Hornets stun sorry Rovers
By James Pearson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Watford secured just their second Premiership win after beating Blackburn.
Watford secured just their second Premiership win of the season following a surprise 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers at Vicarage Road.
The Hornets began the day 10 points adrift of Wigan but are now just a win and a draw behind second from bottom Charlton Athletic.
Brett Emerton's own goal put the home side ahead before Benni McCarthy's powerful header ensured the sides went in at the break all-square.
Jay DeMerit secured all three points for Adrian Boothroyd's side on 70 minutes to keep Watford's faint hopes of survival alive.
The visitors made the better start at Vicarage Road, but Mark Hughes' men failed to take any of their early opportunities.
Firstly, Shabani Nonda was closed down at the near post from Jay McEveley's cross while David Bentley lashed high and wide after being set up by Nonda.
Against the run of play Watford forged ahead after 12 minutes in a move that make-shift right-back Emerton will want to forget.
Tommy Smith's good work down the right created the chance and his deflected cross looked like finding Damien Francis at the back post before Emerton headed home.
Rovers were soon on the front foot again, but were wasteful in front of goal after McCarthy blazed over before Bentley failed to test Ben Foster from distance.
At the other end Aaron Mokoena's poor clearance gave Malky Mackay a sight of goal but the veteran defender snatched at the chance and only found the side netting.
The impressive Smith turned smartly on the edge of the box, however, his left-footer sailed over while Hameur Bouazza's driven volley was well kept out by Brad Friedel.
Just when it looked like Watford would take a one-goal lead into the break the visitors managed to get themselves back on level terms.
Bentley got the better of two defenders down the right hand side and his incisive cross was met by McCarthy who headed home in off the crossbar.
The action died down somewhat after the interval with Adrian Mariappa's low drive from just inside the penalty area the only chance of note for either side.
mark Hughes was forced into a change when firebrand midfielder Robbie Savage was unable to carry on following a meaty challenge by Al Bangoura.
Out of the blue The Hornets edged ahead for the second time with substitute DeMerit heading home in the middle from Bouazza's cross.
Rovers failed to clear Jordan Stewart's initial free-kick and DeMerit was on hand to guide home into the far post after Bouazza did well to keep the ball in the danger area.
The Hornets could have wrapped up the points but Stewart's cross for Will Hoskins was just too far behind the former Rotherham man for the striker to trouble Friedel.
Rovers hit back and substitute Matt Derbyshire should have at least found the target when he rose to meet Bentley's right-wing cross from close-range.
The chance proved to be Rovers' last opportunity to salvage a point as Blackburn slipped to a surprise loss at the Premiership strugglers.
Click here for Watford v Blackburn player ratings.
|Watford||Team Statistics||Blackburn Rovers|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|6||Shots on Target||1|
|11||Shots off Target||12|