Watford 1-1 Rotherham United: Millers hold on to frustrate Hornets

João Ferriera
Joao Ferreira moved to Watford earlier this month from Portuguese side Benfica

Watford were left to rue a host of missed chances as they were held to a draw by Rotherham.

Mario Gaspar hit the outside of the post early on for the hosts, before Shane Ferguson gave the Millers the lead as he blasted in from close range.

Vakoun Bayo grazed the Rotherham bar soon after, while Matheus Martins also struck the upright for the promotion-chasing Hornets shortly after the restart.

Watford eventually leveled as Joao Ferreira marked his first start with a long-range effort, but Gaspar, Ismaila Sarr and Yaser Asprilla all missed late chances. Tariq Fosu also went close for Rotherham on his debut.

Watford remain third but are now 13 points behind second-placed Sheffield United, while the Millers drop to 20th thanks to Stoke’s 4-0 win over Reading.

Watford could have been ahead after 10 minutes when Sarr’s dinked pass set Gaspar free, but the Spanish full-back struck the post with a shot on the turn.

At the other end, Dan Barlaser saw an effort from the edge of the box saved by Hornets keeper Daniel Bachmann seven minutes later.

But the Millers did not have to wait long to go ahead as debutant Fosu’s deflected shot was palmed away by Bachmann straight to Ferguson who smashed into the top corner for his second goal in as many games.

Watford almost leveled when Bayo’s first-time volley from the edge of the box grazed the top of the bar, before Sarr shot wide.

Sarr had a couple penalty appeals turned down shortly before the break, and Slaven Bilic’s side were again left to think what might have been three minutes after the restart when Bayo set up Martins who hit the woodwork.

But the Hornets did get a deserved equalizer as Leo Hjelde’s loose pass was intercepted by Ferreira and the new signing from Benfica blasted home from 20 yards after bearing down on goal.

The Millers should have retaken the lead with 15 minutes to go, though, when Fosu found himself unmarked in the penalty area after a lovely flowing move. But the Brentford loanee struck his close-range chance straight at Bachmann with the goal gaping.

Watford also spurned another late opportunity when Sarr raced onto an 85th-minute long ball, but saw Viktor Johansson parry his effort straight to Asprilla, and the Colombian was thwarted by Rotherham’s Swedish keeper.

Watford manager Slaven Bilic told BBC Three Counties Radio:

“We could have won the game, maybe we should have, although they had the best chance of the game.

“That was one chance, and to be fair we had a few of them that you really expect your players to score a goal.

“Unfortunately we didn’t do it, so of course we’re massively disappointed with the result, but that’s where we are at the moment.

“We’re trying, we’re giving everything, we’re getting in really good promising situations, but the quality today in these situations was not enough to get a goal.”

Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor told BBC Radio Sheffield:

“I’m so proud of the performance, I can’t stand here and say I’m disappointed, but there’s just something I thought we deserved.

“Maybe the way we created chances, certainly Tariq’s chance towards the end, the goalie’s avoidable.

“But the effort, for two weeks on the bounce, has been our start and our end point, and we’ve shown a little bit of quality in-between.

“Regardless of who we play, we have to be like that, we’re all in at the moment, they’re giving absolutely everything.”

Line-ups

Watford

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1BachmanBooked at 45mins
  • 13Ferreira
  • 31SierraltaBooked at 90mins
  • 15cath cart
  • 42MorrisSubstituted forKamaraat 45′minutes
  • 3M GasparBooked at 39mins
  • 4Choudhury
  • 37MartinsSubstituted forAdu-Pokuat 79′minutes
  • 11KoneSubstituted forAsprillaat 65′minutes
  • 23Sarr
  • 19BayoSubstituted forAdeyemoat 73′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Troost-Ekong
  • 14Kamara
  • 18Asprilla
  • 25Bacuna
  • 35Okoye
  • 49Adu-Poku
  • 54Adeyemo

Rotherham

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Johansson
  • 21PeltierBooked at 90mins
  • 23Morrison
  • 24Humphreys
  • 29HjeldeBooked at 30mins
  • 22odoffin
  • 4Barlaser
  • 18Rathbone
  • 17FergusonBooked at 45minsSubstituted forbramallat 65′minutes
  • 11Well
  • 7Fosu-Henry

Substitutes

  • 2Harding
  • 3bramall
  • 6wood
  • 16Lindsay
  • 20Hall
  • 26Hemfrey
  • 30Kioso

Referees:
David Webb

Attendance:
18.911

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