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Ipswich Town 0-0 Watford - Match Report
Wednesday, 10th Apr 2024 21:54

Town missed out on the chance to return to the top of the Championship following a 0-0 draw at home to Watford but are back to second in the table. The Blues came closest to scoring in the first half when Nathan Broadhead hit the post and Kieffer Moore saw a header from almost point-blank saved by Hornets keeper Daniel Bachmann but were less dominant after the break.

Town boss Kieran McKenna made four changes from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Norwich with Harry Clarke coming in at right-back, George Edmundson at right centre-half, Jack Taylor in the centre of midfield and Kayden Jackson wide on the right for Axel Tuanzebe, Luke Woolfenden, Massimo Luongo and Conor Chaplin, who are all dropped to the bench.

Watford made two changes from the side which drew 0-0 at home to Preston on Saturday with Mattie Pollock and Giorgi Chakvetadze coming in for Francisco Sierralta and Emmanuel Dennis.

Town had a chance within 14 seconds of the start, Jackson having been found just outside the area to the left and momentarily in space but his shot was blocked.

The opening spell was well contested with Watford’s first effort in the ninth minute, Yaser Asprilla trying to catch Vaclav Hladky off his line from not far inside the Town half but the Colombian international lifted the ball over the bar.

On 10, Moore headed well over from a Leif Davis free-kick on the left when the Wales international will feel he ought to have done better.

Town began to take full control and in the 15th minute Omari Hutchinson, playing in the central role behind Moore, was almost played in on goal on the right of the box following some sharp passing involving skipper Sam Morsy, Clarke and Moore.

Three minutes later, another well-worked move, Clarke having done well down the right, ended with Moore teeing-up Broadhead just outside the area but the Wales forward’s firmly-hit shot was too close to Hornets’ keeper Daniel Bachmann, who saved.

On 21, Hutchinson was sent flying by an off-the-ball bodycheck by Ryan Porteous in the centre circle as Moore ran towards the area on the left before being dispossessed. Referee Sam Barrott stopped play to allow the on-loan Chelsea man to undergo treatment and then spoke to Porteous but without giving a foul or issuing a card. Hutchinson was OK to carry on.

The Jamaica international appeared stung into action by the incident and in the 25th minute he skipped into the right of the area past two defenders before his low cross was cut out.

In the 28th minute, Morsy sent Jackson away on the right behind Porteous and the former Accrington man crossed low towards the near post from where Moore shot not too far wide.

On the half hour, the wideman was sent away again but this time his cross was too long. Town were on top but yet to create the chance which would give them the lead.

Three minutes later, Clarke was shown the game’s first yellow card for a foul on Chakvetadze just inside the Town half.

Edmundson cut out the free-kick but then his pass to Morsy gave the ball back to Watford not far outside the area and Jamal Lewis eventually looped a cross into Hladky’s hands at the far post.

In the 36th minute, Broadhead turned his man and drove towards the area before hitting a shot which again had power but was once more straight at Bachmann.

The Wales international went much closer to breaking the deadlock two minutes later when he dug out a shot from the edge of the area and beat Bachmann low to the keeper’s left but struck the inside of the post. The ball bounced agonisingly across the face of goal before being cleared.

Town were by now wholly dominant with the crowd sensing a goal might come at any time.

And the Blues threatened again on 38, a low Jackson cross from the right reaching Taylor on the edge of the box but the former Peterborough midfielder’s effort struck Broadhead in front of him with the Welshman trying desperately to get out of his way.

Three minutes later, Taylor played a free-kick to Morsy 35 yards out and the Egyptian international brought it forward before hitting a shot which was too close to Bachmann, who saved.

The Austrian keeper was forced into a much better stop on 43, somehow blocking a powerful point-blank Moore header and pushing it round the post after Clarke had stood the ball up from the right.

That was to prove the best and last chance of a half from which the Blues ought to have gone in in front having been well in charge for the most part and having had a number of good opportunities.

Broadhead will have been disappointed to have shot too close to the keeper on a couple of occasions before he hit the post, then Moore will wonder how Bachmann saved his header which looked a certain goal. At the other end, Watford had been unable to manage a shot on target.

Watford saw most of the ball in the early stages of the second half but without threatening and twice playing straight out of play. The throw-in resulting from the second wayward pass was taken quickly by Davis to Broadhead, who sent the left-back away down the flank but his cross was too close to Bachmann.

On 52, Town broke following a Hornets attack through Hutchinson but the youngster’s cross-field ball was too long. Davis retrieved it but his cross was again too close to Bachmann.

Within a minute, Broadhead sent over a cross-shot which Bachmann again claimed under his bar, the keeper stumbling a little as he did so, momentarily getting fans off their seats.

In the 55th minute Morsy scuffed wide from distance with Town starting to take control again and with the crowd upping the volume. Two minutes later, Moore was booked for a foul on Tom Dele-Bashiru on halfway.

