Royals easily beaten at Watford
24th April 2010
The Royals went down to a heavy defeat at Watford, who ensured their Championship status for another season. With nothing riding on these final two games, Brian McDermott promised his side would still be competing for everything but that was not the case as we were easily beaten.
With Matt Mills returning from suspension, Alex Pearce dropped to the bench and Shane Long also returned to the starting 11 with Simon Church missing out. It was Long who was involved in the most controversial moment in the first half when he was clearly pulled down in the area but referee Kevin Friend somehow waved play on.
Only a couple of minutes after that, just after the half hour, Watford took the lead when a long throw eventually sat up for Danny Graham to head home. The former Carlisle striker hit the post as well before half time and the Royals looked out of sorts.
Any team talk Brian McDermott would have given at the break was out of the window when Hiedar Helguson turned on the edge of the area and smashed the ball into the net. Long had missed his clearance to allow the on loan striker to score.
Before the hour it was all over, Andy Griffin made possibly his only mistake since he joined the club and allowed Graham to smash the ball into the bottom corner. A great finish, but Griffin had let the ball bounce more than once when he should have cleared. Hard to criticise him after everything he has done since he joined but a poor goal to concede none the less.
Simon Church came off the bench and struck the outside of the post but we rarely threatened the Watford goal and I cannot remember Scott Loach having a save to make. It was a poor end to our 'away` season and hopefully things will improve when we face Preston in our last game next Sunday.