Watford 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 1

Last updated : 03 December 2005 By Footymad Previewer
High-flying Watford extended their unbeaten league run to nine games, but had to settle for a point for the third match running after battling Brighton came from behind to earn a draw for he 13th time this season.

Keeper Alan Blayney was the Seagulls hero saving a penalty for the second match running after Guy Butters had equalised Marlon King's 10th goal of the campaign in first-half injury time. Watford had much of the pressure thereafter, but were unable to find a way through the visitors' stubborn defence.

But Brighton were good value for their point after looking much the better side in a first half in which their opponents struggled to get going, were disjointed and gave away the ball too cheaply.

In a scrappy opening to the game the visitors had the better of the chances, with Colin Kazim-Richards shooting straight at Ben Foster and then Jake Robinson firing over following an Alexandre Frutos corner.

Brighton were then nearly presented with the opening goal when Malky Mackay's header back towards his own keeper almost fell short, but Ben Foster was quickly off his line to deny Robinson.

Dean Hammond also had a shot blocked and Adam El-Abd's follow-up was deflected over, before Watford took the lead against the run of play.

Mackay's ball forward was collected by King with his back to goal and some quick footwork by the on-loan Notts Forest man saw him dart between two defenders before firing past Blayney.

But five minutes after the restart Brighton were level when Butters rose highest to head an in-swinging Sebastien Carole free-kick over Foster and in off the underside of the bar.

Soon after though Butters looked like being the villain when he clearly handled a Clarke Carlisle goalbound header, but Blayney bailed out his centre-half by saving King's tamely struck spot-kick.

Watford spurned another great chance to regain the lead when a deep Anthony McNamee cross was headed back into the danger zone, but young striker Joel Grant blazed badly over from six yards.

Hornets boss Adrian Boothroyd, denied the services of the injured Ashley Young and Lloyd Doyley and the ill Matthew Spring, threw on defender Jay DeMerit as a makeshift striker for the last 20 minutes but his introduction, although it unsettled the Brighton defence at times, did not result in any more clear scoring chances being created.