Hornets leave it late for a point: Match Review

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John Eustace bundled home in stoppage-time to deny 10-man Bristol City and secure Watford a 2-2 draw at Ashton Gate.

The experienced midfielder used his hip to convert Heidar Helguson's knock back for a goal that ensured both sides have now gone four games without a win.

Watford had trailed twice, with Danny Haynes and Paul Hartley scoring either side of Tom Cleverley's equaliser, while City had Lewin Nyatanga sent off midway through the second half.

Despite Eustace's goal coming in the 93rd minute, it was no more than Watford deserved as they had already had two Helguson goals wiped out by the officials.

Having fallen to defeat at QPR on Boxing Day, City were keen to impress early on and should have led after three minutes.

Watford defenders Adrian Mariappa and Jay DeMerit both went for the same ball and their error allowed Nicky Maynard to race free. From there he squared for David Clarkson, but the Scotland striker, without a goal since the opening day of the season, could only slice wide.

Maynard then saw a fizzing drive blocked, while at the other end, Henri Lansbury, whose loan from Arsenal has now expired, drew a smart save out of Dean Gerken.

Helguson, another whose loan spell with the Hornets is now over, then saw a low strike well blocked by Jamie McAllister.

Watford's influence on the game was growing and Helguson had a close-range goal from a free-kick into the box chalked off for offside.

That let off proved to be the catalyst for City to open the scoring 38 minutes in.

Clarkson was again involved as he cut the ball back for Maynard, but, after Lansbury took the ball off the striker's boot, Haynes was on hand to lash home his fourth of the season.

Their lead was shortlived, though, as Cleverley levelled five minutes later.

The midfielder gave Gerken no chance with a clinical drive from just inside the area after a poor clearing header from McAllister.

But again, the scoreline changed within minutes, as right on the stroke of half-time Hartley lashed home a 30-yard free-kick that went in off the underside of the bar.

Clarkson joined Helguson in having a goal ruled out by the linesman after the interval following another slip by DeMerit, but Gerken was the busier of the two goalkeepers at this stage.

He had to produce a stunning one-handed save to deny Danny Graham as Watford probed for a second equaliser, while Scott Loach had to be at his best to keep out Maynard's strike.

Graham continued to forge ahead and was unlucky to see his long-range effort hacked away by Gerken, while the keeper saved again from Helguson after another hashed clearance by McAllister.

Watford's pursuit of a goal was aided by Nyatanga's dismissal for a second yellow card issued for a foul on Lansbury but they were again denied by the officials when Helguson was deemed to have fouled Gerken on his way to scoring with 10 minutes remaining.

And then, when it looked as though their efforts would be in vein, Eustace struck to earn Malky Mackay's men a point.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Bristol City
Heidar Helguson
Jay DeMerit
Adrian Mariappa
John Eustace
Jamie McAllister
Danny Graham
Malky Mackay
Nicky Maynard
Queens Park Rangers
Scott Loach
Dean Gerken
Danny Haynes
Henri Lansbury
Lewin Nyatanga
Tom Cleverley
David Clarkson
Paul Hartley

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