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Match Report: Watford v AFC Bournemouth

By Jason Lewis (@_JasonLewis)

Watford came from behind twice to deny AFC Bournemouth back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season.

Eddie Howe’s side controlled large phases of the game at Vicarage Road and opened the scoring through a Callum Wilson header.

Watford skipper Troy Deeney levelled just after the interval.

A stunning solo goal from Josh King, shortly after coming on as a substitute, put Bournemouth back in front.

The lead did not last long as Isaac Success’ looping header found the back of net.

Jack Wilshere missed a golden opportunity to score the winner, which would have been his first goal for Bournemouth, and Junior Stanislas struck the crossbar from a free kick late on.

The Cherries set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation and were unchanged from their win over Everton last weekend at the Vitality Stadium.

The match began in cagey fashion as both sides attempted to settle into their rhythm.

Occupying the lone striker role Callum Wilson was soon going about his business hassling the Watford defence. Prodl picked up a caution on ten minutes after felling Wilson.

From the resulting free kick Junior Stanislas tried his luck after his winner against Everton last Saturday and Huerilo Gomes had to tip the ball over his own crossbar.

Referee Mike Dean took the lead role with a bout of peculiar free kicks and cards to both teams.

The Cherries broke the deadlock on the half hour mark. Intense pressing from the front line saw Stanislas steal the ball off the Watford back line.

The winger raced to the by-line and sent in an inviting cross that was met by the on-rushing Wilson. His glancing header snuck under the diving Gomes.

Watford ended the half the stronger side rallying well after going behind.

Neat play down the Hornets’ left came across to Nordin Amrabat on the right of the box. He drove forward, firing at goal but Artur Boruc parried the ball back at the Watford man and swiftly got back to his feet to stop him a second time.

The hosts came out for the second half with renewed impetus.

Prodl’s header drifted wide and Troy Deeney’s acrobatic effort flew over the goal, but it did not take long for Watford to level the score.

Amrabat was allowed to travel too easily along the Bournemouth goal line and his cut back was smartly tucked away by Troy Deeney.

Bournemouth nearly restored their lead straight away.

A jinking run from Wilshere gave the Arsenal loanee room on the edge of his box, however his effort could only find the outside of the post.

After weathering a short spell of Watford pressure, which included a fine stop from Boruc to deny Deeney a brace, the Cherries were back in control of the game.

Within minutes of coming onto the field King collected the ball on halfway and drove forwards.

A collection of turns, flicks and sharp sprints saw the substitute arrive within shooting distance.

His driven shot flew passed Gomes via a helpful deflection off of the lame Younes Kaboul.

Bournemouth players celebrate second goal

Bournemouth players celebrate second goal with fans. By Jason Lewis.

Just as Bournemouth seemed set for taking all three points from Vicarage Road, Watford battled right back through a substitute of their own.

A slack foul from Adam Smith gave Watford the opportunity and Success leaped above his marker and steered the ball across Boruc and in at the far post.

The game opened up in the final 20 minutes and Wilshere should have netted a third for the Cherries.

With an open goal at his mercy he could only find the post again from a closing angle.

Stanislas’ late free kick got over the wall but failed to dip in time, striking the face of the crossbar.

Neither side could force a final opening in stoppage time and the two teams had to settle for a share of the points.

Eddie Howe will be disappointed to draw the game after leading twice away from home.

Nevertheless, he can take positives in his sides application and cohesion throughout the game.

Watford struggled to match Bournemouth’s pressing and energy, looking most dangerous from set-pieces.

The Cherries go into the international break having taken four points from two games.

With back-to-back home games to come, there is a growing sense of optimism for Bournemouth fan.

Watford: Gomes, Zuniga, Prodl, Kaboul, Holebas, Pereyra, Behrami, Capoue (Guedioura 79), Amrabat, Deeney, Ighalo (Success 58)

Subs not used: Kenedy, Doucoure, Watson, Kabasele, Pantilimon

Bournemouth: Boruc, Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels, Surman, Arter, Stanislas, Wilshere (Gosling 74), Ibe (King 62), Wilson (Afobe 90 +0:13)

Subs not used: Ake, Gradel, Smith, Federici

Attendance: 20,575 Referee: Mike Dean