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Sky Bet Championship

Vicarage Road (ATT 16,096) 2nd February 2014 - Kick off 15:00

Watford Watford vs Brighton and Hove Albion Brighton

Watford 2

I Anya (13)
F Forestieri (60)

ft

Championship: Watford beat Brighton 2-0 at Vicarage Road

Last Updated: 03/02/14 3:59pm

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Match action from Vicarage Road

Match action from Vicarage Road

Ikechi Anya and Fernando Forestieri scored as Watford ended a poor run of form with a 2-0 win over Brighton in the Sky Bet Championship at Vicarage Road.

Anya fired the Hornets into an early lead with an angled shot across Tomasz Kuszczak and Beppe Sannino's side were assured of their first win of 2014 on the hour mark when Forestieri made the most of a poor backpass from Gordon Greer.

Watford had gone into the game on the back of a dismal run of league form which had seen them win only one of their previous 15 matches, but they took the lead with their first attempt of note in the 13th minute.

Alexander Merkel fed Anya on the left-hand side of the penalty area and, after teasing the Seagulls defence, the Scotland international hit a low shot across Kuszczak and into the far corner of the net.

The Seagulls continued to offer very little going forward and they were fortunate not to concede a second goal in the 26th minute.

Marco Cassetti dispossessed Stephen Ward and advanced before clipping a fine delivery into the penalty area where Forestieri found space but tamely side-footed a volley into Kuszczak's arms from six yards out.

Brighton were forced into a change five minutes before the break when the injured Jake Forster-Caskey was replaced by Kazenga LuaLua and it was the substitute who nearly equalised shortly before half-time.

LuaLua received the ball on the left side of the penalty area and surprised everyone by hitting a left-footed shot which flew past helpless Hornets goalkeeper Manuel Almunia and rebounded off the underside of the crossbar.

Brighton started the second half positively as they sought to get back on terms but they continued to be largely restricted to shots from range as David Lopez, Keith Andrews and Dale Stephens chanced their arm.

But Watford were soon back on the front foot, with Troy Deeney slicing a half-volley wide from just inside the penalty area, before the home side doubled their advantage in the 60th minute.

Good pressing by Merkel forced Greer to attempt a back pass which fell well short of its intended destination as Forestieri latched on to the loose ball and rounded the stranded Kuszczak before keeping his composure to roll the ball into the unguarded net.

The Seagulls thought they had pulled a goal back midway through the second half when Leonardo Ulloa headed a free-kick from the right past Almunia, but it was disallowed for offside.

That was to be Brighton's last opportunity of note as the Hornets finished the game with three debutants on the pitch, with Samba Diakite and Park Chu-young introduced as late substitutes to join Daniel Tozser.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Derby County 13 26
2 Watford 13 25
3 Middlesbrough 13 23
4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 23
5 Norwich City 13 22
6 Nottingham Forest 13 22
7 Charlton Athletic 14 22
8 Bournemouth 13 21
9 Ipswich Town 13 20
10 Cardiff City 14 19
11 Blackburn Rovers 13 19
12 Brentford 13 19
13 Sheffield Wednesday 13 18
14 Millwall 14 17
15 Rotherham United 13 16
16 Leeds United 13 16
17 Huddersfield Town 13 16
18 Reading 13 15
19 Fulham 14 14
20 Wigan Athletic 13 12
21 Brighton and Hove Albion 13 12
22 Birmingham City 13 11
23 Bolton Wanderers 13 8
24 Blackpool 13 6