Watford 0 Scunthorpe United 1: Boothroyd determined to salvage play-off spot

If there is one thing you can depend on in the Championship it is that it will nearly always provide one more chance. At Vicarage Road relegated Scunthorpe out-played a Watford side who, despite one win in 13 games, remain in control of their own destiny.

"We've got more lives than a cat," the Watford manager, Aidy Boothroyd, said. "The problem with that is eventually they run out and you have to take responsibility for your own life and your own future. We're afraid at the moment and when you're afraid you have a choice to stand and fight or run. We have to stand and fight."

A victory at Blackpool in their final game on Sunday, will confirm Watford's participation in the play-offs and keep alive the possibility of a return to the Premier League, after relegation last season, which Boothroyd says will the "greatest achievement" of his managerial career.

He believes his players have the stomach for the fight but there was no evidence of this on Saturday. Scunthorpe could have been three up by the time they took the lead with a smartly-worked goal in the 69th minute. Paul Hayes met Jonathan Forte's cross with a firm header to set up a victory which moved his side on to 45 points, a total which would have seen them survive last season.

Watford's Jay DeMerit said his manager retained the support of the dressing room. "We're behind the manager; we have to be," he said. "As players, whether we agree with his decisions or not, ultimately he makes the decisions and that's football. We all take that on board and that sometimes he doesn't make the right decisions – and he's usually man enough to admit it. Then you move forward and that's what it's about."

Instead of doing the lap of honour that usually marks the last home game of the season, Boothroyd and his men left the pitch to boos. They will look for a chance – in the play-offs – to make amends with their supporters. This being the Championship, they are likely to get it.

Goal: Hayes (69) 0-1.

Watford (4-4-2): Lee; Doyley, DeMerit, Shittu, Stewart; Smith, Eustace, O'Toole, McAnuff (Ellington, 61); Henderson (Ainsworth, 61), Priskin. Substitutes not used: Poom (gk), Williamson, Mariappa.

Scunthorpe United (4-4-2): Murphy; Byrne, Iriekpen, Butler, Williams; Forte (Winn, 88), Cork, Morris, Hurst (Sparrow, 45); Hayes (Weston, 89), May. Substitutes not used: Wright, Picton.

Referee: A D'Urso (Essex).

Booked: Watford Doyley, Priskin; Scunthorpe Morris.

Man of the match: Morris.

Attendance: 16,454.

In the frame for promotion

* CHAMPIONSHIP Stoke, West Brom, Hull and Bristol City are guaranteed at least a play-off spot.

* LEAGUE ONE Swansea win title. Doncaster, Nottm Forest and Carlisle guaranteed play-off spot and could secure automatic promotion, as could Leeds pending outcome of a legal challenge. Southend also in play-offs.

* LEAGUE TWO MK Dons win title. Peterborough and Hereford are promoted. Rochdale, Stockport, Darlington and Wycombe in the play-offs.

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
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable