Dinning the dampener for Taylor

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The Independent Football

The country's trains are on a nationwide go-slow and, as if to show it is catching, even Watford's full-steam ahead march out of the First Division hit the buffers on this wet West Midlands afternoon. Still, this game, on a slippery pitch, was played out at a speed that Railtrack would be envious of.

The country's trains are on a nationwide go-slow and, as if to show it is catching, even Watford's full-steam ahead march out of the First Division hit the buffers on this wet West Midlands afternoon. Still, this game, on a slippery pitch, was played out at a speed that Railtrack would be envious of.

This draw, lucky though it was for the visitors after they threw away a two-goal lead, preserved Watford's unbeaten status so far this season. However, there was barely a moment when Graham Taylor's men looked comfortable, while Wolves relished the difficult conditions and the chance to prove, after last week's draw with Fulham, that after a disappointing start to their campaign they can hack it with the best in their division.

Taylor's return, with his table-topping side, to his old stamping-ground was the story before this game but afterwards it was a case of how they had managed to leave Molineux even with as much as a point. Watford took the lead through Neil Cox after 33 minutes, having survived early scares when Michael Branch should have scored from close range. Nordin Wooter, out on the right, gave a short ball to Cox and the defender, cool as you like, chipped Michael Oakes from all of 25 yards.

Six minutes later, and with Wolves reorganising their defence after the loss of the Frenchman Ludovic Pollet with a gashed eyebrow, Tommy Mooney doubled the lead. Micah Hyde slipped the ball to him and Mooney made no mistake from five yards out.

With that it appeared inevitable there would be a procession but Taylor, afterwards, complained his side have not turned that sort of position into a thrashing this season. He said: "We don't know how to play from 2-0 up, we never turn it into 3-0 or 4-0 and that's happened three or four times this season. We didn't up the tempo and put our foot on the pedal."

Backing up Taylor's analysis, Wolves pulled one back within seconds of the second half starting. Paul Robinson, on as a substitute, was tugged back inside the penalty area and Kevin Muscat dispatched the spot-kick. That was the cue for further Wolves pressure and their manager, Colin Lee, was delighted with the way his side thought, as well as fought, their way back into contention.

The equaliser, although deserved, came in slightly unexpected fashion, however, as Tony Dinning fired a volley, after 75 minutes, through a crowd of players to level the match. Thereafter it was a case of Watford hanging on, with their only respite coming when Tommy Smith shot past Oakes only to see his effort hit a post.

Wolves piled forward in such a fashion that Taylor admitted that Watford had been lucky to get even a point. "We didn't deserve to be in front at half-time and didn't think we had won it then," he said. "Wolves were the better team for most of the game and there is a good argument to say they should have won."

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