Championship
WatfordWatford1BirminghamBirmingham City0

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 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

Formation 3-5-2

  • 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
  • 30Bond
  • 31Hoban
  • 32O'Nien

Birmingham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Randolph
  • 31Caddis
  • 4Robinson
  • 10HowardSubstituted forLovenkrandsat 75'minutes
  • 14Packwood
  • 6Martin
  • 7Burke
  • 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

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Watford 1, Birmingham City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Watford 1, Birmingham City 0.

  3. Post update

    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.

  4. Booking

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

  5. Post update

    Hand ball by Fernando Forestieri (Watford).

  6. Post update

    Foul by Paul Robinson (Birmingham City).

  7. Post update

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

  8. Post update

    Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Marco Cassetti.

  9. Booking

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

  10. Post update

    Hand ball by Héctor Bellerín (Watford).

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Watford. Héctor Bellerín replaces Alexander Merkel.

  12. Post update

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

  13. Post update

    Foul by Lloyd Doyley (Watford).

  14. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  15. Post update

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

  16. Post update

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

  17. Post update

    Foul by Alexander Merkel (Watford).

  18. Post update

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

  19. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Paul Caddis.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Birmingham City. Lee Novak replaces Tom Adeyemi.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester27193549272260
2QPR26157431161552
3Burnley26149339201951
4Derby27146751351648
5Nottm Forest261111439261344
6Reading2711883932741
7Ipswich2710983931839
8Brighton2610973023739
9Blackburn2710893333038
10Middlesbrough279994135636
11Wigan2510692826236
12Leeds26105113535035
13Huddersfield2697103531434
14Blackpool2789102634-833
15Watford2571083631531
16Bournemouth2687113245-1331
17Birmingham2678113032-229
18Bolton26610103142-1128
19Sheff Wed2551193233-126
20Doncaster2767142344-2125
21Millwall2667132750-2325
22Charlton2559112231-924
23Yeovil2555152138-1720
24Barnsley2548132342-1920
View full Championship table

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