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Late Penalty denies Watford

Sheffield Wednesday earnt a share of the spoils at Vicarage Road after Francis Jeffers converted a late penalty to make the final score 2-2.

Brian Law’s side went ahead through Marcus Tudgay, however shot themselves in the foot, letting Watford back into the game through an own goal. Jobi McAnuff then scored, what had seemed to be the winner, before Jeffers scored in the 96th minute of action to earn his side a point.

The Golden Boys were a much changed side from the one that had previously won their last five in six games, with the likes of Tommy Smith, Grzegorz Rasiak and club captain Jay Demerit all missing out through injury.

The first 45 minutes were a scrappy affair. Wednesday started the half the stronger though and found the break through twenty minutes in.

The goal was relatively simple and one Watford ‘keeper Scott Loach will want to forget.

It was Michael Gray’s corner which Loach allowed to slip though his hands, allowing Tudgay to poke the ball in to an empty net.

Sheffield Wednesday continued the pressure with Tommy Spurr going close, before Jeffers saw his shot blocked by an important interception.

Watford were having little joy as Wednesday continued to snuff out the passing game and get the ball forward quickly.

Tamas Priskin though, in the hot form that he’s been on lately, was alert and ready for any chance. It took just one momentary lapse in communication between Mark Beevers and ‘keeper Lee Grant for the Hungarian to nip in and smash the ball into the back of the net to bring Watford level.

The second half saw the introduction of Will Hoskins by the none too happy Brendan Rodgers, and a change of formation to a more conventional 4-4-2.

Gray however, continued his form from the first-half and saw his shot whistle wide of Loach’s post.

The former Sunderland man then had to be replaced after sustaining a shoulder injury. Almost as soon as he left the pitch though, Watford had taken the lead.

The brave Jon Harley had got forward and launched himself into a tackle. The ball ended up at the feet of Don Cowie.

The Scotsman then delivered a cross which Jobi McAnuff, who towered above everyone, headed home.

It looked like Watford might increase their lead when Priskin robbed a Wednesday centre-half. His ball though for McAnuff though, was smothered by Grant.

The game then carried on in the way it had been for most of the match, with little chances and a lot of fouls.

The final minutes of the game however, were like something out of a TV football drama.

First of all the home crowd were stunned when, what seemed to be a blatant red card for Wednesday captain Richard Wood, was only awarded with a yellow.

The resulting free-kick was then saved brilliantly by the impressive Grant.

Then, moments later, Grant somehow produced another fine save to deny Mike Williamson.

The fans were then stunned again as the strange announcement of six minutes of injury time was made.

Watford could not hold out for this period however, as Jon Harley tangled with Jermaine Johnson in the area which led to the linesman flagging for a penalty.

The experienced Jeffers stepped up and made no mistake as he smashed the spot kick past Loach to wrap up a bizarre afternoon at Vicarage Road.



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