Lewis McGugan converted a penalty with three minutes remaining to earn Watford a dramatic victory over Doncaster.

McGugan surged through the Rovers defence and produced a fine finish to put the hosts in front.

But Chris Brown drew Doncaster level when he turned in after Manuel Almunia blocked Theo Robinson's effort.

After Rovers' James Husband fouled Sean Murray in the area, McGugan made no mistake from the spot to secure the home side a deserved win.

McGugan joined the Hornets from Nottingham Forest on a free transfer in the summer and put Gianfranco Zola's team in front with an impressive solo effort to beat Ross Turnbull.

Brown equalised with his second of the campaign with he reacted first to the rebound after Almunia failed to hold Robinson's shot.

Doncaster went close to moving ahead when James Coppinger drove just over and Brown headed wide.

But after Husband was penalised for his challenge on Murray, McGugan scored his fourth of the season as Watford won for the first time in five league games.

Watford manager Gianfranco Zola:

"I'm delighted for the three points. I'm also pleased with the way we played in the second half.

"We realised that it wasn't our best day in the first half but we've been patient, waited and went back to basics and started to use the pitch better.

"I think the quality of the football improved and also the chances came, one after the other. In the end we've been rewarded with a penalty but I think the team has done enough to win the game."

Doncaster manager Paul Dickov:

"It's not a penalty. I thought that at the time and after seeing it again, not just once but various times from different angles, I just don't see how the referee can make that call with a couple of minutes left to go.

"I told him it wasn't a penalty. Nine times out of 10 your first reaction is the right reaction and we didn't feel it was, I could tell by young James' reaction that it wasn't and as soon as I've seen the linesman flag for the foul at no point was he going to give the penalty.

"We feel hard done by. We know they're a good team but we defended for our lives. The one thing I don't mind doing is to get beat but to get beat in that manner is a little bit sickening at the minute."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (5)

Watford

  • 01 Almunia
  • 04 Angella
  • 06 Ekstrand
  • 12 Doyley
  • 07 Battocchio (Murray - 72' )
  • 10 McGugan Booked
  • 18 Pudil
  • 21 Anya
  • 28 Smith (Iriney - 89' )
  • 09 Deeney
  • 15 Acuna (Forestieri - 61' Booked )

Substitutes

  • 30 Bond
  • 05 Belkalem
  • 16 Murray
  • 19 Faraoni
  • 23 Iriney
  • 11 Forestieri
  • 20 Fabbrini

Doncaster

  • 01 Turnbull Booked
  • 03 Husband
  • 05 Jones
  • 14 Khumalo
  • 32 Wabara
  • 11 Cotterill (Macheda - 58' )
  • 18 Keegan
  • 19 Wellens (Furman - 76' )
  • 26 Coppinger
  • 09 Brown Booked
  • 22 Robinson

Substitutes

  • 13 Maxted
  • 02 Quinn
  • 12 McCullough
  • 04 Furman
  • 07 Duffy
  • 23 Bennett
  • 10 Macheda
Ref: Drysdale
Att: 13,998

Match Stats

Shots

13 11

On target

5 2

Corners

6 1

Fouls

8 6

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:39 Full time

Full Time The referee blows the whistle to end the game.

90:00 +5:27

Clearance made by Gabriele Angella.

90:00 +3:45

Lewis McGugan takes the free kick.

90:00 +3:36

Chris Brown is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +3:36 Booking

Booking

90:00 +3:31

Foul by Chris Brown on Joel Ekstrand, free kick awarded.

90:00 +1:00

Troy Deeney takes a weak shot and went wide right of the target.

90:00 +0:22

Gabriele Angella manages to make a clearance.

90:00 +0:17

The ball is sent over by James Coppinger.

89:31

Manuel Almunia restarts play with the free kick.

88:58

Chris Brown concedes a free kick for a foul on Daniel Pudil.

88:27 Booking

Booking

88:27

The referee books Lewis McGugan for time wasting.

88:03 Substitution

Substitution (Watford) makes a substitution, with Santos Iriney coming on for Connor Smith.

87:29 Booking

Booking

87:29

Fernando Forestieri goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.

86:41 Goal scored

Goal! - Lewis McGugan - Watford 2 - 1 Doncaster Lewis McGugan scores a penalty. Watford 2-1 Doncaster.

86:21 Booking

Booking

86:21

Caution for Ross Turnbull.

86:09

James Husband concedes a Penalty for a foul on Sean Murray.

83:42

Header by Bongani Khumalo misses right.

83:30

Free kick crossed by James Husband.

83:04

Joel Ekstrand gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Chris Brown.

82:48

Shot by Federico Macheda missed to the left of the target.

81:43

Lloyd Doyley restarts play with the free kick.

81:24

The referee blows for offside.

80:25

Free kick taken by Fernando Forestieri.

80:19

Unfair challenge on Fernando Forestieri by Paul Keegan results in a free kick.

79:06

Shot by Lewis McGugan missed to the right of the target.

78:32

Daniel Pudil takes the chance to get an effort at goal.

77:59

Clearance by Paul Keegan.

77:52

The ball is sent over by Sean Murray.

76:24

Clearance made by Gabriele Angella.

76:20

Reece Wabara sends in a cross.

75:47 Substitution

Substitution Richie Wellens leaves the field to be replaced by Dean Furman.

75:22

Shot by Theo Robinson missed to the left of the net.

74:50

Shot by James Coppinger went over.

73:42

Corner taken by Lewis McGugan from the left by-line.

