After a week where Championship teams played three games in seven days, frustration and disappointment were two words that would best describe Charlton and Watford’s afternoons, as both teams saw two goal leads slip away.
Starting at what was a pulsating game at Elland Road, play-off finalists of yesteryear, Watford nearly went home with nothing had it not been for striker Troy Deeney. Having gained the advantage in the 12th minute when Deeney finished off from 14 yards, Cristian Battocchio had made it two-nil just before the break and with the prospective of their first away win since the beginning of October, you would not have blamed Watford fans for cracking open a cold beer in celebration a little early. But an electrifying second half saw Watford concede three goals in quick succession thanks in part to some lacklustre defending.
With the game having looked lost, and Watford fans at the ready to increase the pressure on Zola on internet forums and radio phone-ins, Troy Deeney popped up to slot in the equaliser which meant the Hornets returned to the south with a point. A difficult week for the Italian head coach, which saw two long trips up north, you would expect there would be undeniable frustration that the Hertfordshire team could not have gained all three points here.
At the other end of the county, like Watford, Charlton also threw away a two goal lead, against fellow Championship strugglers Yeovil in a disappointing afternoon for the Addicks. A horrid five minutes in the second half saw Charlton concede twice and captain Johnnie Jackson see red as they quickly lost a grip on the game after controlling for much of the 73 minutes before.
Under real pressure in the final 15 minutes, Charlton were lucky to not concede again when Ishmail Miller narrowly curled a shot wide of the post. And after self-destructing – in a match that would have seen Powell’s men take three valuable points from a relegation rival – disappointment will be the words etched across the faces of the away fans leaving Huish Park tonight.
An important win for Millwall saw them move 5 points clear of the dreaded relegation zone in a game that saw their goalkeeper David Forde in tremendous form. Millwall took an early lead against managerless Wigan, when in the third minute Morison scored his second goal in as many games. However it wasn’t till a frantic last ten minutes of the game, that the match really got going.
Millwall had looked to seal all three points when Jermaine Easter doubled their lead in the 83rd minute but a Wigan team, which looks to be severely lacking in confidence, quickly grabbed a goal back when James McCarthur low shot hit the back of the net. Had it not been for the heroics of Millwall’s Irish international Forde, they – like Watford and Charlton – could also have seen a two goal lead slip. A fantastic save deep into injury time meant that Millwall finished the week having taken four valuable points against tricky opposition in that of Nottingham Forest and Wigan.
In the final game involving a London team, QPR maintained their unbeaten run at Loftus Road this season, however missed the opportunity to move top of the Championship as they played out a goalless draw in West London. Blackburn had to call upon 24-year old debutant Simon Eastwood to be in good form to deny a QPR win with a string of great saves. In particular, a stunning save mid way in the second half saw Matt Phillips frustratingly seeing his close range effort saved by the Luton-born keeper. The result meant that Redknapp, and his QPR side, remained in second position level on points with league leaders Burnley.