Date:Sunday October 17 2010
Who needs to watch the premiership eh? If it's thrills and spills and end to end stuff you want, the Championship is the place to be!
I've had a few chats recently about the difference between top flight and second tier football, the Premiership has been lopsided for years, money can't buy you love, but it can buy top players and top wages, it is very much a feudal system with the nobles with the cash at the top, with a few upstarts kicking for survival at the bottom, it takes something special to break into the top 10 surviving within your means.
The cosy Championship however is very different, it is a very level playing field, their is not one team is superior to any other, any match is a possible win or defeat, for me, isn't that what football was supposed to be like?
Watford came with the best away record in the division, and come to play they did, for the first 10 minutes it was a wave of yellow pushing towards the Milton end, Pompey were up against it and having to fight to preserve their upturn in form.
Watford fired one over the bar early doors, Pompey replying with a couple of Lawrence efforts that missed the target. The football flowed back and forth, it might of lacked a bit of panache at times, but was certainly entertaining.
The deadlock was broken on 17 minutes, Hayden Mullins, fresh from his maiden goal in the last Fratton encounter popped up again, a half-cleared ball fell to him wide on the right, he returned with a little extra and it flew into the net, no Quashie this boy after all!
Watford contered once more, contained mainly to long range stuff as Rocha marshalled well once more, Mokoena earning a yellow for a more agricultural challenge to break up an attack.
Nugent fired one wide and Ciftci swerved in a 30 yarder to join the fun. Added to the many corners Watford racked up and it was thrill a minute.
Half time came and went and the second half started like the first, Watford pushing hard for some reward.
Jamie Ashdown made a fantastic double block to the preserve the lead, he blocked the first effort but it bounced kindly for Graham, but with an equaliser looking likely, big Paddy blocked again to earn the calls of 'England's number 1', David James must be cursing his decision to go to Bristol!
Just after the hour it all changed, Taylor the big centre back headed home yet another corner, the goal was soft from Pompey's perspective, the big man not having to even jump to knock home.
The goal gave Watford a fillip, as 3 minutes later they had turned the game on it's head, Bryan shoed quick feet on the right and crossed for substitute McGinn to volley home from close range.
Pompey were now being asked serious question to their character, were they more galvanised after their recent improvements? The answer was a unanimous yes, Nugent burst into the box and was denied by a sliding challenge, the ball came to Kitson 20 yards out and he clipped his shot inside the post, no worries mate!
The game was there to be won by either side, Watford fancied it and so did Pompey, the winner came though from a man in blue, Michael Brown kept up his great run of goals from midfield, Joel Ward battled into the box and the ball found it's way to Brown on the edge of the 18 yard box, he steadied and curled home to send Fratton wild again, no doubting the character of Steve Cotterill's side now!
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Date:Sunday October 17 2010
|14. Dag & Red||33||10||11||12||-2||41|
|18. Bristol Rovers||33||9||12||12||-2||39|
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