Watford, however, continued to see more of the ball and on the hour, Asprilla struck their first shot on target from the edge of the box to the right which Hladky saved but didn’t hold, Edmundson clearing the loose ball.

On 63, following a Hornets corner, Lewis blazed deep into the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand. Town made their first three changes ahead of the goal-kick, Taylor, Jackson and Broadhead making way for Conor Chaplin, Massimo Luongo and Jeremy Sarmiento. Hutchinson moved to the right to allow Chaplin into the central role.

Following the substitutions, Watford continued to have most of the possession but without further threatening Hladky’s goal.

Porteous was shown the Hornets’ first yellow card of the evening in the 67th minute for crudely bringing down Hutchinson after the Chelsea loanee had turned away from him and was about to break away down the right.

Watford made their first change on 71, Ismael Kone coming on for Chakvetadze, before the Blues switched Moore for Ali Al-Hamadi.

The Hornets were still on top with Town unable to restore their first-half control, Kone seeing a shot blocked on the edge of the box.

On 79 the Blues were forced into another change when Edmundson went down a few minutes after first suffering a knock when fouled by Vakoun Bayo. Woolfenden took over at right centre-half.

In the 85th minute, a Morsy free-kick from the right was half-cleared to Luongo, whose volley was blocked and Sarmiento was prevented from getting in a subsequent effort before the visitors finally managed to clear.

A minute later, with the Town pressure and crowd noise increasing, Sarmiento played in Al-Hamadi on the right of the box and a Watford defender slid in to make an important block with the striker’s shot looking on target.

The fourth official’s board indicated four additional minutes with the Blues in the ascendency and looking to create the chance which would take them back to the top.

A minute into added-time, Luongo played a clever ball in for Chaplin, who left it for Morsy but the ball was just taken away from the skipper.

Watford almost won it in an extraordinary manner in the final seconds, Edo Kayembe spotting Hladky out of his goal after the Blues had lost possession and lashing a shot from beyond halfway which the keeper did very well to get back to save and palm for a corner, which was the last action of the match.

A frustrating night for the Blues, who really should have had the game sewn up by half-time having had more than enough chances. Broadhead was unfortunate with his effort against the post, while Bachmann made a superb stop from Moore.

The Hornets were an improved outfit after the break and Town, drawing 0-0 for only the third time this season, struggled to create chances. The substitutions as always saw the Blues step things up but Watford remained resolute and there were few if any clear-cut opportunities.

But a point takes Town, who host Middlesbrough at Portman Road on Saturday, back into the top two ahead of Leeds by a point and behind Leicester on goal difference, although with the Foxes having a game in hand.

Town: Hladky, Clarke, Edmundson (Woolfenden 79), Burgess, Davis, Morsy (c), Taylor (Luongo 63), Jackson (Chaplin 63), Hutchinson, Broadhead (Sarmiento 63), Moore (Al-Hamadi 71). Unused: Walton, Woolfenden, Tuanzebe, Travis, Harness.

Watford: Bachmann, Hoedt (c), Porteous, Lewis, Pollock, Chakvetadze (Kone 71), Asprilla (Ince 93), Bayo (Dennis 86), Dele-Bashiru, Kayembe, Andrews. Unused: Hamer, Sierrata, Livermore, Rajovic, Kone, Martins, Morris. Referee: Sam Barrott (West Riding). Att 28,589.

Photo: Matchday Images

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Reuser_Who added 21:59 - Apr 10
One point closer to promotion! COYB

Broadbent23 added 22:02 - Apr 10
End of season is turning into a chess match. A very frustrating game to watch on Sky. Watford 's defence was good. Unfortunately Broadhead was not sharp in front of goal. Keiffer's performance was better but not sharp enough. I think both manager's Man Utd past cancelled each other out. Hopefully we can turn it round on Saturday. Promotion still in our hands. Believe.

SoCalTownFan added 22:02 - Apr 10
Can't win 'em all.

But with 4 games left, we kind of need to win 'em all, from this point onward.

It's in our hands, thanks to the results around us. Just 4 games, that's it.

blueboy1981 added 22:02 - Apr 10
Our opportunities to take strike an advantage just are not being taken - we cannot say we haven’t had them presented to us !!

EricGatesShinpad added 22:04 - Apr 10
Frustrating but a better performance. Big save from Vlad at the death..... Just think we could have made this run in so much easier. Still, we are in the mix.... COYB !!!!

OzzyBlue added 22:04 - Apr 10
Need to take this in the grand scheme of things. We move above Leeds and it’s still in our hands. On the surface it feels and looks positive.

Think the boys look very tired after a long season and squad feels stretched. It’s also starting to feel like we expect to roll teams over after the 75th minute no. Think McKenna needs to find a way to get them fired up earlier on in the games to avoid a dependency on the late rally…

COYBs. We can do this and need to do our part to help the boys against Boro on Saturday!

Kentish_Tractor added 22:04 - Apr 10
Needed to take those chances we had in the 1st half.

Watford came to frustrate us and they did that. Credit to them - 2nd half they gave us very little. Subs uncharacteristically innefective tonight.

