Football: Watford draw blank at the neighbours

Luton Town 0 Watford 0

The M1 derby - as some choose to characterise this meeting of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire - produced predictably heavy traffic last night before ending in equally predictable gridlock.

Watford, after all, are the draw specialists of the Second Division and their 14th in 26 League games leaves them on the fringes of the play-off zone. Luton, drained by recent exertions, remain second.

Watford arrived unbeaten in their past 20 games, while Luton had lost only three in their last 26. This, however, was Luton's fourth game in nine days - as a result of their enforced three-week lay-off - and they had had only two days to recover from a physically and mentally sapping 6-2 defeat in their FA Cup replay at Bolton.

For all the enthusiastic exhortations of the crowd, neither side was able to to attain any coherence. In the circumstances, the hundred or so red and yellow balloons released by the visiting fans formed something of a conversation piece as they turned Watford's left flank into an effective exclusion zone.

On the occasions when Luton's wide midfielder Des Linton managed to negotiate the bobbling hazards and cross the ball, Luton's left-back Mitchell Thomas proved dangerously capable of outjumping Watford's defence.

By and large, however, Watford's defenders performed capably, with 18- year-old Darren Ward composed and positive on his debut. At the other end, there were flickers of hope for Watford as Devon White twice broke clear of the home side's offside trap, but the Luton keeper Ian Feuer was alert to the danger.

Watford's forward prospects were diminished after 35 minutes, however, when their Republic of Ireland player David Connolly had to be replaced by Wayne Andrews.

It was not until the 56th minute that the first clear chance of the match occurred, as Graham Alexander's lay-back offered his captain, Steve Davis, a sight of goal but the defender skewed his shot wide.

Luton, nevertheless, appeared encouraged. After 62 minutes, Paul Showler's cross- cum-shot from the left troubled Miller in the Watford goal. The keeper had to react again two minutes later when Tony Thorpe, for once shrugging off Ward's attention, produced a shot on the turn which Miller did well to turn away.

Ward soon made up for that blemish, however. After the Luton substitute David Oldfield had burst past two players to set up Linton, Watford's young defender somehow managed to deflect a power drive over the bar.

Luton Town (4-4-2): Feuer; James, Davis, M Johnson, Thomas; Linton, Alexander, Hughes, Showler; Marshall (Oldfield, 61), Thorpe. Substitutes not used: Grant, Patterson.

Watford (4-4-2): Miller; Bazeley, Ward, Page, Gibbs; Slater, Palmer, R Johnson, Armstrong; White, Connolly (Andrews, 35). Substitutes not used: Easton, Noel-Williams.

Referee: M Pierce (Portsmouth).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones