Apr 6, 2013 at 5.20pm UK at ​Vicarage Road
Watford
0-0
CardiffCardiff City

Cassetti (76')
FT

Gunnarsson (68'), Mutch (85')

Live Commentary: Watford 0-0 Cardiff City - as it happened

Cardiff boss Malky Mackay gestures to his team during the match against Derby on March 5, 2013
© PA Photos
Re-live all the action in the Championship clash between Watford and Cardiff City with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute text commentary.

Watford and Cardiff City went into this evening's Championship clash with the promotion race to the Premier League wide open.

If Cardiff could secure a win, then that would all but ascertain their Premier League status next season, while a victory for Watford would intensify the race even further.

It proved to be a frustrating night for the Hornets as they couldn't find a way past David Marshall in the visitors' goal, as Troy Deeney among others were denied.

Look back at all the action as it happened with our minute-by-minute commentary below.


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5.05pmWelcome to Sports Mole's minute-by-minute coverage of this afternoon's Championship clash between Watford and Cardiff City.

5.06pmThis game is huge in context of the Championship promotion race. A win for Cardiff will see them go 11 points clear of Watford in third place all but secure their position in the top flight next season.

5.07pmHowever, a win for Watford would seem them close the gap to five points on the Bluebirds. While Hull City's win today sees them just four points behind the leaders.

5.09pmSo, we have a very important game on our hands this late afternoon. Let's find out the teams.

5.10pmWATFORD: Almunia, Doyley, Ekstrand, Cassetti; Anya, Abdi, Chalobah, Battocchio, Briggs; Deeney, Vydra.

5.11pmCARDIFF CITY/strong>: Marshall, Connolly, Barnett, Turner, Taylor; Gunnarsson, Mutch, Kim, Conway, Bellamy, Mason.

5.14pmGianfranco Zola has made two changes to his side that beat Hull City in midweek. Back comes Manuel Almunia to replace Jonathan Bond while Lloyd Doyley comes in for Fitz Hall.

5.17pmJust one change for Cardiff as Joe Mason steps in for the injured Fraizer Campbell upfront.

5.19pmThe teams are out at Vicarage Road. Kick off coming shortly.


5.19pmThe referee for today's game is Mark Halsey.

5.21pmEngland manager Roy Hodgson and Wales boss Chris Coleman are in the stands at Vicarage Road. Who are they looking out for?

1 minWe're underway at Vicarage Road.

2 minCardiff keeper David Marshall forced to scramble from his area to clear the ball into touch to beat Matej Vydra who looked to pounce.

3 minCardiff win a corner as Battocchio loses possession and has the ball blasted off his legs.

4 minNervy times for Watford as they can't clear the loose ball in their penalty area, and Mason nearly gets to the ball but Chalobah gets their first and belts it downfield.

5 minFrom that clearance Cardiff are under pressure and Taylor does well under the high ball to head it into touch. Both teams are playing the territory game at the minute.

7 minWatford on the break force an opening with Battocchio and Vydra but Turner is there to shield the ball back to Marshall with Deeney lurking in the penalty area.

9 minIt's been a scrappy game so far, neither team has really got their foot on the ball to find a passing rhythm.

10 minBellamy raids down the right and beats his marker but his cross is straight at Almunia. Not the best from the Welshman.


11 minSubstitution: Cardiff forced into an early change as Matthew Connolly goes off and is replaced by Kevin McNaughton.

13 minCardiff win a free kick just outside the penalty area which Bellamy lines up but he blasts his shot straight into the wall. This game's low on quality at the moment.

15 minAnother player down this time for Watford and it's their match-winner from Tuesday night Troy Deeney, but he appears to be ok.

17 minCardiff appear to have settled down a bit better than the home side. There's fluidity in their passing without a real clinical edge in the final third yet.

18 minSAVE! Almunia does well to get down to save an effort from Kim. The defender raids forward down the right and cuts back onto his left-foot and drives an effort at goal but the former Arsenal keeper is there to make the stop.

21 minAnother Cardiff free kick which forces Almunia into a save but the referee's whistle goes for a foul on Watford's Lloyd Doyley in the build-up.

22 minBellamy has a chance to race clear down the right. He tries to shoot first time but Cassetti is there with him every step of the way and blocks the shot with ease.

23 minCHANCE!! McNaughton saves a sure goal from Vydra as he just gets above the striker to head the ball away from him from Anya's cross from the right. Very good defending.

23 minOFF THE LINE! From the resulting corner the ball is whipped into the near post and Deeney gets his head to it but the ball hits Marshall on the line and the visitors clear the danger.

24 minCardiff's turn to threaten and Conway's shot from the edge of the area goes just wide of Almunia's post. This game is starting to open up.


26 minWatford are on the break and Deeney pulls to the back post, Vydra looks to slide the ball to him but his pass is overhit and goes behind for a goal kick.

30 minThe hosts are starting to come alive and have settled into their own game. Cardiff are well and truly on the back foot at the moment.

32 minMason adds to the large number of free kicks already in this game as he handles the ball deep in Watford territory when trying to control the ball.

34 minCHANCE!! Battocchio wins the ball in midfield and drives at goal, he takes a shot from 25 yards, which goes just past the post.

36 minDangerous times for Watford as Bellamy whips the ball in from the right and Conway knocks the ball up and just before Mason can shoot, Doyley gets across and clears the ball.

37 minCLOSE! Turner heads over bar from Gunnarsson's ball into the penalty area. Watford break straight back up field and Barnett puts in a well timed tackle to stop Briggs in his tracks.

39 minCHANCE! Abdi gets to the byline down the left for the home side and lifts the ball to the back post where Vydra knocks the ball down to Deeney but he smashes his volley over the bar.

41 minWatford on the break again, as Deeney races upfield but just as he's about to square the ball to Vydra, Bellamy puts in a well timed tackle to dispossess the striker.

43 minSome nasty challenges going in by both teams. First Deeney goes in hard on McNaughton then Gunnarsson leaves a boot in on Battocchio. Both benches are animated on the sideline, the fourth official is getting quite an earful.

45 + 1 minAnother Watford counterattack and Turner does well to stop Anya's cross into the area reaching Deeney as he reaches out and turns the ball behind for a corner.


45 + 2 minFrom the resulting corner Cardiff fail to clear their lines and the ball bobbles dangerously but no Watford player can't get a clean effort at goal and their chance is gone.

45 + 2 minHALF-TIME: Watford 0-0 Cardiff City

6.13pmIt's goalless at the break at Vicarage Road. It's been a game of few chances with neither team carving out anything clear cut so far. There's been a few half chances which the home side have edged but the visitors have defended well.

6.15pmBy the looks of things this game could be decided by a single goal, the way both defences have play so far. Don't count on their being 22 players left on the field by the end of the game either as there have been some nasty challenges so far.

6.20pmIf the score stays as it is, Cardiff will stay eight points clear of Watford with six games to play, which is an advantage over the Hornets who will only have five games left after tonight.

6.25pmIn case you're just joining us check out the report from all the action from the first-half here.

46 minWe're back underway at Vicarage Road.

46 minMalkay Mackay comes out from the dressing room and fires some words over to referee Mark Halsey. He's probably seen the challenges from Deeney in the first half and by the looks of things he's not happy.

48 minJordon Mutch wins the ball in midfield and feeds Andrew Taylor who crosses the ball but Joel Ekstrand turns the ball behind for a corner. Good defending.

49 minSAVE! A mistake from Ekstrand allows Mason to go one-on-one with Almunia but the keeper is to challenge and makes a good save with his feet to stop the striker's low effort.


51 minThe on-going battle between Barnett and Deeney continues as the defender jumps into the back of the striker and gives away a free kick. It's been a very physical tussle so far.

52 minSubstitution: Change for Watford as Jonathan Hogg comes on for Cristian Battocchio.

54 minVery scrappy start to the half, plenty of poor tackles and mis-placed passes so far.

55 minSAVE! Marshall makes a brilliant save to deny Deeney as he gets down low to his right to stop the striker's header reaching the bottom corner of the net.