Just got to hope Boro come to play on Saturday and not to park the bus. Really struggling without Wes.

Still in our hands though. COYB. One last push!

delias_cheesy_flaps added 22:05 - Apr 10
A big chance to go top missed, unless Broadhead had a knock I don't see why he was subbed.
Second half was pretty abject and ponderous, maybe I'm being harsh as I've got up at 1.45am and now so pi55ed off I'm not gonna get back to sleep!
3 points and a much higher tempo performance needed on Saturday.

chepstowblue added 22:05 - Apr 10
All a bit of a shapeless mess. And a very comfortable evening for Watford. Other than for the last 15mins of the first half this was us at our worst. Slow, predictable, and lacking guile. At this rate whichever side wins one of their last four will goo up. And the recent slip ups by the top three has meant that Southampton are right back in the race. Any kind of win now is absolutely gold dust.

Bert added 22:05 - Apr 10
A much improved performance but alas the ball did not find its way into the net. A competent opposition who stifled our play and were a real threat in the second half. 4 wins will do it !

chepstowblue added 22:06 - Apr 10
*Go up*

BrettenhamBlue added 22:10 - Apr 10
Really needed the 3 points there. Anyway, we are still in the mix. Bound to be more twists and turns.

bobble added 22:11 - Apr 10
not unhappy with that and our position........all 3 teams have got the jitters will be fun finish, anybody could beat or lose to anyone...

Westy added 22:12 - Apr 10
Automatic promotion spot with four games left. I'll take it!

Saxonblue74 added 22:12 - Apr 10
All a bit jittery at the top, does nobody want this?! Would have been a great game to win, but a really bad one to lose so a point gained? Perhaps. 2nd with 4 games to go and promotion in our own hands. Anyone who wouldn't have taken that in August last year? No, I didn't think so!

Lightningboy added 22:14 - Apr 10
Nobody wants to face the VAR pantomime next season.

Seriously though,that point could be vital.


TimmyH added 22:14 - Apr 10
Well ultimately should have scored in the first half and didn't do enough in the second with Watford chewing up the first 20 minutes of that half possessing the ball so the 'bounce back ability' wasn't there tonight - last time we failed to score 2 games running was at the turn of the New Year and a bit of a 'dodgy' period.

Noticed we had a few set pieces/corners which we did very little from...would be nice for once to see Woolfie/Burgess or any of our CB's get on a header for once never mind score, gone seem the days of Beattie/Butcher/De Vos/Mowbray and the like scoring from such events.

We move on but an opportunity lost tonight for a baby step forwards - nobody wants to win now! :)

ArmaghBlue added 22:18 - Apr 10
Bottle jobs!!

Jcb2007 added 22:19 - Apr 10
Well that was lack lustre and s little boring after being spoilt with grandstand finishes. Still got to pinch ourselves. Would have liked to see Broadhead stay on the pitch.

Saxonblue74 added 22:21 - Apr 10
2 questions. Why did we insist on swinging a corner into the 6 yard box every time when Watford could deal with that all day, and why was Broadhead taken off? I'm certainly no master tactican as KmK is, but that puzzles me.

ArnieM added 22:26 - Apr 10
I’d take a draw tonight against a difficult opponent. If we Win sat then that’s 4 pts from a possible 6.

Lads are looking tired and the crowd was noticeably nervous even b4 ko tonight. But we tried. It’s easy to ding when your stomach is in your boots and your heart in your mouth is it!

We go again Sat.


EssexTractor added 22:31 - Apr 10
Alll the supporters emotions in the last 9 days, fantastic unbelievable happy crying in the streets against Southampton, bitter disappointment against Norwich, frustration and a little sadness against Watford,
With very few exceptions there are no easy matches in the Championship.
42 matches played , how many have been truly awful for the whole match..maybe Leeds away with a steamrollering attacking force..but other than that there have been moments we were have been under par, as we were this evening, but we are still second still leading scorers , four matches to go , where ever we finish this season every player should be congratulated over that whole course
Physical Tiredness has set in to certain players, and mental fortitude now has to be resolved over those 360 minutes with Suffolk and some beyond so desperate after at least 15 years of ordinariness for this special promotion to happen .
So can Kieron and Sammy inspire this squad to achieve what in the eyes of many experts in other places would have thought impossible ?
A glorious opportunity, hoping it doesn’t fade away

hyperbrit added 22:36 - Apr 10
the two weeks off are looming large these days.Amazing that they were scheduled.

warktheline added 22:37 - Apr 10
It’s the most difficult time of the season, with teams scrapping for points for various reasons. Disappointing not to have won but that said Watford are a tricky team to play against! We move on with so much to play for….a stark contrast from the Evans era!

blueboy1981 added 22:38 - Apr 10
warktheline - hope you’ve enjoyed looking for my post, to down mark the Poster again !!
If anyone else posted what I have - you wouldn’t have.
Enjoy being Pathetic !

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