Post Match Reaction: Hull City 1-2 Watford

Last updated : 06 November 2005 By Rick Skelton
It's very strange to go into a Tigers home game and not expect to win. Watford are a good side, competitive, good blend of youth and experience, tidy and gutsy. Many would have taken a draw today; we nearly got one.

Very disappointing to hear people boo at the end of each half. We gave a good account of ourselves against a good side. Not great football, but effective and restricted them to few chances while creating plenty.

The team was a bit mystifying, but given the lack of options, understandably. Ellison had a good 10 minutes and then faded. Delaney was pants at left back. Lynch was run ragged and wasted a brilliant crossing opportunity. Brown was rotten. 5 or 6 offsides against him, either brainless or over compensating for lack of pace. Fortunately for him, the crowd was too busy harassing the linesman to pick on the real culprit. 2 goals in the first 10 mins, a good move led to Barmby's and then they scored, unmarked again, from a corner. Winner before half time came from an uncleared throw. 2 bad goals to concede again.

Second half was much better. Fagan injected a lot of pace, timed his runs well and got near Burgess flicks. Burgess's first touch was rotten, but he gave them a ton of problems. Didn't get a lot in front of goal due to the withdrawal of the wide players. The France sub seemed to come too late. We'd penned them in all of the second half, and the wide men who had free reign first half just weren't a threat. We should have pushed on, through France at least.

Barmby had a decent game, chased hard, scored and missed a good one on one. Green was OK, but missed a sitter following a good move and missed a penalty. The penalty looked outside the box, but we might have had one earlier, so we'll take it. Collins had a good debut, very calm, good in the air and didn't mess with the ball.

John Welsh was disappointing. He did some good things, but played a few stray passes. He also has far too much talent to be stuck sat in front of the back 4. He needs to get hold of the video of Matt Spring today. How to move easily from box to box, how to spray short easy passes and when to turn up on the edge of the box. Interesting that we might get him permanently as part of a deal for Anderson. He'd be a great signing, he can get better and better.

Overall, a disappointing result, but one that shows just how much you have to take the chances you get. This is a tight division and we've not seen much to worry us, but we really must take chances. A few people comment that "we just need a proven goal scorer." However, so does everyone, and anyone who has got one isn't going to let them go, especially not on loan. In the meantime, we MUST improve our set piece delivery. Between this game and the one at Burnley (missed Preston), we must have amassed 15 corners, yet we've barely made a chance from them. Watford have shown today what you can do if you make them count. With limited goals from up front, they've got to be better.

Watford are a good example. Good midfield, Mahon/Spring are a lot like Ashbee/Andrews, 2 great wide players, quick strong strikers, solid defence and good goalkeeper. We could be like them, the squad didn't cost a great deal of money, and needed faith in players like Carlisle and King who no-one fancied taking on. Others like the excellent Devlin were shrewd buys from the top flight, while they are seeing the fruits of an excellent youth system. On Devlin, he needed his own post code today, Ellison and Delaney never got within 5 yards all afternoon. He also did well by Nick Barmby. Barmby clobbered him a touch late in the corner, but to his credit, he bounced back up and shook Nick's hand, saving him a booking probably.

The referee was poor. He gave 6 or 7 decisions the wrong way and generally annoyed both sets of fans. The most ridiculous was a free kick from Ellison that hit the wall and spun away 7 or 8 feet for a corner. He gave a goal kick. Terrible.

We must keep the faith, not leave with 5 minutes to go and barrack the players. Any squad would miss Ashbee, Andrews, McPhee, Coles, Dawson, Elliott, Edge, Thelwell and Wiseman. There isn't a lot the chairman can do with the Transfer window. We are good enough to keep picking up a steady stream of points, and in January we'll adjust the squad to keep us away from trouble.

Ratings: Bo 6, Lynch 5 (France), Delaney 5, Cort 7, Collins 7, Green 6, Ellison 6 (Fagan 7), Woodhouse 7, Welsh 6, Brown 5 (Burgess 6), Barmby 7.