For the neutral, this game must have been entertaining as any this season. Both teams looked to get the ball on the ground and were always looking to attack and played at a high intensity considering this was their 5th match in a fortnight.
Following defeat in midweek, Wolves recalled Jack Price for Edwards and Henry came into the side for Dicko and played behind the striker. Wolves old boy Adlene Guedioura started for the visitors.
Wolves started brightly and opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Mirroring the goal against Bournemouth midweek, McDonald shifted the ball passed his opposite number into space, before threading an excellent through ball to Afobe. The forward’s control sent him through on goal and never looked like missing his 7th goal in 11 games.
McDonald and Afobe are striking up a real relationship. The Scot’s ability to penetrative passing from deep and Afobe’s intelligent movement and desire to run in behind the defence has given a real outlet.
Kevin McDonald was in fine form in the first half alongside the terrier-like Jack Price. The duo showed once again why they are the best midfield partnership at their disposal.
It didn’t take Watford too long to respond. Deeney dropped deep to play in Vydra, who controlled and finished before any Wolves player had a chance to tackle him.
Wolves started the second half brightly with Van La Parra a constant outlet with Sako having a quiet game.
In the 50th minute, a Wolves corner broke to the edge of the box to Hause, whose shot ricocheted off Jack Price before finding its way past Gomes in goal.
Price’s reaction to scoring his first goal for the club was priceless (pardon the pun). You could see how much it meant scoring in front of the South Bank, though I’m sure he’ll want to deliberately score his next goal.
Wolves had chances to extend the lead though a James Henry header and an clearance by Cathcart which both crept the wrong side of the post.
After Watford hit the bar with a thunderous effort, they equalised once again through danger-man Troy Deeney. Running on to a lobbed through ball, Deeney wriggled past Danny Batth before poking the ball past Kuszczak. It was a poor goal to concede and the defence will be disappointed to have let in a goal that could have been prevented.
It wasn’t until the closing stages that the drama happened. Van La Parra had been a nuisance to the left back Hoban all day, and after already being booked, tripped the Flying Dutchman after he had gone past him.
The Watford backroom coaches were angered by the decision with very little reason. The coaches’ reaction influenced the players, who started to make rash challenges.
In a similar position Sako ghosted past Forestieri. The Italian didn’t want Sako to advance any further and essentially rugby tackled him to stop him. Sako was, quite rightly, annoyed by the tackle, had words with Forestieri. The Watford player pushed Sako as the Malian brushed him away. Forestieri then proceeded to fall on the ground and acted like he had been struck in the face.
Even from my position a good 50 metres away, I could see Sako barely made contact with him, let alone to have that reaction.
Sako was given a straight red card and his team mates were quite rightly incensed. For a fellow professional to act in such a manner is shameful and in a just world should face conduct charges from the FA and at the very least his club. In the balance of fairness, the Wolves players reaction to it was pretty ugly, however right they were.
It was very satisfying to see Jack Price scythe Forestieri down the next time he was on the ball, and I’m sure he’ll have no problem paying a fine for the booking.
The match ended 2-2 leaving Wolves five points off the playoffs and five points ahead of inform Nottingham Forrest.