Carlisle adds to Watford woes

Watford 1 - Leeds United 2

Adrian Boothroyd, freshly installed as Watford's manager, was handed a stark reminder of the task facing him at the relegation-threatened club when Leeds United, the side he left two weeks ago, consigned them to yet another defeat. The spectre of relegation looms ever larger over Vicarage Road.

Boothroyd was presented to the crowd for his first home game, secretly relishing a victory over his former club, but the anticipated effect a win could have had over the increasingly agitated supporters failed to materialise as the side slumped to their seventh defeat in eight matches.

The new man at the helm confidently declared that the club will survive to fight another year in the Championship. "If I was going to be in a fight that is the group of players I want to be with," he said. "We will get on with it this week, we will keep on going and I am convinced that we will be OK."

Boothroyd would have been pleased with the way that his players started. Just three minutes in, Heidar Helguson pounced on a defensive error by Clarke Carlisle, but the Icelandic striker's shot was well-saved by Neil Sullivan.

On 28 minutes, though, the visitors found the breakthrough. The midfielder Sean Gregan supplied the cross for Rob Hulse. The Leeds striker stole in front of Danny Cullip before nodding a looping header over Richard Lee in the Watford goal. Just as it looked like Leeds would have the advantage going into the break, Helguson popped up on 41 minutes to put his header past Sullivan after the midfielder Brynjar Gunnarsson's shot was parried.

Watford came out for the second half looking jaded and on 52 minutes they were dealt a severe blow as their American defender Jay DeMerit was sent off for his second bookable offence. It would now be a test of how much, with the odds stacked against them, Watford wanted what would have been just their second win in 11 games.

It was the visitors who flickered sporadically, with Rub Hulse blazing his 58th-minute drive wide as Leeds looked to make their one-man advantage tell. Nine minutes later Watford's resolve was finally broken. Matthew Kilgallon swung over a fine cross, and Carlisle rose highest to power his header home.

Watford looked dispirited following that blow and Boothroyd, the former Leeds first team coach, used all his substitutions as the relegation-threatened side desperately looked for a way back into the game. However, it was never to materialise.

Blackwell said: "I really feel for Adrian, but it is my job to look after Leeds United and I asked my players not to give Watford the lift that they needed. I am proud of the way that they have turned the season around."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory