Watford took a step closer to Premier League safety with a draw against Bournemouth this afternoon after a late Jermaine Defoe goal meant they had to settle for a point.
The Hornets twice had the lead in the game at Vicarage Road, but in the end they were made to rue their lack of invention in front of goal as the cherries’ veteran striker levelled the score in stoppage time.
Watford got themselves off to a positive start and had the lead within quarter of an hour. A corner whipped into the box by Roberto Pereyra fell to the feet of Kiko Femenia on the edge of the box and his deflected effort evaded the grasp of Asmir Begovic and found the back of the net.
Femenia worked well throughout the match with Daryl Janmaat and the two combined on several occasions, but their link up play failed to provide any moments of real danger for the Bournemouth ‘keeper.
Then just before the break an intricate burst into the box from Junior Stanislas produced a moment of madness from hornets’ full back Jose Cholevas.
The Bournemouth winger took aim, forcing a fine save from Orestis Karnezis, still deputising for the absent Heurelho Gomes, before the Greek full back punched the ball out for a corner at the back post.
The referee’s assistant spotted the infringement and Josh King calmly rolled the penalty into the bottom corner, sending Karnezis the wrong way.
Watford sprung out of the traps in the second half and some fluid passing in the Bournemouth penalty area found man of the match Will Hughes with his back to goal. He rolled the ball into the path of Pereyra whose precision finish into the far corner of the net left Begovic completely flat-footed and helpless.
Watford’s ascendency continued after the goal. Janmaat in particular was industrious on the right hand side, but a lack of composure in the final third was prevalent.
Balls into the Bournemouth box rarely found a yellow shirt and in truth, Bournemouth were rarely troubled by Watford’s advances, despite mounting pressure.
It looked for all the world like Watford had the three points in the bag, but a fowl by substitute Stefano Okaka gave Bournemouth one last opportunity to lump the ball forward towards the hornets’ goal.
Some poor defending from the home side gifted an opportunity to Jermaine Defoe and the ever-clinical striking stalwart fired home to share the points.
Watford will feel disappointed not to have taken all three points from this game, but with both sides having little to play for this season, this is a result that will be inconsequential come the end of the season.
Picture Courtesy of Alan Cozzi