Blades Press Self Destruct Button….Again.
Saturday 12th March
With just a third of the match played, it was game over for the meagre crowd at Vicarage Road, as two ex Hornets were already back in the Blades dressing room. Referee Whitestone ensured that the contest was effectively over before it had really begun when he dismissed Henderson and Williamson in quick succession.
United were already a goal down after 10 minutes following some comical defending. Mattock failed to close Buckley down, who crossed to no one in particular only for Collins to test his own keeper who could only parry for Graham to nod in the easiest goal he will score all season.
The warnings were there for all to see as early as the 5th minute as Mr Whitestone showed a yellow card to Watford`s Jenkins for an innocuous foul on Quinn. Henderson was then booked for using his arms in a challenge, followed a few minutes later by a second yellow for a late lunge for the ball in Watford`s six yard box which left full back Hodson on the floor, and stretchered off minutes later.
Henderson`s presence for 28 minutes had certainly given United a different dimension up front, he had held the ball well, provided a couple of good balls into the box and his sheer physical presence promised to upset the lumbering Taylor, but the old problem of heart ruling his head once again robbed his team of his potential impact on a game.
The frustration among the Blades players was plain for all to see, and minutes later it got worse as Williamson going for a high ball charged into Doyley shoulder first and referee Whitestone came running across waving his red card. Quinn could easily have followed Williamson as his angry protests in the referees face threatened to reduce things to a farce.
So after half an hour the game was over. Both sets of fans were denied any kind of a contest and predictably the atmosphere fell flat as both sets of fans waited for the inevitable to happen.
The second half was just a game of possession for the home side, though they never really capitalised on their numerical dominance as United`s nine worked hard to cover the gaps and limit the damage. The second goal came from a corner which was headed on by Thompson, pushed onto the bar by Simonsen, Taylor heading the rebound into the net.
Evans replaced Vokes, and then Yeates and Bogdanovic came on for Monty and Quinn who had run themselves into the ground and were totally exhausted.
The long suffering travelling Blades fans amused themselves by singing continually through out the second half, one strain of "Micky Adams Red & White Army` lasted a full 15 minutes.
Only one contender, the thousand travelling Blades fans who were absolutely magnificent, singing loudly through out the game.
I am still waiting to see Doyle actually contribute anything to a game. Mattock continues to prove that he is the worst left back ever to pull on the shirt, and my heart is always in my mouth every time a cross or corner gets into Simonsen`s box.
My personal view on the sending`s off were that Henderson`s first yellow card was no more than a free kick and certainly not a card, his second yellow was deserved and could even have been a straight red having now seen it on TV. My first impression of Williamsons challenge was that it was a bad one, but with the benefit of the TV pictures, it looked like a yellow at worst.