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West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Watford: Play-off hopefuls salvage draw against hornets

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Edo Kayembe scores his fifth goal of the season for Watford
Edo Kayembe celebrates his fifth goal of the season for Watford

Play-off hopefuls West Bromwich Albion came from two goals down to snatch a dramatic point against a resurgent Watford at the Hawthorns.

Second-half strikes from Edo Kayembe and Mileta Rajovic put the Hornets in control.

Brandon Thomas-Asante halved the deficit with an angled shot, and Darnell Furlong’s piledriver in added time completed an impressive comeback by the Baggies.

Watford interim boss Tom Cleverley was denied a second victory since replacing Valerien Ismael last month and they are 14th in the table, while the Baggies strengthened their grip on fifth place.

Hornets goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann was called into action inside the first 10 minutes when Thomas-Asante robbed Francisco Sierralta and fired at goal.

Ryan Porteous denied Mikey Johnston the opportunity to profit from the rebound, deflecting his effort over the bar.

Moments later, Bachmann thwarted Thomas-Asante again, this time palming away his goal-bound header, before he saw another effort sail over the bar.

The striker completed a frustrating first half in stoppage time when he failed to direct Tom Fellows’ cross on target.

Watford offered little in terms of attacking threat before the break, but the second half was a different story as, on 51 minutes, Kayembe put them in front by controlling a weak clearance from a corner and unleashing a powerful strike low into the net from the edge of the area.

Suddenly, the visitors were in the ascendancy. Alex Palmer pushed away Tom Dele-Bashiru’s forceful effort from distance before Emmanuel Dennis struck the post from a tight angle.

Their pressure told again on 66 minutes when Rajovic, who had only been on the pitch for 10 minutes, tapped home Jamal Lewis’ byline cross at the back post.

But West Brom hit back through Thomas-Asante four minutes later as he collected substitute Grady Diangana’s reverse pass and found the net via a deflection off Porteous.

Furlong struck in the 91st minute after combining well with Diangana, firing into the roof of the net from the edge of the area and giving Bachmann no chance.

The valuable point inches Albion closer to the play-offs with the three teams below them – Norwich, Coventry City and Preston – all suffering Monday defeats.

West Brom head coach Carlos Corberan told BBC Radio WM:

“For me, the team was managing the first half well. In the second half we dropped. After the two goals they scored everything was difficult.

“In football, you can never give up. You need to keep giving your best to see what you can achieve. Fortunately, we achieved the point. Unfortunately, we couldn’t achieve three points.

“Watford is a team with a lot of energy, quality and legs. We started to concede things because we didn’t arrive on on time in places and opened a lot of spaces. They can make differences with those spaces. that was the consequence of the two goals we conceded.

“It is necessary to be able to bounce back in football. Situations won’t always happen like we want them to happen.”

Watford interim manager Tom Cleverley told BBC Three Counties Radio:

“It is a bit of both really [point gained and two dropped]. At this stage of the season performances have to count for a lot. A draw and a good performance, I see as a positive.

“But in the matter of which it has happened you can’t help but feel deflated. It is my job to pick the players up and if we sustain that level of performance, we will be picking up a lot of points.

“The first half was cagey, they are a really well coached side. They watched how we played on Friday and had a lot of rotations to combat that. I asked the lads to impose themselves on the game second half and that’s exactly what they did.

“Coming here and controlling the game is not an easy thing to do. I don’t think there could be any complaints if we [had] won the game.”

Line-ups

West Brom

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 24Palmer
  • 2Furlong
  • 6Ajayi
  • 5Bartley
  • 3Townsend
  • 35YokusluSubstituted forM’Vilaat 67′minutes
  • 27MowattSubstituted forReachat 67′minutes
  • 31FellowsSubstituted forJ Wallaceat 71′minutes
  • 19SwiftSubstituted forDianganaat 67′minutes
  • 23JohnstonSubstituted forWeimannat 84′minutes
  • 21Thomas-Asante

Substitutes

  • 7J Wallace
  • 10Phillips
  • 11Diangana
  • 14Chalobah
  • 15Pieters
  • 17Weimann
  • 20Reach
  • 22M’Vila
  • 33Griffiths

Watford

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Bachmann
  • 5Porteous
  • 3Sierralta
  • 4Hoedt
  • 45Andrews
  • 39KayembeSubstituted forLivermoreat 85′minutes
  • 24Dele-Bashiru
  • 6Lewis
  • 11KonéSubstituted forAsprillaat 56′minutes
  • 19BayoSubstituted forRajovicat 56′minutes
  • 25DennisBooked at 30minsSubstituted forMartinsat 74′minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Ince
  • 8Livermore
  • 9Rajovic
  • 15Pollock
  • 18Asprilla
  • 26Hamer
  • 37Martins
  • 42Morris
  • 58Massiah-Edwards

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