Football: Cold Comfort for Megson as the Ice Man Turns Up Heat; Watford 1 West Brom 0
Byline: Kevin MOSELEY
WATFORD'S Icelandic striker Heidar Helguson left West Brom with only Premiership survival to strive for.
His 10th goal of the season dumped Albion out of the Cup in a game that First Division Watford thoroughly deserved to win.
For Albion, it seemed a replay of so many of their games this season - a backs-to-the-wall attempt to fend off the opposition.
Helguson's goal came nine minutes from time via a pass from the outstanding Jermaine Pennant, the 20-year-old on loan from Arsenal.
It was no less than Watford merited after they had suffered the anguish of missing a 55th-minute penalty.
Albion goalkeeper Russell Hoult, who has growing support for an England call-up, dived to his left to brilliantly beat away Neil Cox's spot-kick.
It leaves Albion manager Gary Megson to continue his frantic search for new blood in their desperate fight for survival before the transfer window closes.
For Watford, struggling financially to survive just a few months ago, it is a much brighter outlook.
Albion's problems were obvious, just as they have been in the Premiership all season. Nobody doubts their commitment but they have no cutting edge.
Front men Jason Roberts and Danny Dichio were often isolated and were left making vain efforts to reach high balls pumped into the last third of the pitch.
Watford's veteran goalkeeper Alec Chamberlain, 38, was hardly exerted in the first half.
With skipper Cox a dominating figure it was evident how Watford - just two defeats in their last 10 games - were just a point away from a First Division play-off spot.
Roberts so nearly celebrated his 25th birthday in style in the first minute on his return from suspension. But his header from Jason Koumas's free-kick was easily collected by Chamberlain.
Dichio has scored five goals in his previous five games, including a hat-trick against Bradford in the last round, but he had no luck during a bright opening spell by Albion, sending a header wide from another Koumas free-kick.
Watford settled and it became increasingly clear that the combination of Neal Ardley and Pennant was going to trouble Albion's defence. …