Wat­ford strike late to earn a point at home to Bournemouth

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Si­mon Mor­gan

BOURNEMOUTH boss Ed­die Howe has chal­lenged his side to re­dis­cover their shoot­ing boots after their win­less run in the Cham­pi­onship ex­tended to six matches.

The Cher­ries had be­gun the sea­son with a 4-0 de­mo­li­tion of Hud­der­s­field, but wasted a hat­ful of chances at Vicarage Road to build on Harry Arter’s opener and were forced to set­tle for a point when sub­sti­tute Craig Cath­cart hit back late on.

It could have all been dif­fer­ent had Ian Harte not missed from the penalty spot in the open­ing min­utes, fol­low­ing a foul from Gabriel Ta­mas which Howe was flab­ber­gasted did not lead to a red card.

But his most press­ing con­cern is how to bring an end to Bournemouth’s bar­ren run.

“For the ref­eree to not even book Ta­mas, I find an amaz­ing decision, con­sid­er­ing Callum Wilson was through on goal,” said Howe.

“My im­me­di­ate thought was would it be a yel­low or red, we were hop­ing for red, and felt it was jus­ti­fied.

“When you miss a penalty, take the lead, and pro­duce such a good de­fen­sive dis­play, it’s dif­fi­cult to take. And it’s es­pe­cially tough to take when you’re on a run like us.

“We’ve got our­selves into good po­si­tions and, if we were a lit­tle bit more clin­i­cal around the box, we prob­a­bly could have won the game com­fort­ably.”

Bournemouth started brightly and were re­warded with a fourth­minute penalty.

Callum Wilson burst beyond Ta­mas to go clear through on goal, be­fore the de­fender bun­dled him over to con­cede the spot-kick.

The usu­ally re­li­able Harte stepped up but fired well wide, to the de­light of the Wat­ford crowd.

Mid­way through the first half the hosts suf­fered a set­back as Ta­mas was stretched off with a se­ri­ous-look­ing knee in­jury fol­low­ing a col­li­sion with Wilson.

And Wilson almost broke the dead­lock for the vis­i­tors on the stroke of half-time with a pow­er­ful header, but Heurelho Gomes pulled off a great to save to tip the ball over the bar.

The sec­ond half be­gan as the first, with the vis­i­tors firmly on top. Wilson had a goal cor­rectly ruled out for off­side but Bournemouth got on the score­sheet just after the hour.

Arter picked the ball up 30 yards out and un­leashed an un­stop­pable ef­fort, leav­ing Gomes grasp­ing at thin air, as it flew into the top cor­ner.

Wat­ford, with a 100 per cent home record to pro­tect, threw on the re­turn­ing Fer­nando Forestieri in search of a goal, back after two weeks on the side­lines with ham­string trou­ble.

But, it was Cath­cart who drew the hosts level with ten min­utes to go. Seiz­ing upon the vis­i­tors’ in­abil­ity to clear the ball, the de­fender showed tremen­dous poise and tech­nique to cush­ion a vol­ley inside the far post.

With Wat­ford man­ager Os­car Gar­cia still in hos­pi­tal after be­ing ad­mit­ted with chest pains last Sun­day, his as­sis­tant man­ager Ruben Martinez took charge.

How­ever, Martinez ex­pects his Span­ish com­pa­triot to soon be back on the touch­line.

“He’s much bet­ter. He’s due to the leave the hos­pi­tal soon,” he said. “I hope he re­turns as soon as pos­si­ble.

“We played against a good team, a team that has been work­ing for two years with the same coach and play­ers.

“For us it’s dif­fi­cult. We’re try­ing to build a team and have only been here two weeks, and with the prob­lem of Os­car, it’s a dif­fi­cult start to build.

“I hope all the in­juries and prob­lems are fin­ished. We want to fo­cus 100 per cent on foot­ball, to give the team our style of play and hope­fully in a few weeks that will change.”

PIC­TURES: Paul Den­nis/TGSPHOTO

LATE AR­RIVAL: Craig Cath­cart en­joys equal­is­ing for Wat­ford with seven min­utes to go

IN­JURY: Wat­ford’s Gabriel Ta­mas is car­ried off

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