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Watford 3-2 West Brom: Sema double helps Hornets back into play-off spots
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Ken Sema starred for Watford (John Walton/PA)
Ken Sema starred for Watford (John Walton/PA)

Ken Sema scored twice – including a heavily-deflected winner – as Watford beat West Brom 3-2 to move back into the Championship play-off spots.

Slaven Bilic’s 200th game as a manager in English football could hardly have been more entertaining as his current club pipped the one he took up to the Premier League in 2020, and sacked him before the year was out.

Ismaila Sarr was also on target for Watford on a night when Conor Townsend and Jed Wallace were the scorers for Albion, who remain 10th.

Watford opened the scoring with their first attack of note in the 23rd minute.

Hamza Choudhury’s pass played Mario Gaspar in on the right side of the box and his cross was seized upon by Keinan Davis. Albion goalkeeper Josh Griffiths got a hand to the striker’s partially-blocked shot on the turn but Sema was perfectly positioned to blast home the loose ball from unmissable range.

Ryan Porteous, a Watford January signing, almost made it 2-0 soon after but the defender’s overhead kick dropped just wide.

Albion responded with a move that saw John Swift fire over from Wallace’s cross after referee Tim Robinson had allowed play to continue when Wesley Hoedt felled Marc Albrighton. The Dutchman was subsequently booked.

Griffiths had to come to Albion’s rescue soon after, however, when Dara O’Shea gifted possession to Sarr outside the visitors’ box. The Senegal forward immediately slipped Davis in for an unchallenged shot that Griffiths did well to parry.

Albion boss Carlos Corberan made a double change at the break, with Jayson Molumby and Grady Diangana replacing Nathaniel Chalobah and Albrighton.

Darnell Furlong headed over from a corner not long after Choudhury had been cautioned for a bad tackle on Swift, and Brandon Thomas-Asante blasted Albion’s next chance well over.

A goal was coming for the Baggies and Townsend was the man who scored it after Hornets keeper Daniel Bachmann had batted away a fine strike from Swift.

Molumby appeared to have been pushed over from the corner that followed but the substitute still managed to get the ball to Townsend to flick home from close range.

Watford almost regained the lead immediately when Sarr burst through only to see his shot hit a post.

His next attempt put Watford back ahead, in the 66th minute. Ismael Kone saw his shot bounce kindly off a defender to hand Sarr a simple finish.

The lead did not last long, though, as Bachmann’s pass to Choudhury was picked off by Molumby, who teed up Wallace for a simple finish.

It stood even though Wallace had appeared marginally offside – and Watford then had a goal chalked off for offside at the other end.

Luck deserted Albion in the 78th minute, however, when a Sema shot took a huge deflection off Erik Pieters to fox Griffiths and earn the Hornets their first win in six games.


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