73:22

Lewis McGugan takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Ross Turnbull parries the ball away.

73:02

The ball is delivered by Daniel Pudil.

71:23 Substitution

Substitution Sean Murray is brought on as a substitute for Cristian Battocchio.

70:58

Fernando Forestieri takes the chance to get an effort at goal and missed to the right of the goal.

70:30

Bongani Khumalo makes a clearance.

70:25

The ball is crossed by Ikechi Anya.

70:08

Ikechi Anya takes a shot and went wide of the left-hand post.

69:28

Clearance by Troy Deeney.

69:22

James Husband crosses the ball in from the free kick.

68:49

Joel Ekstrand challenges Theo Robinson unfairly and gives away a free kick.

68:19

Shot by Troy Deeney missed to the left of the net.

68:10

Daniel Pudil sends in a cross.

67:18

James Husband manages to make a clearance.

65:55

Joel Ekstrand takes the chance to get an effort at goal and missed to the left of the target.

65:43

Corner taken by Lewis McGugan from the right by-line.

65:30

James Husband makes a clearance.

64:34

Fernando Forestieri takes a shot and went wide right of the net.

64:06

Bongani Khumalo manages to make a clearance.

63:41

Corner taken by Lewis McGugan.

62:48

Bongani Khumalo manages to make a clearance.

62:42

The ball is sent over by Cristian Battocchio.

61:39

Fernando Forestieri has an effort at goal.

61:29

Connor Smith takes the free kick.

61:17

Free kick awarded for a foul by Federico Macheda on Connor Smith.

60:56

Free kick taken by Gabriele Angella.

60:46

Chris Brown gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lewis McGugan.

60:33

Daniel Pudil restarts play with the free kick.

60:22 Substitution

Substitution Fernando Forestieri joins the action as a substitute, replacing Javier Acuna.

60:09

The referee gives a free kick against Reece Wabara for handball.

59:47

Joel Ekstrand makes a clearance.

59:43

James Coppinger restarts play with the free kick.

59:23

Connor Smith concedes a free kick for a foul on Richie Wellens.

57:10 Substitution

Substitution Federico Macheda comes on in place of David Cotterill.

55:24

Header at goal by Chris Brown goes over the frame of the goal.

55:17

The ball is crossed by James Husband.

54:18

Free kick taken by Richie Wellens.

54:07

Foul by Javier Acuna on Paul Keegan, free kick awarded.

50:49

James Coppinger takes a shot and cleared the net.

49:44

Free kick taken by Bongani Khumalo.

49:31

Richie Wellens fouled by Javier Acuna, the ref awards a free kick.

47:39

Rob Jones manages to make a clearance.

47:22

Clearance made by Rob Jones.

47:14

The ball is delivered by Ikechi Anya.

45:01

The second half has started.

45:00 +0:53 Half time

Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.

44:29

James Husband takes the free kick.

44:14

Foul by Connor Smith on Theo Robinson, free kick awarded.

43:54

Clearance made by Bongani Khumalo.

43:51

The ball is delivered by Ikechi Anya.

40:21

Shot by Javier Acuna went wide of the right-hand upright.

38:57

James Husband takes a shot and went wide right of the target.

37:44

Centre by Lewis McGugan.

37:15

Free kick taken by Richie Wellens.

37:08

Chris Brown fouled by Joel Ekstrand, the ref awards a free kick.

35:42

Shot by Cristian Battocchio. Ross Turnbull parries the effort to safety.

34:02

The ball is crossed by Cristian Battocchio.

32:34

The ball is sent over by Ikechi Anya.

29:26

A cross is delivered by James Husband.

29:09

Free kick taken by Ross Turnbull.

28:50

Troy Deeney is caught offside.

22:28

The ball is sent over by Connor Smith.

19:10

Cristian Battocchio crosses the ball.

18:23

Clearance made by Gabriele Angella.

18:19

Theo Robinson crosses the ball.

17:20

Clearance by Paul Keegan.

17:05

Corner from the right by-line taken by Lewis McGugan.

15:44 Goal scored

Goal! - Chris Brown - Watford 1 - 1 Doncaster Chris Brown scores with a right foot finish. Watford 1-1 Doncaster.

15:13

Theo Robinson has an effort at goal. Parried by Manuel Almunia back into danger.

14:42

Richie Wellens restarts play with the free kick.

14:35

Free kick awarded for a foul by Lewis McGugan on James Coppinger.

12:44 Goal scored

Goal! - Lewis McGugan - Watford 1 - 0 Doncaster Lewis McGugan grabs a goal with a right foot finish. Watford 1-0 Doncaster.

11:35

The ball is crossed by Ikechi Anya.

10:57

Header by Bongani Khumalo misses to the right of the target.

10:48

Corner taken by David Cotterill from the right by-line.

9:21

Corner from the left by-line taken by Lewis McGugan.

9:11

Clearance by Bongani Khumalo.

9:06

Corner from the right by-line taken by Lewis McGugan.

8:30

Clearance by Rob Jones.

8:17

Ikechi Anya delivers the ball.

6:45

Clearance by Gabriele Angella.

6:12

Ikechi Anya is ruled offside.

4:57

Clearance made by Ikechi Anya.

4:51

David Cotterill delivers the ball.

4:17

Manuel Almunia takes the free kick.

4:03

The official flags Theo Robinson offside.

3:07

Header by Theo Robinson misses to the right of the target.

2:56

Chris Brown produces a cross.

0:00

The referee starts the match.

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