FA Cup – Van der Vaart stike stings Hornets and puts Tottenham in the hat for the next round
Watford 0-1 Tottenham
In a fairly miserable FA Cup tie, a well organised display from Watford unfortunately ended in defeat. The Watford keeper, Scott Loach, failed to stop a first half strike from Rafael Van der Vaart, which won the tie for the Premier League giants.
The Hornets started the game at a ferocious pace, chasing down lost causes; while the midfielders snapped away in the middle of the park.
The early energy created a few early chances for the hosts, the most notable being a 15 yard drive from Prince Buaben that flew just past the upright.
Watford had another sight of goal when a deliciously clipped cross by Troy Deeney found Joe Garner six yards out, but the Hornets striker squandered the chance.
At the other end, Tottenham had their first shot, though Jermain Defoe’s lamentable strike was easily dealt with by Scott Loach.
Tottenham decided to move through the gears, and in the 42nd minute got the breakthrough with their first real attack; the mercurial Dutchman, Rafael van der Vaart drilled the ball home from 22 yards.
The home side started the second half in a positive fashion; with John Eustace blasting high, wide and handsome from a corner.
Moments later Carlo Cudicini took a quick goal-kick to Michael Dawson, bizarrely, the England International played a perfect ball to the Watford striker, Sean Murray, but Cudicini denied him the chance with a superb fingertip save. The follow up was wasted by Troy Deeney.
Watford kept pressing but the Lillywhites restricted them to shots from the edge of the area.
The brilliantly named Prince Buaben saw his well struck effort parried by Carlo Cudicini, but the energetic Joe Garner blazed the follow up over the stand, sailing towards the M1.
Minutes later, Joe Garner’s headed chance went agonisingly wide of the Tottenham upright.
Watford probably deserved to get something out of the game, but their final chance of the evening fell with Nyron Nosworthy, whose snap-shot was saved by Carlo Cudicini. The follow up attempt was wasted by Marvin Sordell.