Watford 4 Coventry City 0: Boothroyd flying high for return trip to Leeds

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The Independent Football

Adrian Boothroyd, Watford's talented young manager, watched his side record their sixth straight League win of the year courtesy of a match-winning performance from Ashley Young.

Yet Boothroyd can see little beyond tomorrow night's encounter against his old club, Leeds United, even though his team are hunting down Sheffield United for the second automatic promotion spot.

Watford humbled Neil Warnock's side at Bramall Lane last week and closed the gap on them to nine points with this win. An energetic performance from Young on the left wing saw him score one goal and set up two others, but it appears he, like his manager, can see no further than the game at Leeds, the club where Boothroyd was first team coach before joining Watford last March.

"The main thing was the three points, and we are pleased with what we got," said Young. "I scored and set up two, and am happy with my performance. Everybody believes that we can catch them [Sheffield United] but we are now focussed on Tuesday's game against Leeds and will hopefully get all three points."

Boothroyd inherited little when taking over from the popular Ray Lewington last year, but in less than a year he has transformed the club into one capable of returning to the Premiership after a six-year absence.

Young fired Watford ahead in the 32nd minute after converting midfielder Matthew Spring's cross, with the winger floating in the corner which Marlon King headed home for the second on 59 minutes.

Coventry were looking promising in the early stages of this contest but as the game wore on they squandered possession at almost every opportunity. The closest they came to taking anything from this encounter was in the 77th minute when substitute Kevin Thornton broke through Watford's imposing rearguard, but he dallied and Ben Foster smothered the ball.

A minute later, Watford ensured that the points were theirs. Darius Henderson exposed Coventry's fragility in defending set-pieces as he rose to head in Young's free-kick. In the 82nd minute, American defender Jay DeMerit headed the fourth after substitute Hameur Bouazza's shot was saved.

The chants of "It's just like watching Brazil" rung out around a packed Vicarage Road as the Watford supporters celebrated yet another victory.

Goals: Young (32) 1-0; King (59) 2-0; Henderson (78) 3-0; DeMerit (82) 4-0.

Watford (4-4-2): Foster; Stewart, Mackay, DeMerit, Doyley; McNamee (Bouazza, h-t), Mahon (Chambers, 61), Spring, Young; Henderson (Eagles, 79), King. Substitutes not used: Chamberlain (gk), Carlisle.

Coventry City (5-3-2): Fulop; Whing, Page, Shaw (Jorgensen, 65), Williams, Hall; Doyle, Hutchison (Morrell, 58), Wise (Thornton, 64); Adebola, McSheffrey. Substitutes not used: Ince (gk), Heath.

Referee: T Kettle (Berkshire)

Booked: Watford Henderson, Mackay; Coventry Hutchison, Whing, Page.

Man of the match: Young.

Attendance: 19,842.