Hornets 'at their worst' outfoxed

Watford 1 Leicester City 2
Click to follow
The Independent Football

Watford's very existence has sometimes been in question but at least the question now is whether they can stay in the chase for Premiership status and so secure their future for a lot longer than some people expected.

Despite injuries, the Hornets have picked up a healthy quota of early-season points, which was just as well because their manager, Adrian Boothroyd, admitted afterwards: "This was our worst performance."

Much of Watford's early work made the fact that they conceded after 29 minutes seem strange. Paul Devlin had probed and encouraged from midfield, and it seemed that the Foxes were in for an afternoon of long, rearguard struggle.

Ashley Young came close to breaking the deadlock after racing through Leicester's ranks and beating Rab Douglas, only to see his shot cleared off the line by Dion Dublin.

The visitors had not often attacked in numbers, but when Momo Sylla played a ball on to Stephen Hughes, who nodded on to Mark de Vries, the Dutchman headed in at the far post.

Watford's equaliser came quickly and brought colour to a previously abstract game. Dublin was guilty of giving the 49th-minute goal away when failing to control a high bounce, Young nipped past and struck a fine shot beyond Douglas.

Only a minute later Leicester forced a corner. Sylla floated it directly on to the head of Patrick Kisnorbo and the Foxes were back in the lead.

To their credit Leicester attempted to consolidate that advantage by slowing the pace and knocking the ball around more accurately than Watford, whose game lost what little shape it had contained in the early stages. Those early-season points will soon need reinforcement.