West Bromwich 1 Watford 1: Bromby prevents Albion breaking free

It seems to be the collective will of all the Championship promotion contenders to take the race for places in the Premier League down to the wire. Back in front, on goal difference, after snatching a victory at Blackpool in midweek, Albion knew they could consolidate by winning yesterday's tea-time fixture against faltering Watford yet could manage only a point, coming from behind.

It means Stoke, having claimed pole position by winning at Coventry, stay in front by a point from Tony Mowbray's side, who can take the lead again if they get at least a draw from what promises to be a feverish Black Country derby against Wolves at Molineux on Tuesday.

Watford, extraordinarily, remain in the race despite managing only one win in the last 11 matches. Their manager, Aidy Boothroyd, who was booed after watching his side fall to an embarrassing 3-0 home defeat against Barnsley in midweek, was unsurprisingly upbeat. "Three points off the top with three games to go – if you had given me that at the start of the season, I'd have taken it," he said.

With the restoration of Kevin Phillips to the starting line-up after his two-goal intervention from the bench at Blackpool, Albion fans expected to see their team's handsome goals tally – 102 in all competitions at kick-off – boosted further. Instead, their other, less useful habit of conceding early proved costly.

"They are hard to break down and with our custom of giving the opposition a goal start, we made it difficult for ourselves," Mowbray said. Watford grabbed the lead in the sixth minute. Dean Kiely made a good save to repel John-Joe O'Toole's header from Jobi McAnuff's corner, but could do nothing to stop the unmarked defender Leigh Bromby from sweeping home the loose ball for his first Watford goal.

Thereafter, Watford had easily the busier defence as Robert Koren and Jonathan Greening dominated midfield. Yet until Neil Clement hit the bar with a sharply dipping free-kick in first-half stoppage time it had been Watford who were closest to scoring the contest's second goal, Kiely reacting well to push away Tamas Priskin's header.

Albion retained their composure and, within three minutes of the restart, equalised. Generously awarded a free-kick when John Eustace, just outside the Watford penalty area, was judged to have fouled Koren, they seized their chance as Leon Barnett stole in to nod Zoltan Gera's cross past Richard Lee. Albion had the better chances thereafter and substitute Roman Bednar had a goal ruled out by a questionable offside flag.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn