Barnsley's 15 minutes of fame, which actually lasted the 50 days between their victory at Liverpool in February and their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Cardiff City last Saturday, might have been replaced by abject anti-climax. Instead, their performance last night was one of style and panache and it ended the personal hell of Kayode Odejayi.
This result took Barnsley out of the bottom three in the Championship, denied Watford the chance to return to the top and was memorable for an Odejayi double which trebled his league tally for the season.
"This was more important to the lads than the FA Cup because our bread and butter is to stay in this division," Simon Davey, the Barnsley manager, said. "Odejayi had the world on his shoulders and took his criticism for not taking his chances but he is a happy man now."
Odejayi's miss against Cardiff when clear on goal became a defining moment at Wembley. Last night, from a similar position after a fine through ball by Jon Macken in the 15th minute, he struck the ball horribly over the crossbar.
But in the 36th minute, after a fine cross by Macken, the striker scored from two yards out. It was his second Championship goal since September and his first in any competition since his winner against Chelsea in March.
Barnsley's second, which saw Stephen Foster head home at the far post from a corner by Diego Leon at the start of the second half, was a prelude to a spectacular goal by Odejayi in the 54th minute. Showing strength to shake off Dan Shittu and finesse to create the opening he scored with a fierce low shot from 12 yards.
Watford, for whom John-Joe O'Toole came closest when he headed against the post, made little of their territorial superiority after that and walked off at the end with the jeers ringing in their ears.
"This missed opportunity was very irritating for me," Aidy Boothroyd, the Watford manager, said.
Watford (4-4-2): Lee; Doyley, Shittu, Sadler (Kabba, 55), Bromby; McAnuff, Williamson, O'Toole, Stewart; Henderson, Ellington (Priskin, 56). Substitutes not used: Poom (gk), DeMerit, Mariappa.
Barnsley (4-4-2): Steele; Foster, Souza, Nyatanga, Van Homoet; Campbell-Ryce (Togwell, 90), Hassell, Leon, Kozluk; Odejayi (Ferenczi, 86), Macken (Coulson, 90). Substitutes not used: Letheren (gk), Butterfield.
Referee: P Armstrong (Berkshire).Reuse content