Chairman Ryan bangs the drum as loan star Jason bags the first Rovers goal at Keepmoat since New Year’s Day
VETERAN striker Jason Euell celebrated his home debut for Doncaster Rovers by scoring the club’s first goal at the Keepmoat Stadium since New Year’s Day.
Euell, who put Rovers back on level terms in first-half stoppage time, has had to wait even longer for a goal.
“I think the last goal I scored was probably about this time last year against Ipswich for Blackpool,” he said.
“It might sound a long time, a year, but I’ve not played many games since then.”
Euell found himself in space in the box after getting on the end of Sam Hird’s long ball over the top of the Watford back four and beat keeper Scott Loach with an angled shot which hit the inside of the far post before rolling along the line towards the other post before eventually going in to level the scores.
“For me personally, it was good to get on the scoresheet again,” said the Blackpool loanee. “But while I’m here it’s not a case of me scoring the goals (for myself); it’s about the team doing well.
“It has been hard being on the sidelines at Blackpool for most of the season. It is the same for any footballer; they just want to play football.
“But now I’ve got the opportunity to play some games and get the feel of it again, knowing that I’ll be involved again on a Tuesday or a Saturday after a week’s training.
“I’m just happy to be here and helping the boys and see what happens at the end of the month,
“A lot of people will be saying that it’s good to score on my home debut, but it is good to score at any time.
“But, as I said, it’s not just about me scoring, it is about getting the result we want and starting to climb the table again.”,
Despite his lack of action with the Seasiders, Euell got through a lot of work on and off the ball - playing more of a midfield role in the first half before forming part of a front three in the second half as Rovers switched to more of a 4-3-3 formation.
“Although I’ve not been playing as many games as I’d like to have done over a period of time, I’ve been training every day and I’ve not had any injuries,” he said. “The only thing I am lacking is the games.
Watford, who started the game as the joint top scorers with Leeds United on the road this season, took the lead on 22 minutes.
Striker Andy Weimann got on the end of a left-wing cross at the far post and headed back inside to leading scorer Danny Graham, who made no mistake from close range to head home his 20th goal of the season.
Watford had the chance to double their lead on 33 minutes. Weimann made a good run, as the visitors broke from their own half, before setting up Steve McGinn, who shot over.
Rovers, for whom leading scorer Billy Sharp had gone close early on in his first start after three games on the sidelines with a groin injury, drew level in the 45th minute.
Watford regained the initiative at the start of the second half with second top scorer Marvin Sordell, who came on at the start of the second half for the injured Weimann, shooting just wide.
Euell had the chance to make it 2-1 on 50 minutes after getting on the end of a long kick by keeper Gary Woods.
“I was disappointed that I didn’t make a better connection,” said the former Jamaican international.
“I think as a striker you always want to make the keeper make a save so I was happy with that.
“When the rebound came back I was disappointed not to hit the target but it took a deflection for a corner.”
Rovers enjoyed the better of the exchanges for most of the second half without carving out any further clear-cut chances.
Their hopes of snatching a late goal, as they had done to snatch a 2-2 draw at Vicarage Road earlier in the season, rose when Watford skipper John Eustace was harshly sent off for a second bookable offence on 82 minutes after handling the ball. But the Hornets held out.
Watford boss Malky Mackay felt his side, who have now gone nine league and cup games without a win, were worthy of a point.
“Once we had got the first goal it looked as though we could push on for a second one and had Steve McGinn got it after getting through on goal that would have changed things a little bit,” he said.
“I was disappointed with their goal both in terms of the goal and the way it was created.”
Critical of the referee’s decision to send Eustace off, Mackay said: “I’ve got to be delighted with the resilience of the young group who ended the the game on the pitch and the way they went about their job.”
Said Euell:”We’ll look at it and we’ll think that probably with the chances we’ve had we should have gone on to win it, but it is another point carrying on from the Norwich game.
“We did come in disappointed but we see it as a platform to build on. We’ve played against two good sides, who play different styles of football, and I think we’ve matched them in both games.
“And you could see that we are not just a passing team. People think that you can pass teams to death but you have to be able to mix it up physically as well.”
FOLLOWING on from the other night (at Norwich) our attitude and our discipline and our workrate were excellent. And when things went against us our ability to keep our organisation and keep motivated and play on the front foot stood out.
I thought that we were unlucky to go 1-0 down in the first half. They were always a threat with people like Danny Graham. But I thought that we had some really good opportunities beyond the halfway line to hurt them. We got into some good positions only to take the wrong options at times.