Aidy Boothroyd, Watford's tactically minded manager, is hoping his new weapon of mass destruction can propel his team back into the Premier League at the first attempt. Leigh Bromby, a £600,000 signing from Sheffield United last week, quickly won over the Vicarage Road faithful when his first long throw of the evening helped break Steve Kabba's 12-month goal drought.
Two goals by Tommy Smith in as many second-half minutes destroyed a Wanderers team that had booked their place in the last 16 of the FA Cup when they won 4-1 on the same ground seven days earlier.
The transformation was astounding and Bromby showed he has a cool defensive head and a good eye for a pass as well as that trademark throw-in. "Leigh has got a long throw and it creates panic," Boothroyd said. "It's like a cross, better than a corner almost. It's another weapon we've got."
Another Watford set-piece breached one of the division's best defences when Mat Sadler's corner was flicked on by Nathan Ellington and Smith got the slightest of touches to make it 2-0 on 76 minutes. Darius Henderson then headed a defence-splitting pass for Smith to score again.
Mick McCarthy, the Wolves manager, believes the promotion race will go to the wire. "Yes, because we are as all bad as each other."
Goals: Kabba (1) 1-0; Smith (76), 2-0; Smith (78), 3-0.
Watford (4-4-2): Lee; Doyley, Bromby, Mariappa, Sadler; Smith, Eustace, O'Toole, McAnuff (Ainsworth, 81); Kabba (Henderson, 69), Ellington (Bangura, 84). Substitutes not used: Stewart, Williamson.
Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2): Hennessey; Foley, Ward, R Edwards,Gray; Elliott (Kyle, 61), Henry, D Edwards, Jarvis; Ebanks-Blake, Keogh (Bothroyd, 78). Substitues not used: Stack, Breen, Potter.
Referee: L Probert (Gloucester).
Man of the match: Bromby.
Attendance: 18,082.Reuse content