Watford draw strength for trip to Liverpool

Watford 1 Fulham 1
Click to follow

So, no cup upset, just two slightly upset Cup managers. Ray Lewington and his Fulham counterpart, Chris Coleman, believed that if their players had taken their chances they could have avoided a replay. With Hameur Bouazza missing a tap-in after 68 minutes for the hosts with the tie at 1-1, and then Steed Malbranque hitting the crossbar with eight minutes remaining, they had a point.

Yet a draw suited both. For Watford, this was the rehearsal they needed before travelling to Liverpool tomorrow for the first leg of their League Cup semi-final. For Fulham, avoiding defeat before Sunday's crucial League game against West Bromwich Albion was vital.

It is no secret that Watford have raised their game against Premiership sides this season. They have one League win from the last 13 but have played Southampton and Portsmouth at home in the League Cup, winning by an aggregate of 8-2, results which did not flatter them.

Those performances bear witness to Lewington's ability to organise, but he is aware of the threat that Liverpool pose.

"Liverpool are going to come at us," he said. "They're going to score as many as they can so they don't have to worry too much about the second leg. We're going to get stuck in and have a go. That's all we can do."

Fulham had Zat Knight to thank for their goal - his first, and from a header, inevitably for someone who is 6ft 5in. Watford's reply was from the penalty spot after Bouazza was fouled and Heidar Helguson converted.

Goals: Knight (17) 0-1; Helguson (41, pen) 1-1.

Watford (4-5-1): Chamberlain; Chambers, Cox, Demerit, Darlington; Devlin (Dyer, 83), Mahon, Gunnarsson, Ardley (Webber, 67), Bouazza (McNamee, 76); Helguson. Substitutes not used: Doyley, Blizzard.

Fulham: 4-5-1: Van der Sar; Rosenior, Knight, Fontaine, Bocanegra; John, Malbranque, Legwinski (Clark, 83), Pembridge, Boa Morte; Cole. Substitutes not used: Crossley (gk), Volz, McBride, Rehman.

Referee: A D'Urso (Essex).

Booking: Fulham: Bocanegra.

Man of the Match: Helguson.

Attendance: 14,896.