Main Page

Quick Links

The Rest
   Club info
   Last Season
   Unlikely Lads
   A-Z Index

Season 2015-16
Watford (a) Premier League

In association 


Saturday 23rd January 2016, 3.00pm.

 Vicarage Road

Conditions: Dispiriting

Admission: £25




Newcastle United

2 - 1




Half time: Hornets 0 Magpies 0

46 mins Odion Ighalo was slotted through by Troy Deeney and TV replays showed him to be offside but he was allowed to continue and round Elliot before slotting home for his third goal against us this season. At least this time it wasn't one of ours passing it. Progress of a sort.... 0-1

58 mins A needless foul by Gini Wijnaldum allowed Watford to cross the ball in from the left. Rob Elliot punched it clear but it was turned back in by Miguel Britos and while our defence played statues, Ighalo teed up defender Craig Cathcart to drill the ball home. 0-2

71 mins Moussa Sissoko won a corner in front of the away fans and Jonjo Shelvey's curling kick was met perfectly by Jamaal Lascelles who headed the ball down and into the corner with Heurelho Gomes getting a hand to it. 

Lascelles took a blow to his mouth in scoring and after the briefest of
celebrations mopped up the blood with his shirt before donning a spare un-numbered one on the sidelines and rejoining the action. He later required seven stitches. 1-2

Full time: Hornets 2 Magpies 1

We Said

Steve McClaren:

"We just said to the players that we won't have a problem if we keep performing like that every week.

"Many people questioned the attitude of these players earlier this season and whether they cared. Of course they do and you saw that today and in recent weeks. I thought we did everything today but win the game.

"It is disappointing and frustrating because we are not getting the results we deserve. But it is all about goals and if you don't score you don't win.

"Their first goal looked offside but he got the decision.
The first 10 minutes of the second period were very disappointing after what I thought was a very good first half.

"It gave us a mountain to climb which the players aimed to do and very nearly did. It was a good performance, but what wins games is at both ends and that has cost us today.

"At the moment that is letting us down and putting us in the position we are in. You can't fault the team, the football, the organisation. 

"They are working hard, they are fighting, they are giving everything, but is just shows you with Ighalo and Deeney that you need quality at both ends."

They Said

Quique Sanchez Flores said:

"I am really, really happy with the victory and the performance of the players.

"We came off a very bad run, and in terms of the feelings, it is difficult to convince the players it is just a bad run. I know how it works with the mentality of the players - they are a little bit down - so for us today it was very important.

"We are in the top half so we have a lot of reasons to be happy and we have to enjoy it. The target is the same - to survive in the category."



Jamaal Lascelles netted his first goal in the Premier League and his first for the club, becoming the 124th different scorer in that competition (excluding own goals). 

Emmanuel Riviere
appeared for the first time this season, increasing the number of players used in the Premier League so far in 2015/16 to 28.  

Three Newcastle players made the first Premier League starts of their careers: Rolando Aarons, Jamaal Lascelles and Henri Saivet.

joined Arsenal in
a seasonal league double, but the Hornets went one better with a FA Cup success to make it a treble and becoming the first team to do so since Manchester City in 2013/14 (courtesy of two PL wins and one in the League Cup).

Magpies @ Vicarage Road - all-time:

2015/16 Lost 1-2 Lascelles
2015/16 Lost 0-1 (FAC)
Won 2-1 Coloccini, Carroll
2006/07 Drew 1-1 Dyer
2006/07 Drew 2-2 (won 5-4 pens) Sibierski, Parker (FLC)
1999/00 Drew 1-1 Dabizas
1992/93 Lost 0-1
1991/92 Drew 2-2 Kelly, Hunt
1990/91 Won 2-1 Anderson, Quinn
1989/90 Drew 0-0
1988/89 Lost 0-1 (FAC)
1988/89 Drew 2-2 Brock, Mirandinha (FAC)
1988/89 Lost 1-2 McDonald (FMC)
1987/88 Drew 1-1 Anderson
1986/87 Lost 0-1
1985/86 Lost 1-4 OG
1984/85 Drew 3-3 Beardsley, Wharton, McDonald
1981/82 Won 3-2 Varadi, Todd 2
1980/81 Drew 0-0
1979/80 Lost 0-2
1978/79 Lost 1-2 Pearson (FLC)
1923/24 Won 1-0 Seymour (FAC)

Full record v Watford:

  P W D L F A
SJP 15 9 3 3 24 14
VR 15 3 7 5 17 22
League 30 12 10 8 41 36
SJP(FA) 3 1 2 0 5 0
VR 4 1 1 2 3 4
SJP(LC) 0 0 0 0 0 0
VR 2 0 1 1 3 4
Cup 9 2 4 3 11 8
Tot 39 14 14 11 52 44





Returning to this unlovely corner of Hertfordshire for the second time in a fortnight, penning any fresh words of wisdom about today was an unenviable task. Thankfully though, Steve McClaren stepped in to provide an accurate appraisal of the state we're in:

"Itís going to go all the way to the wire, youíre never going to be out of the mire. Each game racks up more and more pressure. If you donít start winning and collecting points youíre not going to get out of it."

