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Last Updated: Monday, 2 October 2006, 20:54 GMT 21:54 UK
Watford 3-3 Fulham
By Dan Warren

Marlon King (bottom) celebrates with Ashley Young
Ashley Young (top) netted a dramatic late equaliser for Watford
Ashley Young's dramatic late volley salvaged a point for Watford after an extraordinary climax at Vicarage Road.

Marlon King's first-half shot put the Hornets ahead and Young netted just 15 seconds after the break to make it 2-0.

But Brian McBride volleyed a smart goal on 70 minutes, then former Watford striker Heidar Helguson headed Fulham level with seven minutes to go.

Damien Francis' own goal seemed set to give Fulham the points, but Young had the final say with a fine finish.

The result left Watford 19th in the table and still without a Premiership win in seven matches.

But they will be relieved to have escaped with a point - after having seemingly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in a remarkable finish.

A scrappy opening offered little sign of the drama to come.

Bouazza had an early shot parried by Antti Niemi while at the other end, Moritz Volz shot rashly wide with only Watford keeper Ben Foster to beat as he raced clear.

But midway through the half, King broke the deadlock with his 100th career goal.

Heidar Helguson
Heidar Helguson headed Fulham level late on
The former Nottingham Forest striker beat the offside trap to latch on to an astute pass from Young and just held his balance to fire home right-footed.

Fulham responded with Michael Brown's 25-yarder which was deflected just over, while Bouazza almost extended the home side's lead with a low shot which trickled just wide.

The Cottagers were sent out early for the second half by Chris Coleman - but the ploy did not work as Watford doubled their lead with their first attack after the restart.

Young was perfectly placed at the far post to convert Bouazza's perfect low cross from the left to double Watford's lead.

Foster saved well from Helguson on the hour mark as Fulham looked to come back.

But the Hornets keeper was beaten 11 minutes later, as substitute McBride showed great technique to volley home with 19 minutes remaining.

The goal put Watford on edge and the home fans were grateful when Foster's indecision under the high ball with nine minutes remaining was not punished further.

But Watford's hopes of holding out were dashed two minutes later when former fans' favourite Helguson leapt to head home Tomasz Radzinski's cross.

Things soon got worse for Watford.

An ugly goalmouth scramble just four minutes from time ended with Francis prodding into his own net under pressure from Helguson.

But the Hornets had the final say with Young showing great control and technique to volley home with just over one minute of normal time remaining.


  • Watford boss Adrian Boothroyd:
    "We're that keen to get it that that we get on the back foot rather than on the front foot.

    "At 2-0 up, we had a great start to the second half and I would fully expect us to go and win that game comfortably.

    "But full credit to Fulham for coming back - and full credit to us for coming back. But I am disappointed."

  • Fulham manager Chris Coleman:
    "I'm sure both sets of players are disappointed, but our character after the break was great.

    "We clawed our way back into it and for long periods there was only us in it.

    "It's difficult coming here, they play long balls and we did well to stand up to it. I thought we were fantastic and the boys who came on did really well."


    Watford: Foster, DeMerit, Shittu, Mackay, Stewart, Young, Mahon, Francis (Henderson 89), Bouazza, King, Smith (Spring 76).
    Subs Not Used: Lee, Doyley, Jarrett.

    Booked: Mahon.

    Goals: King 23, Young 46, 89.

    Fulham: Niemi, Rosenior, Knight, Pearce, Queudrue, Volz (Radzinski 62), Diop, Brown, Bocanegra (Routledge 53), Helguson, John (McBride 59).
    Subs Not Used: Lastuvka, Claus Jensen.

    Booked: Helguson, Pearce, Radzinski.

    Goals: McBride 71, Helguson 83, Francis 87 og.

    Att: 17,982

    Ref: M Riley (W Yorkshire).



    SEE ALSO
    Monday's football photos
    02 Oct 06 |  Football


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