Watford 2-1 Ipswich
A late goal from substitute John-Joe O'Toole spared Mart Poom's blushes as
Watford came from behind to beat Ipswich 2-1 at Vicarage Road.
Estonian goalkeeper Poom had gifted the visitors the lead after only two
minutes when he cleared straight to Pablo Counago, who duly scored.
Watford were denied a clear penalty in the first half, but John Eustace drew
them level in the 58th minute, before O'Toole headed the winner after Richard
Wright had spilled Jobi McAnuff's shot with four minutes remaining.
Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd made wholesale changes from the Carling
Cup win over Darlington, with eight players coming into the side.
Moritz Volz made his Ipswich debut in place of Chris Casement and Tommy Miller
replaced Alan Quinn.
Ipswich started well and were in front with barely two minutes on the clock
when Poom's woeful clearance fell to Counago, who held off the challenge of
Leigh Bromby to slot home.
Minutes later Miller's corner found Gareth McAuley unmarked in the box and
his shot was deflected out as Ipswich continued to press.
Watford were defending poorly and another mistake saw Kevin Lisbie evade
the offside trap, but he chipped wide when he should have squared to the furious
Counago for a tap-in.
The home side should have been awarded a penalty midway through the half
as Tamas Priskin skipped around Wright and appeared to be brought down by
McAuley with the goal gaping.
Watford began to exert pressure on the Ipswich goal and were unlucky not
to draw level in the 36th minute when McAnuff's cross found Jon Harley at
the far post, but his header came back off the post into the grateful arms
With half-time approaching, McAnuff fired over from inside the box, while
at the other end the onrushing Counago was denied by an excellent block.
Watford began the second half brightly as they went in search of the equaliser
and Lee Williamson's corner was met by Priskin, but his header was clawed
out by Wright.
Ipswich slowly began to find their rhythm and Poom went some way to making
up for his early howler by blocking Jonathan Walters' shot from inside the
However, just before the hour mark the home side were back on level terms
when Williamson's corner found Eustace unmarked and he headed in from close
The goal shook the visitors and moments later McAnuff's shot was spilled
by Wright, but the Ipswich keeper reacted well to claw the ball away from
Ipswich immediately set about regaining their lead and Walters had a rasping
drive tipped over by Poom before heading wide from close range.
With 18 minutes remaining McAnuff should have put Watford in front, but he
blazed over with the goal gaping after being found by Priskin's square pass.
As time wore on the game opened up, with Ipswich substitute Danny Haynes
heading just over from Ben Thatcher's teasing cross.
The game appeared to be heading for a draw, but Wright failed to hold onto
McAnuff's powerful shot and the ball bounced into the path of O'Toole, who
nodded in from close range.