Ward’s treble seals emphatic victory
Danny Ward and Joe Lolley teamed up to earn Town their biggest away win of the season at Watford.
Lolley, on his first start, impressed throughout and capped his display with the opening goal of the game.
Before leaving the field of play in the 69th minute the winger set up Ward to net the first two of his hat trick. Watford ‘keeper Jonathan Bond will have been disappointed with his efforts for the first, but he could do nothing to stop Ward’s second, which he curled home from the edge of the area.
His third came from a set-piece which he drove past Bond at his near post.
Watford earned a consolation when Troy Deeney netted from the spot in added time.
In one of four changes by Mark Robins, winger Lolley was handed his first start for the Terriers since signing in the New Year.
It proved to be an enterprising first half for the former Kidderminster man who was arguably Town’s best player. He had the Terriers’ best chance when he played a neat one two with Adam Clayton before curling over from the edge of the area.
Watford had the better opportunities of a fairly open first period though; midfielder Cristian Battocchio and debutant Alex Jakubiak squandered the best two.
On both occasions Alex Smithies was at his very best to deny the pair with his legs after Town’s defence had been cut open by the Hornets’ neat interplay.
At the other end, Adam Clayton had a goalbound effort blocked by the diving Troy Deeney, whilst Nahki Wells tested Jonathan Bond early on before being replaced by Danny Ward because of injury.
Although the home team had definitely had the better chances, Town looked far more composed in attack compared to recent weeks with Clayton playing as the advanced central midfielder. Adam Hammill looked a danger down the left, whilst Lolley was going past Watford defenders with ease.
And it was Lolley that gave Town the lead with just 23 seconds of the second half played.
Ward fed the winger who cut inside and through Marco Cassetti before firing low past Bond with his right foot.
The same partnership teamed up five minutes before the hour mark to double Town’s advantage. Ward fed Lolley who returned the favour with a neat pass into the box for the former; the attacker took the ball well before firing low at Bond who failed to gather and allowed the ball to squirm through his legs.
It got even better for Town ten minutes later when Lolley and Ward again combined to extend the Terriers’ lead.
Lolley’s knock down fell neatly into the path of Ward who struck the ball first time with his instep and past Bond via the upright.
Chances were at premium for the home team during Town’s dominance. Their best opening came when Sean Scannell chested the ball into the path of Davide Faraoni, but his low cross was easily dealt with by Smithies.
Ward rounded off his performance with his third. From a set-piece, the winger drilled home past Bond at his near post.
Troy Deeney earned Watford a consolation when he netted from the spot in injury time.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Alex Smithies (c); Paul Dixon, Joel Lynch, Anthony Gerrard (Peter Clarke, 84), Tommy Smith; Oliver Norwood, Jonathan Hogg; Joe Lolley (Sean Scannell, 69), Adam Clayton, Adam Hammill; Nahki Wells (Danny Ward, 29)
Ian Bennett, Calum Woods, Oscar Gobern, Duane Holmes
Bookings Watford: Tommie Hoban 42, Daniel Tozser 64, Gabriele Angella 82,