Watford 0 Reading 0

Last updated : 27 August 2005 By Footymad Previewer
Watford and Reading started Saturday as the two highest scoring teams in the four English divisions but, almost predictably, they served up a goalless stalemate at Vicarage Road.

However, it wasn't for the want of trying as more than 30 goal attempts were produced by both sides. Watford went closest to making it three successive league wins when Darius Henderson saw a first-half shot cleared off the line, although the visitors nearly snatched the points at the death when Ibrahim Sonko sent a good heading opportunity over.

It was Watford who started the strongest with Henderson having three early sights of goal in the first six minutes. However the Hornets were nearly gifted an opener when Sonko connected with a dangerous Anthony McNamee cross from the left, but fortunately for the defender the ball diverted straight to his keeper Marcus Hahnemann.

But Watford's best opportunities of the match both arrived within the space of a minute midway through the first period. First Malky Mackay met an Ashley Young corner but his downward header was superbly tipped on to the post by Hahnemann.

Then from the resulting corner, the ball fell to Henderson on the left side of the area and although his shot beat Hahnemann, James Harper was in the right place at the far post to clear.

The Royals had chances of their own in the first half, and perhaps their best was when they launched a counter-attack and Glen Little crossed dangerously from the right and Bobby Convey narrowly failed to connect as keeper Ben Foster scrambled the ball away.

The chances were fewer after the break, although on-loan Manchester United keeper Foster had to be at his best after 57 minutes to tip away a Harper drive that was heading for the top corner.

McKay and central defensive partner Clarke Carlisle kept the shackles on Reading's strikeforce of Dave Kitson and Leroy Lita for most of the game and Lita's only sight of goal came with 15 minutes remaining, when he spun to connect with Little's knock down only to have his shot blocked by Carlisle.

Young wasn't far wide of the target for Watford with a few minutes left, but then Sonko had his golden opportunity following a Convey corner, only to see his flying header clear the target.