‘SOFT’ TROTTERS THROW IT AWAY
Watford delight at Deeney’s late goal
NEIL Lennon branded his Bolton players soft after they lost to a last-minute Troy Deeney goal in an absorbing seven-goal encounter against Watford.
Zach Clough cancelled out Odion Ighalo’s opener before Adam Le Fondre handed Wanderers a half-time lead.
Almen Abdi equalised after the break before Joel Ekstrand handed the Hornets the lead once more, and though Clough levelled with five minutes to go, Deeney fired home a late Watford winner.
“We did brilliantly to get back to 3-3, we’re attacking and five seconds later, the ball’s in our net,” reflected Lennon. “It is not good enough at any level.
“We had a four-against-two situation when the ball’s cleared.We never laid a glove on Watford and the ball ends up in our net. It is mentally soft.
“When you get to 3-3 with a couple of minutes to go, take the point, see the game out.
“But we looked tentative at times at the back and that’s something I need to look at going forward.
“There are balls off the line, the goalkeeper making a save on the line, we had clear chances to win the game comfortably and against a team that you know have got attacking prowess.”
The Hornets took the lead when Ben Watson’s 25th-minute through-ball found Hornets top scorer Ighalo, who outsmarted David Wheater to slot calmly past Andy Lonergan.
Wanderers nearly drew level six minutes later after a quicklytaken corner eventually fell to Le Fondre whose effort was blocked on the line by Watson.
Bolton equalised when Feeney’s low right-wing 37thminute cross was slotted home by an unmarked Clough, though a handful of Watford players claimed offside against Le Fondre in the build-up.
The Trotters went ahead when the impressive Clough found Feeney on the left and his 41stminute cross was met by Le Fondre.
After the break, Abdi – who drew a string of superb saves from Lonergan – finally beat the stopper with a fabulous longrange curling effort on 69 minutes to see Watford draw level with their hosts once more.
A minute later, Heurelho Gomes denied Feeney and Le Fondre from close range before saving Clough’s effort on the line to keep the score level.
And Bolton were made to rue their missed opportunities when Ekstrand got the better of Tim Ream to nod in Abdi’s teasing 74th-minute cross and apparently complete the turnaround.
Teenager Clough thought he had salvaged a point when he drew Wanderers level again late on by slotting Feeney’s 85th minute cross beyond Gomes’ reach.
But there was another twist in the tail when Ighalo twisted and turned in the Bolton area just before full-time and found Deeney who buried the chance to seal a remarkable victory for the visitors.
Hornets boss Slavisa Jokanovic said: “It’s a really incredible game.
“At the end I must be happy with the performance of my team.
“I must be happy how my team play with confidence, with high morale, with belief in themselves at the end and then we score this last goal in the last minute and win these three points.
“They scored after three crosses, we have enough information that these situations are going to happen and we don’t avoid these situations.
“It’s very interesting for supporters and we must avoid this situation because to win the game and some away games, it’s enough to score one goal.
“But if we always must score four for three points it’s very complicated for us.”
STING IN THE TAIL: Troy Deeney scores in the final minute
AHEAD: Adam Le Fondre scores to give Bolton the lead for the first and only time