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ricardo

Ricardo's report v Watford

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It was a fine spring evening in Norwich and ideal conditions for a decent match. My lack of belief in miracles meant that there was very little tension in the air as we strolled up to CR and the talk was mainly of long ago Watford games in the way back when, that often seemed to end in a goalfest.Mbokani, Naismith, Dorrans and Bennett were recalled to the line up and City began with some free flowing football until Redmond was upended on the right. Unfortunately poor delivery resulted in an easy clearance. Watford were soon looking lively and ominously Deeney was winning everything in the air. On six minutes the big Watford striker had the first shot on goal and Ruddy needed two bites before grabbing his powerful 30 yard grasscutter. The visitors were showing that they weren''t here just to make up the numbers and when Deeney again nodded  forward to Ighalo it looked like Ruddy was favourite to collect but somehow the ball spun free and Deeney merely had to advance a couple of paces before sidefooting into an empty net.It was not the start that we needed but before we had time to digest the disappointment City sprang back level. Some lovely quick interchanging between Redmond, Dorrans and Naismith ended with the City winger netting low past Gomez from the right of the six yard box. Thankfully it lifted the crowd and City began to storm forward at every opportunity. Redmond was looking like the player we always hoped he would be but so often he failed to meet that expectation. This time he came in from the left and his shot looked goal-bound only to come back off the far post. Thankfully Mbokani was on hand to bang it in for a two one lead.It was all very hectic stuff and with the occasional glance at the phone to keep up with the score from Sunderland it was a case of if you blinked you missed something. Redmond should have made it three after brilliant work from Wes and Naismith but after riding two tackle he again found the post instead of the net. Olsson came steaming onto the rebound but Gomez turned away his pile driver in superb style. It was good to hear the crowd roaring the boys on after so many recent disappointments as half chances came and went. Watford still looked lively at times but City carried the greater threat and deservedly moved another goal clear when Wes broke cinto the box as a defender slipped. Gomez might have saved his shot but at deflection from a Watford player took it over his head and into the net. It could easily have been four or five at halftime as Gomez saved from Naismith when it looked as if he must score and then had to fling himself to his left to keep out a Dorrans drive.It is always a nice feeling to be a couple of goals clear at the break but with Sunderland in the same position at the Stadium of Light it was apparent to all but the supreme optimists that a good result was likely to be of no avail in the final reckoning. Watford came out with more pupose as the second half began and Deeney again got away from the City defence on the right and despite the presence of a couple of defenders it was a Watford player who was first to his low cross to pull the deficit back to one goal.City still piled forward and there were one or two lovely interchanges between Wes, Naismith and Redmond that almost came off. Eventually one did as Redmond tickled the ball through to Mbokani with Watford trying to play him offside. With deft footwork the big City striker lifted the ball over the advancing Gomez to restore the two goal gap.The crowd really got behind the boys and Alex Neil after this and CR was as noisey as it has been all season. With a little more care we could have seen more scoring action but there were a few poor decisions with final balls. When Wes, Naismith and Redmond all left to rapturous applause things calmed down a bit and the focus drifted to referee Roger East who to say the least was not having one of his better games. A couple of obvious handballs were missed and somehow a dreadful two footed tackle on Mbokani failed to elicit an obvious red card. When Olsson was felled a yard inside the Watford box in injury time and only drew a free kick on the line you had to laugh at the ineptitude of it all.So a good win in the end and although it didn''t matter in the grand scheme of things it was good to see the season end with a flourish rather than a whimper. I think there will be several of those on parade tonight that we will never again see in the yellow and green but discussion on that issue can wait for another time. MOM for me was Nathan Redmond with Mbokani a close second. There will be many if only''s to talk about over the coming months but it was nice to finish on a high note.All being well, next season will be my 64th down at CR and as long as my legs will carry me I will be on hand to report for all those who for whatever reason are unable to be there. Have a good summer OTBC[:D]

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Superb report as always Ricardo. I''m always amazed you remember so many details off of the top of you head. I''ve probably read every one of your reporst in the last 4 or 5 years, I''m looking forward to next years (Y)

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Here''s hoping the 64th is a great one Ricardo. Keep them coming as you''re a kind of standard bearer.... Of good judgement and sensibility. You were right too on it being close on the relegation front with your in-year analysis. Thanks for the report for us exiles.

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Thanks as always Ricardo, even when I go to games I still enjoy reading your reflection of the game!

Let''s indeed hope next season you''ll be writing about quite a few more wins than this season... OTBC!

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