BREWERS MADE SLOW START AS
Tactical error is costly at Hornets
ASPIRITED second-half display wasn’t enough to save Championship side Burton Albion from FA Cup elimination, going down to Watford at Vicarage Road, and Nigel Clough admitted his tactical blunder had cost them early on.
The Premier League side took a deserved lead midway through the first half through Christian Kabasele but had to wait until 13 minutes from time to seal victory thanks to Jerome Sinclair.
Clough’s side improved dramatically in the second period after being outplayed for large parts during the opening half.
It’s that sort of desire that is going to give Burton a chance of avoiding an immediate return to League One, having lost five of their last six league fixtures.
However Clough conceded that he got his side’s formation wrong at the start and once he had reverted to a back four, the Brewers looked a lot more competitive.
“The start of the second half was the key period,” Clough said. “We started off with the wrong formation which is my fault but we changed it after 2025 minutes. Unfortunately we were 1-0 down. STAR MAN BRANDON MASON Watford
“Once we got to a back four we were much more competitive.
“There were too many spaces with the back three early on for us.
“But I thought for an hour after that we played very well.”
It was always going to be an uphill task once Brandon Mason had broken clear down the left-hand side and squared for an unmarked Kabasele to tap home.
You may have expected Burton to succumb to the hosts’ superiority from then on but the visitors fought their way back and could have levelled early into the second half.
Tom Flanagan ventured forward from full-back before meeting a Luke Varney ball at the front post, but he could only nod narrowly wide.
Former MK Dons defender Flanagan was providing a useful outlet for Burton, this time his low cross narrowly evaded the clutches of winger Marcus Harness.
Those near misses proved decisive in the end though once Sinclair had doubled Watford’s lead on 77 minutes with his first goal for the Hornets.
Afforded too much time on the edge of the area, the former Liverpool youngster fired unerringly beyond Jon McLaughlin to put the tie out of reach.
It was tough on a resilient Burton, but Clough believed the missed chances summed up their misfortunes so far this season.
“There were two good chances that we had,” he added.
“That’s been the story of our season in the Championship where we’ve created good things but haven’t quite managed to finish them off.
“Unfortunately we feel there’s a blatant foul in the lead up to the second goal on Lucas