A defensive blunder helped Burnley ease past Watford with a 3-1 victory that put a dent in Watford’s playoff dreams.
Watford should have made the prefect start to this match by scoring after only 17 seconds. On-loan Manchester United midfielder Daniel Drinkwater burst clear but skewed his shot wide. It was a huge let-off for the Clarets and they took full advantage to take an eighth-minute lead in crazy circumstances.
A through-ball at the end of a fairly decent move was slightly overhit by Jack Cork and Scott Loach raced out to clear as Jay Rodriguez chased it down. Loach got there first but smashed his clearance into the back of Bennett who could only watch as the ball flew backwards into his own net.
To Watford’s credit they were level five minutes later. Marvin Sordell pulled off into space on the right and delivered a cross to the near post where Graham got ahead of his marker to score with a scrappy low, first-time finish.
A cracking first half then saw the visitors come close. Rodriguez did well to beat his man on the right flank and picked out Chris Eagles with a gem of a pass but the former Manchester United man shot straight at Loach.
After the break, Eagles showed quick feet to beat Lee Hodson and send in a decent cross which Rodriguez should have converted but he volleyed it wide. But Burnley did retake the lead when Eagles scored with a low finish after combining with ex Wolves striker Chris Iwelumo.
The roles were then reversed when Burnley got their third of the game when Chris Eagles crossed for Iwelumo who outjumped Adrian Mariappa and headed the ball past Scott Loach to seal the points for the Clarets.
Watford should’ve scored two goals to make it a draw but Andreas Weimann had a shot on goal but was comfortably saved by Lee Grant. Then, Danny Graham should’ve scored with a header after being set up by Weimann.
While Malky Mackay’s side have lost momentum in recent weeks, Burnley’s victory puts them just outside the play-off places. If Watford do want to make the playoffs, then this result makes Tuesday’s home match against Preston North End. Watford had plenty of chances to score but they have no one to blame but themselves for this defeat.