Yeovil and Watford stalemate

Watford earned yet another draw on their travels as their play-off ambitions were dented in a forgettable 0-0 stalemate at Yeovil.

Last Updated: 19/02/14 at 07:32 Post Comment

Joseph Edwards (left): Shoots for Yeovil against Watford

Joseph Edwards (left): Shoots for Yeovil against Watford

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The Hornets made the trip to Somerset looking to close the gap on sixth-placed Reading to six points but they created little against the rock-bottom Glovers in what was Watford's eighth draw in their last nine Sky Bet Championship away games.

And it was the home side who came closest to chalking up their first Championship double with Manuel Almunia saving from James Hayter and Joe Ralls while Joe Edwards screwed a gilt-edged chance wide in the opening 15 minutes.

Ishmael Miller was the architect of Watford's downfall in the Glovers' shock 3-0 win at Vicarage Road and he took just two minutes to trouble the Hornets' backline this time around. Edwards' ambitious shot was diverted past Almunia into the bottom corner by Miller only for the linesman's flag to cut short his celebrations.

The Nottingham Forest loanee then got the better of Joel Ekstrand twice in quick succession but he was not able to provide the killer ball into the box.

Alex Merkel was one of four changes to the Watford starting line-up and he came close to marking his return to the side with the opener. First he fired over the bar from Troy Deeney's knockdown before having his low effort into the bottom corner chalked off for offside.

Just three minutes later the golden chance of the first half fell to midfielder Edwards. After great work from Tom Lawrence down the Yeovil left the Manchester United loanee's pullback was perfectly timed but Edwards could only scuff a tame effort wide.

At the other end Yeovil goalkeeper Marek Stech made a fine stop at an awkward height to keep out Merkel's stinging close-range volley from Ikechi Anya's cross.

Both goalkeepers endured worrying moments before the break with Almunia misjudging John Lundstram's free-kick before pushing it wide for a corner while Stech was relieved to see his sliced clearance from Edwards' bobbling back-pass fly to safety rather than in the back of his net.

Three minutes after the break Almunia made a smart save low to his left to keep out Hayter's effort after he was teed up by Edwards, whose last goal came against the Hornets.

Watford, who came into this match on the back of two 1-0 wins, were offering very little going forward and allowing the Glovers half-chances to end a winless league run at Huish Park stretching back into early December.

First the impressive Lawrence cut inside and bent a curling effort across goal before Miller's cross deflected onto the roof of the net and Everton loanee Shane Duffy headed a corner tamely at the former Arsenal goalkeeper.

Lawrence again had Almunia breathing a little quicker with a long-range drive that fizzed just wide of his left-hand post but the experienced stopper was not quite as troubled by Miller's floating header in the game's next chance.

Yeovil boss Gary Johnson introduced strikers Adam Morgan and Kieffer Moore with 12 minutes remaining as they looked to cut the ever-increasing gap between themselves and survival and midfielder Ralls was next to threaten with a low free-kick that Almunia pushed to safety at his right-hand post.

With the last move of the match the Hornets almost provided a late sting in the tail when their travelling faithful thought Jamie McAllister handled substitute Davide Faraoni's cross but referee James Adcock waved his away his angry protest.

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