Luton and Watford met in the first of their Championship derby matches this Bank Holiday Monday, with both sides having the added incentive of competing for the play-off positions.
|Sell outs at Kenilworth Road|
Watford hung on with ten men to emerge victorious from an incident packed game, as they built a two-goal first half lead, which eventually left the Hatters with too much to do.
Darius Henderson put the Hornets ahead, after nine minutes, volleying in left footed from ten yards.
The lead was doubled on the half hour, when Malkay Mackay got the faintest of touches to an in-swinging Anthony McNamee free kick, and the ball was adjudged to have crossed the line, despite Luton keeper Marlon Beresford pushing the ball away.
The onus was on Luton to take the game to Watford after the interval, and the Hatters pulled a goal back within five minutes, with Carlos Edwards finding the corner of the net with a low right foot drive from 20 yards.
|Showing his true colours|
Hornets' keeper Ben Foster then tipped a Steve Howard header round a post to preserve Watford's lead, although they suffered another setback when winger Ashley Young was shown a red card for retaliation, after he was fouled by Kevin Foley, with 23 minutes left.
Watford denied Luton the chance of building up any momentum, in the closing stages, and clung on to earn their first away win in the league since 5 November.
What the managers said?
Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd was obviously delighted with the result and the way his team played.
"I know how important it is to win local derbys and I'm absolutely delighted for the people travelling home" he said.
"I was really pleased today with the fact that we didn't play particularly well but managed to manage the game better, particularly in the second half, from the opposition."
Meanwhile, Luton boss Mike Newell was disappointed with both the final score and the way the Hornets played.
|Luton fans before the game|
"I'm bitterly disappointed because it's a a big game for us and I know how much it means to the supporters" he said.
"It's the biggest game of the season for them and to lose it is not what we wanted.
"We might have been out fought a little bit in the first half which is disappointing but we certainly weren't outplayed. They made their intentions clear from the kick-off and if that's their style of football, sometimes you have to compete against it.
"We didn't do that in the first half and it was very difficult to do anything in the second half because the game was broken up so much."