Watford 2 Barnsley 1: Match Report

Scott Golbourne pulls a goal back for the reds.
Scott Golbourne pulls a goal back for the reds.
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BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill likened his side’s disappointing defeat against Watford to “gardening”.

Hill was left frustrated by a 2-1 reverse on a bittlerly cold afternoon at Vicarage Road, certainly a fixture to forget.

Barnsley keeper Luke Steele leaves the pitch at full time

Barnsley keeper Luke Steele leaves the pitch at full time

But, despite seeing his misfiring side slip to their 12th league loss this term, Hill remains optimistic the Reds are heading in the right direction.

“I’ve got to really ignore results sometimes and see the bigger picture,” stressed Hill. “Scoring goals is not a problem, the problem is individual errors which are costing us goals.

“The game was like gardening, that’s something that bores me. It was boring, not one for the football purist, that’s for sure.

“You’ve got to give credit to the opposition, but it doesn’t frustrate me we didn’t create many chances.

“I’m just going to revaluate what we’re doing. We’re a work in progress. Are we doing all right? Yes. Can I see the bigger picture? Yes.

“Am I relaxed about the situation? Yes, but I don’t like losing. But it’s all about progression in the next 17 games and next season.

“There’s going to be those inconsistencies with trying to put a squad together from the beginning of the season to the end of the season to make sure we retain our Championship status and progress into next season.

“We’re trying to create that ‘team’. In every training session we’re trying to create a ‘team’. Unfortunately over the last few weeks we’ve lost the likes of Jacob Butterfield, Danny Drinkwater and Ricardo Vaz Te.”

A brace from skipper John Eustace won it for the Hornets on their home patch as the Reds looked for their first win at Vicarage Road since April 2008.

And it proved to be a long afternoon in London as the visitors struggled to recreate the form which saw them dispense with Derby County 3-2 on Tuesday.

In fact this was a performance really out of character for Hill likes his team’s to play football the right way.

The Reds, unchanged from their midweek home win over the Rams, performed better in the second half and saw new signing Scott Golbourne score on his debut having been introduced as a substitute.

Golbourne’s 85th-minute strike gave the Reds enough time to snatch an equaliser, especially with five minutes of injury time.

But in truth it was Watford who deserved credit for shackling Hill’s charges as they took the points, thanks largely to a fine finish from Eustace for his first goal and then some slack defending which allowed the midfielder to grab his second.

“I thought we controlled possession in the second half, but we should have wrestled the energy from the opposition and got to half-time with a clean sheet,” admitted Hill.

“Unfortunately their first goal came as a result of a deflection, an air shot, but when it went to Eustace. What a great finish.

“But you’re looking to make sure you don’t concede again to give yourself a chance of getting something out of the game.

“We did control possession in the second half. Did we really hurt the opposition? Not really, but we kept possession. However the cardinal sin was to then concede a second goal. It was avoidable.

“One run through the centre of the defence which is not picked up and it was a goal. That is avoidable. I would have been reasonably happy coming away from Watford with a draw.”

Golbourne rifled into the bottom right-hand corner to give the Reds hope, but the damage had been done.

“It was nice finish, superb. But we should be talking about maybe getting a point out of this game,” said Hill. “Not every game can be beautiful on the eye, but we’ve got to dig in a little bit in these games.”