Championship
Watford1Birmingham0

Watford 1-0 Birmingham City

Troy Deeney

Troy Deeney's 13th goal of the season helped Watford to a narrow victory over Birmingham at Vicarage Road.

The striker, a boyhood Blues fan, scored the winner in the first half after being set up by Fernando Forestieri.

The Hornets shaded the contest - having a strong penalty appeal turned down in the first half and seeing a Forestieri header cleared off the line.

Birmingham went closest when Paul Caddis hit a post from 30 yards out.

Victory sees Giuseppe Sannino's 13th-placed side move to within nine points of the play-off places with a game in hand on sixth-placed Reading, while Birmingham are 18th.

Lee Clark's men came close to taking a surprise lead in the seventh minute when Chris Burke's cross almost crept under the crossbar before, at the other end, Federico Macheda appeared to handle Daniel Tozser's corner in the box.

Caddis rattled an upright with a rasping long-range shot before Watford took the lead - Deeney's deflected shot at the second attempt beating Darren Randolph after good work from Forestieri.

Birmingham narrowly had the better of the second half but struggled to truly test Manuel Almunia.

With the visitors pressing forward, Forestieri's header was cleared off the line from another Tozser corner before the Blues were denied a late leveller when Aaron Martin headed a long free-kick forward narrowly wide.

Watford coach Alec Chamberlain

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Alec Chamberlain: Watford coach on Birmingham win

Watford coach Beppe Sannino:

"I'm not watching the table at the moment. What I am watching is match after match.

"We have to start to think about the next game against Middlesbrough, this game belongs to the past.

"I think in the first half we were the better side on the pitch. We conceded one shot on goal when they hit the bar but I think, I'm not blaming anybody, but I think in the box for us there were a couple of times when maybe we deserved to have something. "

Birmingham boss Lee Clark:

"We deserved something from the game without a shadow of a doubt. Our second-half performance was very, very good.

"First half I had too many regrets. I know we hit the post a couple of times from long-range efforts but we didn't put them under enough pressure.

"We had some great set-play deliveries from the best player on the pitch by a million miles, Emyr Huws, the stand-out performer and we had some terrific situations from his set-plays but we played too much tippy-tappy football at the back and not getting the ball forward and playing in Watford's half."

Line-ups

Watford

  • 1Almunia
  • 19Faraoni
  • 18Pudil
  • 6EkstrandSubstituted forDoyleyat 18'minutes
  • 4Angella
  • 27Cassetti
  • 28Tözsér
  • 8MerkelSubstituted forBellerínat 83'minutesBooked at 84mins
  • 11ForestieriBooked at 90mins
  • 9Deeney
  • 7BattocchioSubstituted forMurrayat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Bellerín
  • 12Doyley
  • 16Murray
  • 20Park Chu-young
  • 30Bond
  • 31Hoban
  • 32O'Nien

Birmingham

  • 1Randolph
  • 31Caddis
  • 4Robinson
  • 10HowardSubstituted forLovenkrandsat 75'minutes
  • 14Packwood
  • 6Martin
  • 7C Burke
  • 36Huws
  • 9Macheda
  • 24AdeyemiSubstituted forNovakat 75'minutes
  • 35RusnakSubstituted forBrownat 46'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Lovenkrands
  • 12Novak
  • 13Doyle
  • 20Lee
  • 22Shinnie
  • 29Brown
  • 37Blackett
Referee:
Mark Haywood
Attendance:
13,904

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway TeamBirmingham
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home10
Away9
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home8
Away4
Fouls
Home16
Away5

Live Text

Match ends, Watford 1, Birmingham City 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Watford 1, Birmingham City 0.

Attempt missed. Will Packwood (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Darren Randolph following a set piece situation.

Booking

Fernando Forestieri (Watford) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

Hand ball by Fernando Forestieri (Watford).

Foul by Paul Robinson (Birmingham City).

Fernando Forestieri (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Marco Cassetti.

Booking

Héctor Bellerín (Watford) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

Hand ball by Héctor Bellerín (Watford).

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Héctor Bellerín replaces Alexander Merkel.

Lee Novak (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Lloyd Doyley (Watford).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Marco Cassetti (Watford) because of an injury.

Reece Brown (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Alexander Merkel (Watford).

Attempt blocked. Fernando Forestieri (Watford) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniel Tözsér with a cross.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Paul Caddis.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Lee Novak replaces Tom Adeyemi.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Peter Løvenkrands replaces Brian Howard.

Attempt missed. Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Daniel Tözsér with a cross following a set piece situation.

Foul by Brian Howard (Birmingham City).

Lloyd Doyley (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Paul Caddis.

Foul by Aaron Martin (Birmingham City).

Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Marco Cassetti (Watford) because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Chris Burke (Birmingham City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Paul Caddis.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Fernando Forestieri (Watford) because of an injury.

Paul Caddis (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Fernando Forestieri (Watford).

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Paul Caddis.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Sean Murray replaces Cristian Battocchio.

Paul Caddis (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Fernando Forestieri (Watford).

Offside, Watford. Cristian Battocchio tries a through ball, but Troy Deeney is caught offside.

Offside, Birmingham City. Paul Caddis tries a through ball, but Federico Macheda is caught offside.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Leicester2719352260
2QPR2615741552
3Burnley2614931951
4Derby2714671648
5Nottm Forest26111141344
6Reading271188741
7Ipswich271098839
8Brighton261097739
9Blackburn271089038
10Middlesbrough27999636
11Wigan251069236
12Leeds2610511035
13Huddersfield269710434
14Blackpool278910-833
15Watford257108531
16Bournemouth268711-1331
17Birmingham267811-229
18Bolton2661010-1128
19Sheff Wed255119-126
20Doncaster276714-2125
21Millwall266713-2325
22Charlton255911-924
23Yeovil255515-1720
24Barnsley254813-1920
View full Championship table

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