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Vicarage Road (ATT 15,247) 23rd November 2013 - Kick off 15:00

Watford Watford vs Bolton Wanderers Bolton

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Bolton 1

J Beckford (26, 27)

Sky Bet Championship: Bolton claim 1-0 win away to Watford

Last Updated: 23/11/13 6:07pm

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Jermaine Beckford: Took advantage of Manuel Almunia's mistake

Jermaine Beckford: Took advantage of Manuel Almunia's mistake

An awful mistake from Manuel Almunia enabled Bolton to claim their third successive victory as faltering Watford slumped to their third straight home defeat following a 1-0 loss at Vicarage Road.

The game's decisive moment came in the 26th minute when the Hornets goalkeeper dropped a routine Neil Danns cross beneath his legs and Jermaine Beckford converted from close range.

The home side had chances to level although Danns perhaps should have put the game to bed, but was denied by a good save from substitute Watford goalkeeper Jonathan Bond.

Gianfranco Zola made six changes to his Watford side, largely as a result of injuries, and it was their opponents who had the first opportunity when Danns' cross was just too high for Beckford.

Danns was then afforded the space to improvise and send an overhead kick wide before Watford created their first chance when it took a fine block from Matt Mills to repel a Josh McEachran goal-bound strike.

But it was the visitors who made the breakthrough in the 26th minute due to a horrible mistake from Almunia.

Any danger seemed to have been dealt with when the Hornets goalkeeper bent down to gather a Danns low cross from the right. Having got the ball within his grasp, though, the former Arsenal stopper let it squirm loose through his legs and Beckford gleefully capitalised.

Watford did their best to get back on terms before the break with debutant West Brom loanee George Thorne shooting over from 20 yards.

Nyron Nosworthy then hit an acrobatic half-volley narrowly over following a corner before Fernando Forestieri curled wide after playing a give-and-go with Daniel Pudil on the edge of the penalty area.

Almunia failed to reappear for the second half as he was replaced in goal by Jonathan Bond, fresh from making his England Under-21 debut earlier in the week.

Diego Fabbrini was also introduced 10 minutes after the restart as Zola switched to a more attacking formation. And within five minutes his side were almost level when Forestieri hit a good shot from 20 yards but Andy Lonergan was equal to it.

Soon after, though, Chung-Yong Lee almost put daylight between the two sides when he was put clear and he tried to lob Bond but missed the target.

Watford continued to have the bulk of possession and territory but the absence of a cutting edge in the final third meant their promising build-up play often ended with shots from distance that were either blocked or missed the target.

Indeed, it was Bolton who came closest to scoring again when Danns capitalised on a slip from Pudil before cutting back inside, but Bond was equal to his left-footed shot as he saved with his legs.

Danns also had another opportunity with two minutes of normal time remaining but his strike from the right side of the area was deflected over.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23