Hornets hold in-form Rams
By Simon Fudge. Last Updated: 06/11/04 6:59pm
Derby County missed the chance to close the gap on the play-off places after a 2-2 draw at Watford.
Second half strikes from Ian Taylor and substitute Paul Peschisolido had cancelled out Heidar Helguson's first half goal for The Hornets, but Brynjar Gunnarsson's late leveller meant a share of the points at Vicarage Road.
The visitors looked the brighter of the two sides in the early stages, with Inigo Idiakez forcing Watford goalkeeper Richard Lee into a fine save with a 35-yard strike while Tom Huddlestone's audacious volley from the edge of the box sailed wide of goal.
Watford replied with chances from Ashley Young and Helguson before the Icelandic hit-man gave the home side the lead four minutes before the break.
Young combined well with Neal Ardley down the right flank before finding Helguson with a cross that the Scandinavian striker headed home to give Watford a one-goal half time lead.
The Hornets went close to doubling their lead when Gavin Mahon fired a shot just over the bar, as Rams boss George Burley introduced Peschisolido to the match in the second half to try and turn his side's fortunes around.
Derby came close to equalising as Grzegorz Rasiak headed Idiakez's corner against the bar from close range.
Soon after, Derby were level after Tommy Smith's cross found the head of Adam Bolder and despite a good save from Lee, Taylor was on hand to slot the rebound home for 1-1.
Taylor then tested Lee with a long-range volley before Peschisolido made it 2-1 with a volley strike of his own with 17 minutes remaining - his 100th goal in English League football.
The visitors thought they were on their way to their fourth straight win, but former Nottingham Forest man Gunnarsson (pictured) was Watford's hero with eight minutes remaining, as he struck for a share of the spoils in Hertfordshire.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 6th Nov
Wigan0 - 2Plymouth
Rotherham2 - 2Cardiff
Preston2 - 4Leeds
West Ham2 - 1QPR
Watford2 - 2Derby
Brighton1 - 3Crewe
Wolves2 - 1N Forest
Sheff Utd0 - 0Gillingham
Burnley0 - 2Ipswich
Reading1 - 0Stoke
Sky Bet Championship
|19||Brighton and Hove Albion||27||29|