Well, here we go again. After what seemed like a lifetime away from pitch side, this weekend would prove to be a good chance for me to take in some more of the beautiful game. Having watched 50 minutes of an eventually abandoned match at Moss Rose on the Saturday with my good friend Will, we were left with an empty stomach that could only be filled by Super Sunday action in what would be a first ever Premier League match for the both of us.
|Nout up with that, if you ask me|
|Don't worry Vicarage Road, we're on our way!|
|But today we were cheering on the home-side|
|You don't get queues like this at the Moss|
With all the rush of getting in to the match, we hadn't really had time to digest where we were on this chilly Sunday lunchtime. Looking out on to the pitch at stars like England international right-back Glen Johnson and the household names of Troy Deeney and Xherdan Shaqiri, it was amazing to appreciate being just a few feet from players that are idolised by many young fans across the country. Then, on the other hand, I also listened to a couple of "fans" in the queue who were chatting amongst themselves. The woman said, "I don't like that Stoke number 10.", to which the bloke said "Who's that?" and then she confidently replied with "That Antonovic". Obviously true football fanatics.
|Anyway, back outside for the second-half|
Unlike our first experiences of top-flight football, the second-half started off with a slight amount of spark and both sides looked ready to give it a try. Watford had secured a 2-1 win last weekend against the Champions, Leicester, so I'm sure Walter Mazzarri's men would be hoping to force their way back into the game. With an hour almost gone though, the tide wasn't turning too much and it was time for the home side to send out last season's top-scorer. To the tune of Spandau Ballet's "Gold", we were treated to a verse of "always belieeeeeve in Odion Ighalo!" as Watford turned to differing attacking options. Stoke continued to hold firm though and with Bruno Martins Indi, one of my favourite players, at the heart of the Potters defence it was looking more and more likely that Lee Grant would be picking up a clean sheet this afternoon. With Nordin Amrabat having a poor game on the wing and more bookings coming for the home side, one angered fan shrieked out "it's a physical game, you nosher!" which raised a rare smile amongst the Rookery Stand. As the away fans were enjoying the drab game at the other end of the ground, it was time to see some action from Peter Crouch in the closing minutes. The 6 foot 7 inch striker played the last eight minutes and even whipped out one of his classic obscure moves with a lanky back-heel that made the trip worthwhile on it's own.
|The mascot wasn't giving up hope|
Watford did try to pile on the pressure towards the end but they were eventually caught on the counter and Britos would eventually be sent off for a second bookable offence following a deliberate foul to prevent a potential second goal for Stoke. The final whistle eventually blew and the boos for the referee rained down from the stands as they felt robbed by Robert Madley's display, although in truth I would also say that the Hornets didn't give their best display either and this would ultimately add to the disappointment. We promptly headed out of the ground with the masses of people having completed our first experience of Premier League football. I may not have been all that impressed with the game, but the ground was undoubtedly a fine piece of modern footballing architecture with a good crowd to accompany it. With far from a Crocodile Rock in our stride we passed the Sir Elton John Stand from the outside and waved farewell to another game of football. My 52nd ground is probably one that I'll be visiting again with Will, who lives fairly close-by.
|Cheers Watford, now show us the pubs!|