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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
08:17 16th July 2013


It was a disappointing afternoon for the Owls at Hillsborough as they suffered a 4-1 defeat to Watford.

The Hornets took an early lead through Gabriele Angella, who pounced in the area following an initial save from Chris Kirkland to deny Troy Deeney.

But it was Watford’s pace on the counter that presented the biggest problem for Wednesday and it was via this route that the Hornet’s second goal arrived.

Lewis McGugan finished calmly with a header from six yards after some impressive build-up play before the visitors put the game to bed shortly after the restart.

Deeney struck twice within a minute after the resumption to wrap up the points with Benik Afobe’s bullet header in front of the Kop serving only as a consolation.

Watford were out to arrest their poor run away from Vicarage Road that had seen the club go without a win on their travels since early October.

And to that end, the visitors were off to the ideal start inside five minutes.

Ikechi Anya lofted a high free kick over the top which Deeney nodded low on target but as Kirkland made the save, Angella was on hand from six yards to flick into the net.

The goal brought a good response from Wednesday as Liam Palmer flashed a half volley just past the post before the Owls engineered a good chance to level on 15 minutes.

Joe Mattock arrowed a low ball into the area for Chris Maguire to pull the trigger from 18 yards but Watford had men back to block the strike.

Watford looked a threat with their counter attacking pace and thus doubled their lead just past the 20-minute mark.

Daniel Pudil raced down the left and cut back in the area for McGugan to head delicately into the bottom corner.

In a bid to halve the arrears, Afobe took aim from 30 yards and drew a smart save from his former Arsenal team mate Manuel Almunia.

If Wednesday had a mountain to climb at half time, it became even steeper five minutes after the restart when Watford effectively put the game to bed with a Deeney double.

The Hornets hitman sprung the offiside trap and applied a cool finish to roll the ball into the net and the same man doubled his personal tally a minute later.

After a mad scramble in the Owls’ 18-yard box, Deeney hit the post, saw his rebound shot saved by Kirkland before finally blasting home from close range.

Wednesday gained a glimmer of hope in a lively opening to the second period when Afobe placed his bullet header from Palmer’s centre into the bottom corner.

In truth, though, Watford’s lead never really seemed at threat despite Wednesday’s late pressure.

Leon Best couldn’t quite get the purchase in the area from a Mattock delivery and Oguchi Onyewu glanced onto the crossbar.

Kieran Lee went close at the death from a give and go with Maguire, giving the midfielder space in the area but Almunia wasn’t to be beaten and Watford ran out comfortable winners.

Owls: Kirkland, Buxton, Loovens, Onyewu, Mattock, Lee, Palmer, Maguire (Nuhiu  64), Helan (Lavery 73), Best, Afobe (J Johnson 78)

Watford: Almunia, Angella, Ekstrand, Battocchio, Deeney, McGugan (Abdi 69), Doyley, Ranegie, Pudil (Riera 62), Anya (Faraoni 78), Tozser

    QUICK FACTS

    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.