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Vicarage Road Stadium (ATT 13,689) 6th November 2004 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: G Salisbury

Watford Watford vs Derby County Derby

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Derby 2

Hornets hold in-form Rams

By Simon Fudge.   Last Updated: 06/11/04 6:59pm

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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.

Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

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

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