Leicester reach play-offs as Watford are relegated
Monday 06 May 1996
Leicester City ended Watford's run of six games without defeat, a 1- 0 win at Vicarage Road condemning Graham Taylor's team to relegation and hoisting City into the play-offs.
In a nervy and error-wracked game it was perhaps inevitable that Leicester City's fourth win on the trot, clinched by Mustapha Izzet's second-half goal, was secured by a defensive mistake.
Mike Whitlow's cross from the left was flicked on by Mark Robins, but it had evaded all the men in blue until Devon White's misguided header steered it across goal and into the path of the diving Izzet who nodded home.
In the first half Leicester put more passes together but Watford created the better chances. Tommy Mooney saw little of the ball but twice made openings, one from a low cross to White who underhit his shot and another from a lovely run which he finished off by shooting wide himself. Then, four minutes from the break, centre-back Steve Palmer stormed forward and sent Craig Ramage away on the right. Watford's top scorer blazed his shot over.
For Leicester Simon Grayson and Izzet opened Watford up down the right, setting up Neil Lennon whose low drive came close. But Watford kept Steve Claridge well under wraps and Kevin Miller stretched confidently when the crosses came in.
Watford never really looked dangerous in the second half, appealing for a penalty when Andy Hessenthaler went down, and Leicester always looked more likely to score the game's second goal. As Watford pushed more men forward gaps opened up and both Claridge and Robins finished weakly with just the goalkeeper to beat.
Watford's last chance came from a succession of crosses, when Emile Heskey's misguided header gave Gary Porter a chance, but his shot at full stretch went straight to the goalkeeper.
At the other end Miller made two brilliant stops, diving first at the feet of Heskey who had raced through from half-way line, and then batting out Izzet's blast from the rebound. Claridge by now had room on the right and he created a clear chance for Keith Millen, just on as a substitute, who shot wide.
At the whistle Watford fans rose to Graham Taylor. Amid the disappointment Vicarage Road acknowledged there was no more he could have done.
Goal: Izzet (59) 0-1.
Watford (3-4-1-2): Miller; Page, Palmer, Ludden; Bazeley, Porter, Hessenthaler (Millen, 77), Mooney; Ramage; White, Connolly (Moralee, 75). Substitute not used: Wilkerson.
Leicester City (4-4-2): Poole; Grayson, Watts, Walsh, Whitlow; Izzet, Lennon, Taylor, Heskey; Robins (Parker, 83), Claridge.
Referee: J Kirkby (Sheffield).
Booking: Watford: Millen.
Man of the match: Lennon.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal have no plans to stock Petr Cech inspired caps in club shops - yet
Nathaniel Clyne joins Liverpool: Transfer news live - Arda Turan decision, Petr Cech reaction, Sergio Ramos to Manchester United
Christian Benteke to Liverpool: Aston Villa striker ready to reject Tottenham
Nigel Pearson: Leicester City sack manager despite Premier League survival
Arda Turan announcement expected on Friday: Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United possible destinations
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Russian officials ban yoga because it's too much like a religious cult
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 Ginger Pride festival to take place next summer, organisers say 'time of bullying gingers is over'
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...
£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...
£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...