Watford reach FA Cup quarters after own goal downs Leeds

Saturday 20 Feb 2016
Leeds United's Scott Wootton laments his own goal

Ben Watson won the Emirates FA Cup for Wigan and, who knows, he might well do the same for Watford after this comfortable 1-0 victory.

For it was the 2013 Wembley Final hero whose telling cross set up the fifth round winner – a desperately unfortunate own goal by Leeds defender Scott Wootton.

Watford 1-0 Leeds United

Emirates FA Cup
Fifth round
Vicarage Road
Saturday 20 February 2016
Winning sides receive £180,000 from The FA prize fund
Click here for Opta stats match page

Watson forced the 53rd-minute corner that led to the key moment of the game. The visitors failed to clear effectively and when the ball reached Watson again he swung over a teasing centre towards the far post.

Watford skipper Troy Deeney waylaid a couple of Leeds defenders but there was no real pressure on Wootton in his attempt to intercept and clear.

However somehow he managed to sidefoot the ball into his own net with keeper Marco Silvestri stranded.

This was the right result, though, at a wet and windy Vicarage Road.

Leeds mustered just one decent second-half shot from Souleymane Doukara in response to going behind and Watford were always heading for the quarter-finals.

And Steve Evans' side were lucky the Hornets did not have their shooting boots on with Almen Abdi blasting a fabulous 57th-minute chance over.

Etienne Capoue had his moments, too. Watford fans were certain he had been felled by Giuseppe Bellusci in the closing stages but penalty appeals were waved away by Michael Oliver.

And when sub Valon Behrami set him up again with seconds to go, Capoue fired a fraction too high.

The teams had never met in the competition before – and they looked like strangers in a tepid first half in which next to no-one was willing to touch, engage, dodge or, sad to say, take an opponent on in earnest.

Watford opened at a gallop with Deeney and defender Miguel Britos putting in decent headers.

Abdi and Craig Cathcart combined well leading to a 15th-minute effort from the enterprising Britos, whose swivelling header from Nordon Amrabat's corner flew just wide.

Six minutes later a Deeney knockdown set up a series of three shots from Mario Suarez, Capoue and Abdi, all of which were blocked by a rattled Leeds defence.

Four minutes before the break United keeper Marco Silvestri pouched a powerful low angled drive from Juan Carlos Paredes with the lively Amrabat lurking.

Leeds, the 1972 FA Cup winners, struggled for fluency with midfielder Lewis Cook doing his best to stir some action but too often giving possession away.

Animated boss Evans barely let up on the touchline and spurred his lads into another dangerous attack a minute before the break in which Doukara set up Dallas for another 18-yard effort, but this time it was deflected wide.

Watford (4-3-2-1): Costel Pantilimon; Craig Cathcart, Juan Carlos Paredes, Miguel Britos, Jose Holebas; Etienne Capoue, Mario Suarez, Ben Watson; Almen Abdi, Nordin Amrabat; Troy Deeney

Substitutions: Odion Ighalo for Amrabat 67, Adlene Guedioura for Abdi 77, Ikechi Anya for Capoue 90.

Subs not used: Heurelho Gomes, Allan Nyom, Sebastian Prodl, Valon Behrami.

Goal: Wootton 53og.

Leeds United (4-2-3-1): Marco Silvestri; Scott Wootton, Giuseppe Bellusci, Sol Bamba, Charlie Taylor; Liam Bridcutt, Toumani Diagouraga; Lewis Cook, Stuart Dallas, Mirco Antenucci; Souleymane Doukara

Substitutions: Alex Mowat for Dallas 61, Lee Erwin for Antenucci 82, Jordan Botaka for Diagouraga 87.

Subs not used: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Luke Murphy, Tom Adeyemi, Lewis Coyle.

Referee: Michael Oliver

Attendance: 18, 336

Emirates FA Cup highlights: Watford 1-0 Leeds United


By Geoff Sweet Reporter At Vicarage Road