Wigan 1 Watford 1

  • By: Ian Parkes, PA Sport
  • Last Updated: October 8 2012, 20:12 BST

Hameur Bouazza ended a seven-month goal famine to give Watford their first away point since returning to the Premiership.

King and Scharner chase the ball.

It was a deserved draw for Adrian Boothroyd's side as they were resurgent in the second period after Henri Camara's 29th-minute opener.

Although scoring his 13th for the club, and his first this season, the Senegal international should have finished with a first-half hat-trick that would have prevented Watford's fightback.

The Hornets, though, are still without a victory after six matches because while a draw is creditable, wins are vital if they are to avoid relegation.

For their part, Wigan will need to be more clinical to ensure they are not sucked into any kind of dogfight with the likes of Watford come the end of the season.

Paul Jewell's side comfortably controlled an uninspiring first half, to such an extent goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was never tested.

For that matter neither was Ben Foster to any degree, yet it was Wigan who went into the break a goal to the good courtesy of Camara.

The pace of the Senegal international and the strength of partner Emile Heskey were undoubtedly troublesome for Watford.

However, the duo - and Heskey especially - were constantly tormented by the flag of assistant-referee Andy Halliday as numerous offside decisions went against the home side.

Halliday was hardly helped by an autumnal sun shining directly at him, forcing him to continually shield his eyes with his right hand.

In the 29th minute Halliday raised his flag again, this time after Camara had stroked a 12-yard shot beyond Foster following a knock on as Heskey and Malky Mackay jumped for an aerial ball.

The Latics players appealed, resulting in referee Rob Styles - who had had a clear view of the situation - running across to consult Halliday.

After Halliday explained his version of events, Styles was able to correct his linesman and the goal stood, with replays proving the Hampshire official's judgment was spot on as it was Mackay who had the final touch.

Prior to that there had been little between the teams, with Kevin Kilbane's first-minute, 25-yard free-kick that Foster comfortably claimed the only other time one of the keepers was called upon.

At one point Kirkland put the Watford defence under pressure with a high and lengthy goal kick, intensified by Dan Shittu's poor back-header.

Foster, though, managed to clear ahead of Heskey as he tried to nod the ball goalwards.

Camara should have added a second four minutes before the break when Heskey headed down a long ball into the path of the 29-year-old.

This time with Camara clearly onside after stealing round the back of the Watford defence, he scuffed a left-foot shot on the turn wide of Foster's left-hand post.

Two minutes later and another chance followed, this time with the lightning feet of the forward sending him racing clear, but from 20 yards an attempted lob over Foster was instead fired straight at the stopper.

If Camara had had his shooting boots on then Wigan would have had the points wrapped up by the interval, so sparing themselves a backlash from the visitors.

The transformation in Watford after the break was remarkable as the Latics appeared the team still searching for that elusive first win of the season.

Watford first came close to the equaliser eight minutes into the second half, with Marlon King beating Kirkland with a left-foot shot on the turn from 20 yards.

To King's frustration, and Kirkland's relief, the ball rebounded off the right-hand post and into the arms of the prone England international as Bouazza closed in for the afters.

The Hornets were at least looking more threatening in the second period, with Ashley Young looping a 10-yard header over the bar from King's left-wing cross just before the hour.

The visitors' reward then arrived in the 63rd minute courtesy of a superbly-worked free-kick manoeuvre.

Following a short lay-off from King, Frenchman Bouazza spun off a two-man shield and cracked a 25-yard left-foot drive past Kirkland for his first goal for the Hornets since early February.

The Latics then came close to restoring their earlier lead in the 69th minute, only for Heskey to plant a 10-yard header wide from a piercing right-wing cross from Denny Landzaat.

Wigan pushed and probed for the winner, but it never appeared on the cards as Watford held firm.


Wigan Kirkland, Boyce, De Zeeuw, Hall, Baines,Valencia (Teale 54), Landzaat, Scharner, Kilbane, Heskey,Camara.

Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Jackson, Johansson, Todorov.

Booked: Valencia, Camara.

Goals: Camara 29.

Watford Foster, DeMerit, Mackay, Shittu, Stewart,Smith (Henderson 72), Mahon, Francis, Young, King, Bouazza (Spring 84).

Subs Not Used: Lee, Doyley, McNamee.

Booked: Mackay, Mahon.

Goals: Bouazza 63.

Att: 16,359

Ref: R Styles (Hampshire).