Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hornets Are Held by 10-Man Wigan

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hornets Are Held by 10-Man Wigan

Article excerpt

Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd admitted his team had missed a great opportunity after they managed only a draw with 10-man Wigan last night.

The Hornets looked to be heading for victory after Latics defender Fitz Hall was controversially sent off by referee Rob Styles in the 20th minute, with Darius Henderson putting the home team in front four minutes later.

But Caleb Folan equalised just before the break for a Wigan side who coped comfortably despite being a man down, and who would have won the game had Ben Foster not made excellent saves from Folan, Denny Landzaat and Matt Jackson.

"If you had told me before the game that we would be 1-0 up after 25 minutes, and that they would have been down to 10 men, I would have been doing cart-wheels," said Boothroyd, whose team remain seven points adrift of safety in the Premiership, while Wigan, who host Newcastle United on Sunday, are now six clear of the bottom three.

"But you have to make your possession count. We did not do that, so we have one point instead of three.

"We have only ourselves to blame. The 10 men found that extra bit of energy, whereas the 11 men waited for someone else to make things happen.

"We should have won tonight. But after we went 1-0 up, we lost our way."

More worrying for Watford fans was the condition of goalkeeper Ben Foster, who collided with Folan in the first half and moved gingerly throughout the rest of the game.

But Boothroyd claimed the England international had suffered only a dead leg, and said he did "not see it being a major problem".

Wigan boss Paul Jewell refused to be drawn on Hall's sending-off, preferring instead to praise his team for earning a point with relative ease despite playing for 70 minutes with 10 men.

Jewell was charged with misconduct by the Football Association following his comments about the performance of referee Phil Dowd after Wigan's 2-1 defeat at Arsenal earlier this month, and the former Bradford City boss was understandably more circumspect this time. …

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