Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Aidy's Fury as His Side Are Torn Apart; COCA-COLA CHAMPIONSHIP

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Aidy's Fury as His Side Are Torn Apart; COCA-COLA CHAMPIONSHIP

Article excerpt

Byline: GEMMA CLARKE

Leeds 2 Watford 1

Blake 60 (pen), 81 Booked: Gregan

Young 40 Booked: Chambers, Bangura Sent off: Foster 57, Henderson 61

Ref: M Jones (W.Yorks)

Attendance: 22,007

DESPITE all the intimate contact, there was precious little affection on show on Valentine's Night in Leeds as Watford crashed 2-1 to Leeds and ended the game with only nine players.

In four mad minutes, Watford's hopes of automatic promotion may have vanished, but manager Aidy Boothroyd was furious about some of the antics of the Leeds players on a night when only red cards were being handed out by referee Michael Jones.

Ashley Young's free-kick five minutes before the break put the Hornets on course for a seventh successive Championship win but on 57 minutes, on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster conceded a penalty and was shown a straight red card.

Blake fired the resulting spot-kick past 41-year-old replacement keeper Alec Chamberlain.

Moments later, Watford's Darius Henderson tussled with Sean Gregan. The Watford forward had his shirt ripped by Gregan but was adjudged to have lashed out with a retaliatory elbow in trying to shake him off and was dismissed.

Leeds made their numerical advantage pay and Robbie Blake's clinical 81st-minute finish secured a priceless win.

Boothroyd, a former coach at Leeds, said: "As long as the offence is punished for both teams then there's not a problem.

"Some people call it professionalism, but when you go down as if someone has hit you with a sledgehammer it's a little bit disappointing. I thought Darius was going to turn into superman at one point.

"Henderson's shirt was ripped and when that happens there has to be some sort of wrestling going on."

It ruined a promising night because Watford were dominant in the opening period and capitalised when 20-year-old Young's free-kick on the edge of the box was perfectly placed and paced to fire the visitors into a deserved lead.

Foster palmed away a fierce volley from Eddie Lewis and Sean Gregan's header was kept out by the cross bar. …

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