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Vicarage Road (ATT 14,531) 15th March 2014 - Kick off 15:00

Watford Watford vs Barnsley Barnsley

Watford 3

C Battocchio (5)
T Deeney (16)
A Merkel (74)

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Sky Bet Championship: Watford breeze past struggling Barnsley in 3-0 win

Last Updated: 15/03/14 6:08pm

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Troy Deeney: Scored Watford's second goal

Troy Deeney: Scored Watford's second goal

Watford brushed aside the tame challenge of relegation-threatened Barnsley to breeze to a 3-0 win - their fifth consecutive home league victory without conceding a goal.

Goals from Cristian Battocchio and Troy Deeney put the Hornets firmly in command inside the opening 20 minutes and they largely eased through the rest of the contest before substitute Alexander Merkel added a third with 16 minutes remaining.

Beppe Sannino's men came into the game on the back of five successive home wins in all competitions and it did not take them long to be on course for a sixth.

A good ball out to Daniel Pudil on the left flank set the fifth-minute attack again and although the Czech's cross was behind Deeney and Ikechi Anya, the ball fell for Battocchio 20 yards out and he had the time to take a touch before hitting a sweetly-struck half-volley past Luke Steele to make it 1-0.

Davide Faraoni was twice denied by the Tykes keeper, the first an instinctive reaction stop, before the Hornets doubled their advantage in the 16th minute.

Again the left side of the penalty area proved a productive route for the hosts as they built nicely and although Lewis McGugan mis-hit a shot, the ball broke nicely for top scorer Deeney to fire in his 17th of the campaign.

Having established a firm early grip on the contest, the Hornets were comfortable for the remainder of the first half without seriously threatening to extend their lead, although they still sought to push forward when the opportunities presented themselves.

Watford maintained their ascendancy after the break and Tykes boss Danny Wilson decided he had seen enough just before the hour-mark and made a double substitution.

But within moments of Chris O'Grady and Reuben Noble-Lazarus entering the fray, Watford spurned a fine opportunity to add a third as the unmarked Daniel Tozser headed an Anya cross from the left down and wide of the target.

The 65th minute of the match saw Watford pass the ten-hour mark since they last conceded a goal at Vicarage Road and nine minutes later they added a third.

Stand-in striker Anya was the creator this time with some fine close skill on the left side of the penalty area before he pulled the ball back to substitute Merkel, who made no mistake from the edge of the six-yard area to net his first goal for the Hornets.

Barnsley almost scored a scarcely-deserved consolation with four minutes remaining when Nick Proschwitz got on the end of a ball forward and lobbed it goalwards with an outstretched right leg, only to see it rebound off the crossbar before it was cleared behind. From the resultant corner, Jean-Yves M'Voto sent a header wide.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Leicester City 43 93
2 Burnley 43 86
3 Derby County 43 78
4 Queens Park Rangers 43 73
5 Wigan Athletic 42 70
6 Brighton and Hove Albion 43 65
7 Reading 43 64
8 Ipswich Town 43 64
9 Nottingham Forest 43 62
10 Bournemouth 43 62
11 Blackburn Rovers 43 61
12 Watford 42 60
13 Middlesbrough 43 58
14 Bolton Wanderers 43 55
15 Sheffield Wednesday 43 53
16 Leeds United 43 53
17 Huddersfield Town 43 47
18 Birmingham City 42 43
19 Doncaster Rovers 43 43
20 Millwall 43 43
21 Charlton Athletic 42 42
22 Blackpool 43 42
23 Barnsley 43 39
24 Yeovil Town 43 37