Troy Deeney was red-hot as Wat­ford beat Ful­ham 5-0 on Fri­day

Deeney hat-trick sees off ten men

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Si­mon James

WAT­FORD boss Slav­isa Jokanovic was keen to keep his team’s maul­ing of Ful­ham in con­text, after they ended a run of four straight de­feats with their big­gest ever win over the Cot­tagers.

After Al­men Abdi had opened the scor­ing with the first of his two goals, Ful­ham goal­keeper Mar­cus Bet­tinelli saw red for a foul on Matej Vy­dra and the flood­gates opened, with Troy Deeney hit­ting a hat-trick to end a fiveg­ame goal drought.

But Wat­ford’s sea­son on the pitch has been as topsy-turvy as off it, and Jokanovic – sent off at Craven Cot­tage while play­ing for west London ri­vals Chelsea in his play­ing days – re­fused to get too car­ried away.

He said: “We are not the best team in the Cham­pi­onship be­cause we win one game, but we were also not the worst team after four de­feats. Cel­e­brat­ing this vic­tory is not my way.

“We can be happy. A dif­fi­cult Novem­ber is over and hope­fully we can do bet­ter in De­cem­ber. It was a very good per­for­mance.

“We had many chances be­fore the first goal and then after the sec­ond goal and red card we had full con­trol. It was very close to be­ing a per­fect game for us.

“We played like a team, at­tacked all to­gether and de­fended all to­gether. It was a team ef­fort.

“In the last few games it de­pended on whether cer­tain guys would score or not. In this game we had con­trol and played well.

“We didn’t give Ful­ham many chances which is dif­fer­ent to the last games where we have of­fered the op­po­si­tion presents and paid an ex­pen­sive price.”

The Hor­nets set their stall out from the off. Daniel Tozser’s whipped free-kick was spec­tac­u­larly kept out by Bet­tinelli and the stop­per was soon bailed out by Kon­stanti­nos Stafy­lidis, who blocked Deeney’s loop­ing header on the goal-line.

But on 15 min­utes Wat­ford made the break­through when Abdi pow­ered a free-kick un­der­neath the Ful­ham wall.

Three min­utes later Bet­tinelli saw red from Paul Tier­ney for clip­ping Vy­dra as the striker looked to jink his way beyond him and Deeney beat sub­sti­tute keeper Ga­bor Ki­raly.

Deeney latched on to Gianni Mu­nari’s header to make it three be­fore the in­ter­val.

Abdi curled in from 25 yards six min­utes after the restart for his sec­ond and Wat­ford’s fourth, be­fore Deeney com­pleted the rout in the dy­ing seconds as he raced past veteran stop­per Ki­raly and slot­ted in.

Rather than pub­li­cally tear strips of his play­ers, Ful­ham boss Kit Sy­mons pre­ferred to look to the pos­i­tives of his team’s sec­ond­half per­for­mance in a post-match press con­fer­ence, briefly in­ter­rupted by a fire alarm.

“That’s the best thing that hap­pened!” he joked, as the bell drowned him out.

“I said to the play­ers at half­time that we couldn’t feel sorry for our­selves. The play­ers had to show character and pride in the shirt. I felt we did that in the sec­ond half.

“It was a won­der strike for the fourth and sloppy de­fend­ing for the fifth.

“The lads showed character though in the sec­ond half and I am proud of that.

“You have to try and learn from ev­ery game, win, lose or draw. It is ob­vi­ous there is a lot of hard work and a lot of im­prove­ment still to be done.

“We started very poorly. You have to give Wat­ford credit be­cause they came out all guns blaz­ing.We had warn­ings. Mar­cus made an ex­cel­lent save from a free-kick be­fore they scored.

“Then there is the send­ing off and we are 2-0 be­hind. How­ever, we hadn’t played well up un­til that point any­way.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

AB-FAB! Al­men Abdi, right, cel­e­brates after scor­ing Wat­ford’s fourth goal

TRIPLE CROWN: Troy Deeney com­pletes his hat-trick with Wat­ford’s fifth goal

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