55 minThat was a quality save from the Scottish international. How crucial will that save be come the end of the game and even the season?

57 minA stoppage in play as Matthew Briggs goes down after challenging McNaughton in the air.

58 minBriggs is back on his feet and we're back underway.

60 minThe game is quite flat at the moment, there's no attacking momentum from either side. The match needs something to liven it up.

61 minSubstitution: Another change for Watford as Matej Vydra goes off and is replaced by Fernando Forestieri.

62 minBriggs gets down the left but gets stood up by McNaughton who manages to keep him in the corner until support arrives. Briggs eventually beats the defender and lifts a cross into the area which is collected with ease by Marshall.


63 minCLOSE! The ball is lifted into the penalty area by Cardiff and Turner rises highest to head the ball at goal and his effort goes agonisingly wide, as it trickles past the post.

64 minCardiff have a chance to threaten as Kim is brought down just outside the area, but Bellamy's free kick is straight into the hands of Almunia. Very low on quality at the moment.

66 minThe visitors are trying to manufacture an opening and Gunnarsson throws the ball from about 30 yards into the area. Watford clear their lines but only as far as Conway who strikes a volley first time but his effort goes over.

68 minYellow Card! Gunnarsson goes into the book for hauling down Forestieri off the ball.

69 minCHANCE! Deeney wins the ball on the edge of the area and knocks it back to Forestieri who blasts the ball with his left-foot but his shot goes just over.

72 minDoyley does well under pressure as a clearance from Cardiff leaves him in a one-on-one chase with Mutch for the ball but he knocks the ball back to Almunia calmly and the keeper completes the clearance.

74 minSHOT! A nice move from Watford comes to abrupt end when Forestieri's shot goes well wide after Chalobah had done well to give him time and space 30 yards from goal.

76 minYellow Card! Cassetti is carded after a rough challenge on Bellamy, although replays show he got some of the ball.

77 minEkstrand and Cassetti are both down in penalty area after they clashed looking to clear the danger from a free kick. Replays suggest they were both wiped out by teammate Manuel Almunia.

79 minCHANCE! A long throw from Gunnarsson comes into the Watford area, Barnett controls the ball nicely and passes to Bellamy who shoots, but his goalbound effort is blocked by his own teammate Kim.


81 minWatford's patience appears to be ending as they're resorting to hoofing the ball upfield to Deeney, which is playing right into the hands of the visitors.

83 minBarnett goes down under the challenge of Briggs and rolls of the pitch. Forestieri in a moment of sportsmanship puts the ball out of play even though his side are on the attack.

84 minYellow Card! Mutch goes into book for Cardiff after bringing down Forestieri.

87 minCHANCE! A long ball from the back finds the run of Deeney perfectly he takes it on the chest and bares down on goal but Turner is there just in time to get a foot in and win the ball.

90 minChance for Watford from a free kick just outside the penalty area after Barnett brings down Deeney but Abdi fires the kick straight into the wall.

90 + 2 minIt's very much job done as far as Cardiff are concerned as they seem content just to see out the last few minutes by putting as many men as possible behind the ball.

90 + 3 minCHANCE! A cross into the Cardiff penalty area is only half cleared by Barnett and Forestieri pounces on the loose ball but his goalbound effort is blocked behind by Turner.

90 + 3 minFrom the resulting corner Marshall punches the ball clear and to ease the danger and all but end the game.

90 + 4 minFULL-TIME Watford 0-0 Cardiff City

7.22pmIt's all over and that is a vital point for Cardiff who look all but set to join the Premier League next season. They defended well against a good Watford side who tested them all the way but they were indebted to a brilliant save from David Marshall in the second-half to deny Troy Deeney, apart from that there was little action from either team.


7.23pmWatford will see this as an opportunity missed and are still eight points behind Cardiff in the race for promotion. Hull City's win over Middlesbrough today means they are also three points behind the Tigers in the race for second. Gianfranco Zola's men have a lot of work to do to secure automatic promotion.

7.28pmThanks for joining Sports Mole for this evening's game until next time, goodbye.

Watford's Ikechi Anya celebrates a goal against Ipswich on February 19, 2013
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