Burley battered in first game
By Adam Marshall. Last Updated: December 26, 2005 1:55pm
George Burley's first game in charge of Southampton turned into a nightmare as Watford ran out 3-0 winners at Vicarage Road.
Burley made seven changes to the Saints line-up but it failed to have the desired effect for the South Coast side.
Ben Foster, on loan from Manchester United, had to make a smart stop to thwart Brett Ormerod after a cross from exciting teenager Theo Walcott as the visitors started brightly.
It was one of a number of openings for Ormerod and Foster also did well to deny him in the second half after more good approach work from Walcott.
Once Watford went ahead, they looked in control with Paul Devlin's cross headed past Paul Smith at the far post by Darius Henderson with 28 minutes on the clock.
An even contest was unfolding with few clear-cut chances but Anthony McNamee looked lively for Watford while Walcott was struggling to avoid the home side's off-side trap.
Nigel Quashie saw a shot blocked by Gavin Mahon before Watford doubled their lead when Devlin got a touch to a free kick and defender Clarke Carlisle bundled the ball over the line.
Tomasz Hajto only came on as a substitute for Matt Oakley at half time but, within two minutes of the restart, he appeared to get the last touch, although the ball also deflected off Chris Baird, to divert it past Smith for a third Hornets goal.
Saints' response will have given some heart to Burley as Foster was forced to tip a Walcott effort onto the bar and Nathan Dyer's overhead kick also struck the woodwork.
McNamee fired off target, although his performance deserved a goal, and Matthew Spring also failed to add a fourth but that would have been harsh on the visitors.
Sky Bet Championship
Mon 26th Dec
Watford3 - 0Southampton
Cardiff0 - 2Plymouth
Brighton1 - 0QPR
Preston0 - 0Sheff Wed
Ipswich0 - 2C Palace
Leeds3 - 1Coventry
Wolves0 - 2Reading
Crewe2 - 2Hull City
Sheff Utd1 - 3Norwich
Derby1 - 1Luton Town
Leicester1 - 1Millwall
Burnley1 - 0Stoke City
Sky Bet Championship
|2||Queens Park Rangers||18||38|
|11||Brighton and Hove Albion||18||25|