Leeds United slide continues at Watford

He may have been given a kind of vote of confidence from new owner Massimo Cellino, but Brian McDermott will not last long as Leeds United manager unless he can arrest a slide that is now taking on alarming proportions after yet another defeat at Watford.

Tuesday, 8th April 2014, 11:09 pm
Watford celebrate their first goal against Leeds United as Jason Pearce, Stephen Warnock, Alex Mowatt and Jack Butland begin an inquest. Picture Bruce Rollinson

The Whites failed to score again and suffered their fifth successive loss as they went down 3-0 to opponents still clinging to hopes they can reach the Sky Bet championship play-offs.

McDermott rang the changes again in a bid to find some kind of winning formula, but his selection of Alex Mowatt in place of the injured Sam Byram did not work with the young midfielder taken off at half-time.

Up front, Dominic Poleon was given a rare start in place of Matt Smith while the manager persevered with Noel Hunt, who has yet to score in a competitive game in a Leeds shirt.

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There were hopes that the Cellino takeover would give United a boost on the pitch, but they were soon up against it.

Only a great block by Stephen Warnock prevented Faraoni from scoring early on and Jason Pearce had to make a timely tackle to deny Akechi Anya.

But Watford’s fast start was rewarded on nine minutes when Almen Abdi headed in Anya’s cross.

Leeds clung on and did manage a shot on the half-hour when top scorer Ross McCormack tried to catch Manuel Almunia off his line with a chip, but the former Arsenal stopper was able to get back to save.

The hosts then made it two with another header, this time by Anya.

Winger Cameron Stewart was brought on at the start of the second half and United improved. Hunt hit the side netting with one half-chance and Stewart hit another effort over.

Daniel Tozser went close at the other end with a shot from distance before Stewart did well to make space only for his shot to be directed straight at Almunia.

Watford effectively killed off the game with a third goal on 66 minutes as Troy Deeney, so often the scourge of Leeds, powered a shot past Jack Butland after less then convincing defending.

The game petered out, although Poleon came close to his first goal since October after getting free only to be denied by Almunia.

It was another depressing night for the Leeds fans with their team now just eight points above the relegation zone following Millwall’s win at Wigan.

Match facts

Watford 3 (Abdi 9, Anya 32, Deeney 66)

Leeds United 0

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sky Bet Championship

Att: 16,212

Watford: Almunia, Angella, Cassetti, Ekstrand (Merkel 90), Faraoni, Murray, Tozser, Abdi (McGugan 85), Riera (Pudil 85), Anya, Deeney.

Leeds: Butland, Wootton, Lees, Pearce, Warnock, Mowatt (Stewart 46), Brown, Tonge, Hunt (Smith 67), Poleon, McCormack (White 82).

Referee: G Ward