Watford miss chance to seize second place

29 March 2013 06:17

Gianfranco Zola's Watford suffered a blow in their bid to reach the Premier League after conceding a dramatic late equaliser in Friday's 3-3 draw against Burnley.

Zola's team looked set to move above Hull into the second automatic promotion spot in the Championship after taking a 2-1 lead at Vicarage Road, but substitute Sam Vokes netted three minutes into stoppage-time to stun the hosts.

It was a frustrating finale for former Chelsea star Zola, but a sweet moment of redemption for Burnley manager Sean Dyche, who was sacked by Watford's Italian owners in pre-season.

Dyche insisted there were no hard feelings following his dismissal and he received a warm reception from the Watford fans which had barely died down when Burnley took the lead after just 39 seconds through Charlie Austin.

Troy Deeney equalised for Watford in the sixth minute, only for Austin to lash home his 28th goal of the season from the penalty spot in the 24th minute.

Fernando Forestieri levelled for Watford five minutes later and then fired the Hornets ahead in the 72nd minute.

However, Wales striker Vokes had the final say with his dramatic leveller as Burnley snatched a draw which left Watford in third place, one point behind Hull, who have a game in hand.

In the day's other 1500GMT Championship match, managerless Blackburn moved five points clear of the relegation zone after a 1-1 draw at home to Blackpool.

The Indian-owned club are searching for their fourth permanent boss of the season after the recent sacking of Michael Appleton, who had followed in the footsteps of Steve Kean and Henning Berg, both dismissed earlier the season.

Gary Bowyer is in his second spell as caretaker boss while Venky's look for a new manager and he saw Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes rescue a point for Rovers with a 79th minute equaliser after Gary McKenzie put Paul Ince's Blackpool ahead in the 65th minute.

Crystal Palace can go second with a win over Birmingham at Selhurst Park later on Friday, while play-off hopefuls Leicester host Millwall and Derby face bottom of the table Bristol City.

Source: AFP