Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
Last Updated: Saturday, 21 April 2007, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Watford 1-1 Man City
By Chris Bevan

A dejected Watford fan after his side were relegated from the Premiership
A point was not enough to keep Watford up
Watford became the first team to be relegated from the Premiership this season after drawing with Manchester City at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets knew they needed victory to keep alive their slim survival hopes but could not break City down early on.

City were gifted the lead when Ben Foster made a hash of a clearance and let Darius Vassell curl the ball home.

Tamas Priskin drilled home an equaliser and Marlon King could have won it for Watford but he headed wide late on.

It means Aidy Boothroyd's side will be back in the Championship next season after a single season in the top flight.


This performance was typical of their displays this campaign after winning the play-off final in Cardiff last year.

The Hornets were full of huff and puff but their direct style did not create enough real openings to get the goals they needed - and that lack of cutting edge has been their downfall.

Not that City were making things too difficult for them.

City goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson was having an off-day and he almost handed the Hornets the lead when his punch from Hameur Bouazza's corner fell for Gavin Mahon, who headed wide.

Darius Vassell celebrates with Sun Jihai after putting Man City ahead
Darius Vassell celebrates with Sun Jihai after putting Man City ahead

Isaksson failed to convince again soon after when he made a hash of a King cross and things got worse for him before half-time when he threw the ball straight back to Steve Kabba after collecting it on the edge of his area.

But Watford were unable to seriously test the Swedish shot-stopper before the break and City, despite being in lacklustre form themselves, survived.

At the other end Foster had little to do until his calamitous error on 53 minutes.

There looked little danger when Lloyd Doyley rolled the ball back to his keeper but Foster made a hash of his clearance on the edge of the area and watched helplessly as Vassell curled the ball past him and into the bottom corner.

The Hornets tried to respond and did go close when Clarke Carlisle headed Bouazza's cross wide.

But it was only when Priskin came off the bench that the home side began to open City up.

Priskin latched on to a precise through-ball from Douglas Rinaldi to drill the ball home on 75 minutes and Boothroyd pushed his men forward looking for the win.

The closest they came to snatching victory was when King met Danny Shittu's cross but saw his header drifted agonisingly wide.

Watford manager Aidy Boothroyd defended keeper Ben Foster after his mistake:
"It was an individual error from Ben, but he has been magnificent for us this season, and earned us many points.

Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce:
"The game had an end-of-season feel to it, and both sides lacked a bit of energy.

"Once we had got our noses in front, I could not see them scoring so I am disappointed we did not hang on.

"We know where we need to strengthen and I hope we will do in the summer - we need to add more goals to the team."

Watford: Foster, Doyley, Carlisle, DeMerit, Powell, Bangura, Mahon, Francis (Kabba 24), Bouazza, King, Rinaldi (Shittu 82), Kabba (Priskin 65).
Subs Not Used: Lee, Mariappa.

Booked: Carlisle.

Goals: Priskin 75.

Man City: Isaksson, Onuoha, Dunne, Distin, Ball, Jihai (Ireland 85), Hamann, Barton, Johnson, Beasley (Miller 35), Vassell, Miller (Samaras 76).
Subs Not Used: Weaver, Corradi.

Booked: Hamann.

Goals: Vassell 53.

Att: 18,537

Ref: R Styles (Hampshire).

Premiership clockwatch
21 Apr 07 |  Premiership
Saturday's Premiership photos
21 Apr 07 |  Football


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us