smart move involving Nugent and Nwankwo Kanu, before Sordell shot over the top for Watford.

Halford caused panic in the Watford defence with a huge throw-in, before he side-footed an effort wide from the edge of the penalty area.

Portsmouth goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown was called into action for the first time after a low shot from Graham before the hosts should have opened the scoring.

Taylor delivered the ball to the back post where Graham cushioned a deft header down into the path of Will Buckley.

The winger's run was perfectly timed but he couldn't keep the ball down and slashed wildly over the top.

Mackay's side were on top and deservedly took the lead through a moment of magic from Taylor in the 42nd minute.

Jordon Mutch's corner was punched away by Ashdown and Taylor watched the ball right onto his laces before smashing a perfect volley back into the top corner.

The Hornets doubled their advantage seven minutes into the second half.

Portsmouth were on the attack but lost possession cheaply and were caught with a clinical counter-attack.

Graham played the ball through to Sordell who was in on goal and made no mistake by beating Ashdown calmly.

Graham almost made it 3-0 minutes later as the porous visiting defence was opened up again but he couldn't get his shot away.

But he did find the third in the 69th minute with a carbon copy of Sordell's goal.

Kanu lost the ball in the centre circle and Mutch released Graham with a precise through ball. The former Middlesbrough man accelerated away from Ibrahima Sonko and clipped a left-footed finish past Ashdown.

Nugent headed straight at Loach in the dying seconds before Halford was dismissed.

The midfielder lunged in on Taylor and after taking offence to the defender's protests was sent-off by referee Andy D'Urso for a headbutt.

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.

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

More Match Results

Tuesday, 22 April 2014
20:00
Bolton 0-1 Leicester Report
Reading 2-0 Middlesbro' Report
Monday, 21 April 2014
17:15
Leeds 0-2 N Forest Report
15:00
Birmingham 2-4 Blackburn Report
Brighton 1-1 Blackpool Report
Burnley 2-0 Wigan Report
Derby 2-1 Barnsley Report
Ipswich 2-2 Bournemth Report
Millwall 0-0 Doncaster Report
QPR 2-1 Watford Report

Sky Bet Championship

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Leicester 44 37 96
2 Burnley 44 34 89
3 Derby 44 30 81
4 QPR 44 15 76
5 Wigan 43 15 70
6 Reading 44 12 67
7 Brighton 44 12 66
8 N Forest 44 7 65
9 Ipswich 44 6 65
10 Blackburn 44 5 64
11 Bournemth 44 -1 63
12 Watford 43 17 60
13 Middlesbro' 44 7 58
14 Bolton 44 -3 55
15 Sheff Wed 44 1 53
16 Leeds 44 -10 53
17 Huddersfld 44 -8 50
18 Charlton 43 -23 45
19 Doncaster 44 -28 44
20 Millwall 44 -29 44
21 Birmingham 43 -13 43
22 Blackpool 44 -27 43
23 Barnsley 44 -30 39
24 Yeovil 44 -26 37

Updated Wed, 23 Apr 2014

Footer 365

World Cup: Stewart Downing backs Andy Carroll to make England's squad

Stewart Downing has backed his West Ham United team-mate Andy Carroll to be named in England's World Cup squad.

Premier League: Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge eyes Chelsea return

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has confirmed that he is hoping to feature against Chelsea this weekend.

Champions League: Arjen Robben says Bayern Munich have plenty of reason for optimism

Arjen Robben believes Bayern Munich have plenty of reason for optimism despite suffering a 1-0 defeat at Real Madrid.

Mail Box

Man United Fans Excited By Van Gaal Talk

Man United fans know who they want to replace David Moyes, with Louis van Gaal the favourite to take over at Old Trafford. Plus, thoughts on Real Madrid v Bayern Munich...

Of Course People Remember How You Won

Some have said that it doesn't matter how Chelsea played as long as they won, but is that true? Plus, we've found the one chap who enjoyed Tuesday's game...

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