Paul Robinson joined Jermaine Jenas and Hossam Ghaly on the scoresheet as three points were recorded on our return to Premiership action against Watford at the Lane.
Paul Robinson joined Jermaine Jenas and Hossam Ghaly on the scoresheet as three points were recorded on our return to Premiership action against Watford at the Lane.Robbo netted his first for us from considerable distance just after the hour mark, with the ball bouncing over the head of Ben Foster in the Watford goal.
To be honest, it was the high point of a match that didn't really set the pulse racing, but the win was vital to keep us in the race for Euro-qualification via the league.
There were few incidents of any note early on apart from a reduction in our numbers to ten for a few minutes after Ricardo Rocha required stitches after a coming together with Tamas Priskin.
There was half a chance on 16 minutes when Steed Malbranque evaded his marker down the left and cut the ball back into the feet of Mido on the near corner of the six yard box, but the striker's shot on the spin went high. A Jenas defence-splitter then gave Jermain Defoe the chance of a shot on goal from the left side of the area, but visiting keeper Foster was equal to the challenge presented by the low effort.
The game was given a much needed lift on 40 minutes when Pascal Chimbonda launched a deep cross from the right and Jenas stole in between two markers on the edge of the six yard to nod superbly past Foster to open the scoring.
It was pretty dire stuff up that point with Watford showing limited ambition in terms of getting out of their own half. Defoe nearly made it two a minute before the break when he took a run at goal and ended prodding just past the far post, before Mido failed to connect with a Hossam Ghaly centre right in front of goal.
The pattern was not much different at the beginning of the second period, the team always tried to get the ball down and play, but the contrast with the style of Watford did not make for particularly good watching.
Even at a goal down, the visitors stuck to their shape and gameplan perhaps hoping a set piece later in the game would provide a passport back into it.
Defoe tried his luck with a chip from the edge of the area that landed just wide, before Mido forced a save out of Foster with a decent header from a Jenas free-kick.
On 62 minutes another free-kick resulted in a goal from the unlikely scorer. Robinson took the kick from well back in his own territory, the ball bounced in front of fellow England man Foster and proceeded to fly over his head and into the net. His teammates had a long run back to our own goal to celebrate with the scorer.
You could say Robbo put one over his England rival, who did moments later produce a spectacular tip over from a Huddlestone piledriver. He later spilt a long range shot from Huddlestone, with the rebound falling in front of Mido a few yards out, but the keeper somehow managed to divert away.
Paul Stalteri, Defoe and Aaron Lennon combined on the edge of the area on 84 to tee up Ghaly for a shot on goal, which the Egyptian accepted via a slight deflection to grab his second goal in three games.
Watford scored the consolation goal that denied Robbo a clean sheet just before the end when Tommy Smith got the better of Chimbonda and squared for Darius Henderson to tap into an empty net.
Team: Robinson, Chimbonda, Lee (Stalteri 78), Dawson, Rocha, Ghaly, Jenas, Huddlestone, Malbranque (Lennon 70), Defoe, Mido. Subs not used: Cerny, Stalteri, Berbatov, Keane.
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