There were several lingering injury issues for Neil Lennon to deal with on Saturday, but he only made one change to the team that beat Fulham on Tuesday night. 19-year-old Zach Clough played from the start while 37-year-old Eidur Gudjohnsen was on the sub's bench. Young Manchester United loanee Saidy Janko and academy product Josh Vela also played from the beginning.
Bolton Wanderers started brightly and were unlucky not to score inside the opening five minutes. Adam Le Fondre received a low pass from Clough, who wasted no time re-establishing himself, in the centre of the box, but was unable to keep his shot down. This was followed by a header from Captain-for-the-day David Wheater at the fifteen minute mark. Wheater was at the far post for Barry Bannan's first-time cross, but the chin's effort floated over the bar.
Bolton continued to threaten after that chance. Wheater had another opportunity from Liam Feeney's inswinging corner, but his header drifted narrowly wide of the far post. Saidy Janko came close as well after being picked out down the right-hand side by Le Fondre. He had space in front of him but chose to go for glory and took a shot at goal from the edge of the area that only hit the side-netting.
Unfortunately, the home side was not making their dominance count with a goal. We had all seen this show before, and it was no surprise when Watford FC took the lead against the run of play. Nigerian Odion Ighalo, who had 11 goals in his previous seven matches, turned Wheater on the edge of the 18-yard area and calmly slotted past Lonergan into the bottom-corner.
Luckily, Bolton did soon find an equalizer. Janko played a ball out wide to the Le Fondre, who was offside, and the Watford back-line were caught appealing for the decision after the referee ignored his assistant's flag. This left the ball unchallenged for the onrushing Liam Feeney, who played a fine cross in to Zach Clough. The youngster had an easy finish, and the Whites had a dodgy goal.
Bolton managed to take the lead at the stroke of halftime. Le Fondre got another goal for the Wanderers and Feeney got another assist. It was a pretty simple cross ad finish at the near post. If we are brutally honest it was the type of goal we usually concede just before the break.
The second half was a different story as Andy Lonergan was forced to make acrobatic saves early and often to keep Bolton in the match. But the keeper only had so many backflips to do, and Watford equalized through Almen Abdi in the 69th minute. It was a good goal, curled in from outside the box by the hard-working midfielder. In fact, it was Abdi who provided the cross for Watford's next goal just a few minutes later. Joel Ekstrand headed Watford into the lead without a whole lot of trouble, and it was 3-2 to the visitors in the 75th minute.
But the Wanderers attackers ere not yet finished. Liam Feeney earned his third assist of the day when he found Zach Clough in the box. The youngster did his part, cooly finishing in the far corner to bring the match level at 3-3.
But the joy was short-lived. Substitute Troy Deeney scored a winner deep into stoppage time, again without a whole lot of resistance from Bolton's beleaguered back line. After conceding three goals for the third time in a month, those boys likely have a tough week of training ahead of them. In addition to that, Neil Lennon may be feeling some pressure. After not putting a foot wrong in his first few months on the job, Lennon's side have taken four points from the last 15 on offer and allowed 15 goals while doing it.
Next week's trip to Nottingham Forest was already significant, but now former manager Dougie Freedman will have the chance to put one over on his successor, and no one would have predicted that a month ago.