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Watford held to 0-0 draw at Yeovil Town in pulsating contest at Huish Park in the Championship
Watford were unable to take full advantage of their game in hand in the Championship as they were held to a goalless draw at bottom of the table Yeovil Town.
An end to end contest at Huish Park saw a number of half-chances created but ultimately a lack of quality in the final third left both teams feeling frustrated.
The draw means the Hornets continue their encouraging resurgence that now sees them unbeaten in five league matches and having registered three consecutive clean sheets.
Beppe Sannino may well however see this as two points dropped rather than one point gained, particularly if he still holds any hopes of a late push for the play-offs.
The Watford boss made six changes to the team that started against Middlesbrough.
Three were enforced as Mathias Ranegie was handed his Hornets debut for the injured Fernando Forestieri while Joel Ekstrand returned from a knee problem to replace Lloyd Doyley who had to be taken off at half-time against Boro.
Samba Diakite was suspended after being sent off on his first Hornets start and Sean Murray dropped to the bench meaning Cristian Battocchio and Alexander Merkel joined Daniel Tozser in Watford’s midfield trio.
Ikechi Anya started ahead of Davide Faraoni at right wing-back while Manuel Almunia returned from a knock to replace Jonathan Bond in goal.
Yeovil made two changes as Joseph Ralls replaced the injured Joel Grant and James Hayter came in for Kieffer Moore who was left on the bench.
The hosts had the ball in the net within two minutes as Ishmael Miller turned in Edwards’ long range shot past Almunia from close range but the linesman had his flag raised for offside.
Miller was making his presence felt early on as he outmuscled first Ekstrand and then Marco Cassetti before having his pull-back crucially cut out by Gabriele Angella who turned the ball behind for a corner.
Merkel had Watford’s first chance of the match as Troy Deeney laid off a deep cross to the midfielder who half-volleyed over from just inside the area.
Deeney was nearly gifted a one-on-one just before the quarter-hour mark as Shane Duffy’s header back to Marek Stech fell short but the Hornets striker slipped in the mud and Stech was able to gather.
After a frantic, end-to-end start to the contest it was only after 20 minutes that the game started to settle down.
Watford enjoyed more consistent spells of possession with Anya and Daniel Pudil in particular finding space to cross out wide.
Deeney should have given Anya a one-on-one as Watford broke from a corner. Anya was sprinting through and just needed the ball into space to run on to but Deeney’s pass was carelessly underhit and cut out.
Ranegie was eager to be involved, dropping short to link up the play and his flicked header on almost put Deeney in but Yeovil’s Duffy did well to get across and clear.
Thomas Lawrence was, along with Miller, Yeovil’s most potent threat in the first half. He ran past Anya and Angella to win a free-kick which Lundstram struck at goal and Almunia had to tip over.
Lawrence was again involved in the 38th minute as he ghosted past Angella again and Almunia had to come and smother the ball to prevent the winger from getting a shot away.
Just before half-time, back-passes at both ends almost put the goalkeepers in trouble as first the ball cruelly bobbled up just as Stech was about to clear and then Pudil’s touch whizzed past Almunia and out for a Yeovil corner.
A frantic first period remained goalless at half-time.
Watford started the second half brightly but the first opportunity after the restart fell to Hayter who was put through by Lundstram and his left-footed shot forced a decent save from Almunia.
Yeovil enjoyed a strong ten-minute spell, forcing a series of corners but the Hornets were resolute and gradually began to exert some measured spells of possession.
The chances that were gushing in from all directions in the first period suddenly dried up as both teams struggled to execute a crucial final pass.
Sannino looked for some creative impetus as he brought on Murray for Merkel in the 72nd minute but the Hornets still struggled to find their rhythm.
If anything, it was Yeovil who looked the more likely to score a late winner.
Another mazy run from Lawrence lured Pudil into a foul and Lundstram again tested Almunia with a bending effort but the Hornets goalkeeper pushed the ball away.
Glovers substitute Kieffer Moore was presented with a superb chance to win it in the last ten minutes as the ball was squared to him in the box but he completely mishit his shot from eight yards out.
Davide Faraoni came on for Pudil in the 89th minute and the substitute looked to have forced left back Jamie McAllister into a handball in injury time.
The ball popped up and appeared to strike the defender’s hand but the referee was unmoved and both teams had to be content with a share of the spoils.
Yeovil Town: Stech; Ayling, Webster, Duffy, McAllister; Lundstram (Morgan, 82), Ralls, Edwards, Lawrence; Hayter (Moore, 78), Miller
Not used: Dunn, Lanzoni, Dawson, Foley, Palazuelos
Watford: Almunia; Angella, Cassetti, Ekstrand; Anya, Battocchio, Tozser, Merkel (Murray, 72), Pudil (Faraoni, 89); Deeney, Ranegie
Not used: Bond, Brown, Belkalem, Park, Hoban
Attendance: 6,042 (1,169 away)
Referee: James Adcock