Sadly though, those downbeat comments came before his charges lost to a workmanlike Watford side for the third time this season. as any momentum gained from their last two home games vanished amid questionable team selections, baffling tactics and simply woeful finishing.

And although the Head Coach may moan about an offside opener straight after the interval, United got what they deserved from Vicarage Road as the Hornets stung the Magpies yet again and only the shortcomings of other struggling sides minimised the damage done - although Swansea's win at Everton on Sunday under their new manager was massively demoralising. 

A late header from Jamaal Lascelles gave some hope of a revival but good heading opportunities were embarrassingly fluffed as yet more points were tossed away against medicore opposition.

Injury to Paul Dummett, Jack Colback, Kevin Mbabu and Jamie Sterry forced United into a three man back line: Fabricio Coloccini, Chancel Mbemba and Lascelles - making his full Premier League debut. 

Daryl Janmaat and fit-again Rolando Aarons occupied the flanks, while the continued absence of Vurnon Anita and Cheick Tiote saw a first start for Henri Saivet alongside Jonjo Shelvey and Moussa Sissoko. Incredibly though, Ayoze Perez was relegated to the bench as the mis-firing Aleksandar Mitrovic was favoured as a lone striker, supposedly supported by Gini Wijnaldum. 

Able to scamper past opponents at St.James', the Dutchman suffered from travel sickness again and went AWOL for the most part on a bumpy pitch apparently assembled from carpet remnants, inferior to the surface torn up after our FA Cup visit two weeks earlier.  

Playing his first game since September, Aarons could have given United the perfect start but lashed the ball wide after Wijnaldum had prodded at Sissoko's centre. Sissoko then played in Wijnaldum on the quarter hour, but he tried to pass it back across the box rather than shoot.

Rob Elliot made an excellent double save two minutes later to keep it goalless, denying Troy Deeney and then getting up to block Etienne Capoue who had looked a certain scorer.

United's best chance of the first period fell to Mitrovic in the 24th minute after Sissoko had passed the ball to Gini and his layoff fell invitingly for the Serbian who gave Heurelho Gomes the chance to block with his foot and divert the ball over the bar.

Making it to half time without conceding in the farcical manner that cost us the cup tie here two weeks back, McClaren hadn't even taken his seat for the start of the second half before the Hornets went ahead -  Odion Ighalo this time allowed to waltz into the box unchecked and poke the ball in.

A quick free-kick gave Mitrovic the chance to get an immediate leveller but his shot went wide and then Deeney prodded the ball off target before Craig Cathcart - who turned down a move to SJP in 2009 to join Watford on loan - netted his first club goal of the season.

Yoan Gouffran and Perez came on for Aarons and Saivet - who both looked out of their depth - and Gouffran could have made an immediate impact but made a hash of a decent headed opportunity.

Perez livened up our attack but he also skewed a header well off target when Sissoko crossed from the right. Lascelles at least was able to head goalwards to half the deficit, but further missed opportunities from Perez and Mitrovic and late substitute Emmanuel Riviere sealed our fate.

While our efforts went astray, former transfer targets Charlie Austin and Benik Afobe had no such issues - netting for Southampton and Bournemouth respectively - both inevitably with headers. 

Saido Berahino meanwhile was introduced as a 64th minute replacement for West Bromwich Albion in a 0-0 home draw with Aston Villa. Andros Townsend meanwhile played no part in a 3-1 Spurs win at Crystal Palace, but by Tuesday was close to becoming our third transfer window arrival.

That's heartening, but as was proved again today our problem isn't getting crosses over - putting  someone with a modicum of talent and directional sense on the end of them is beyond urgent.

15 games to go, 45 points to play for, 21 already secured. No Premier League team with more than 42 points has ever been relegated. Reaching 33 points or less is usually fatal (34 did us in 2009), 37 points or more vastly increases the chances of beating the drop (39 kept us afloat in 2015).

If it goes to the last day, teams playing at home improve their survival chances. We are at home along with Watford, Swansea & West Brom. Villa, Norwich, Bournemouth & the mackems are away.


Page last updated 20 June, 2016