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Watford vs Rotherham United. Sky Bet Championship.

Vicarage RoadAttendance18,911.

Watford 1

  • J Fonseca Ferreira (53rd minute)

Rotherham United 1

  • S Ferguson (20th minute)

Watford 1-1 Rotherham: Joao Ferreira earns point for Hornets

Report and free match highlights from the Sky Bet Championship match between Watford and Rotherham at Vicarage Road as Shane Ferguson put the Millers in front, but Joao Ferreira earned a point for the Hornets.

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Joao Ferreira rescued a point for Watford in a 1-1 draw with Rotherham but the result did little to help their automatic promotion chances.

In addition to Ferreira's superb equaliser from 20 yards, which cancelled out Shane Ferguson's first-half opener, Watford clipped the visitors' woodwork on two occasions on what proved to be a frustrating afternoon for the Vicarage Road crowd.

Slaven Bilic's side sit third in the Sky Bet Championship but are 13 points behind second-placed Sheffield United and an almost unbridgeable 18 from leaders Burnley.

Mario Gaspar's early pirouette and volley which clipped the outside of the post was a rare moment of Watford incision in the opening stages.

Indeed, the first-half intensity belonged almost exclusively to Rotherham and they forced a 17th-minute free-kick which eventually came out to Dan Barlaser 20 yards from goal.

The midfielder adjusted his body to send in a half-volley which forced Daniel Bachmann into an awkward-looking save.

The Watford keeper was then at fault as Rotherham took the lead after 20 minutes.

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Tariqe Fosu, signed on loan from Brentford this week, cut inside and sent in a looping shot which Bachmann appeared to judge late, pushing the ball straight out to Ferguson, who cushioned it before lifting it into the far corner.

Watford's response was fitful. A Matheus Martins free-kick after 26 minutes was clipped low to the edge of the Rotherham area and volleyed skilfully by Vakoun Bayo, only to clip the bar as it dipped too late.

Two minutes later, Ferreira crossed for Ismaila Sarr to attempt another volley, but this one was wilder and lashed into the contingent of Rotherham fans behind the goal.

Watford appealed loudly for a penalty as half-time approached but referee David Webb waved play on when Sarr fell under the challenge of Cameron Humphreys.

The home side almost equalised three minutes into the second half when Bayo's cross eventually found Martins, whose shot struck the angle of post and crossbar.

However, they were level in the 53rd minute thanks to Ferreira, who seized on a loose pass by Leo Hjelde, drove forward and struck an unerring low shot into the bottom corner.

The stage seemed set for the home side to complete the comeback, yet that plan was almost scuppered after 73 minutes when Rotherham substitute Cohen Bramall skipped forward and slid the ball in front of Fosu.

The striker's hesitation proved decisive as he allowed Bachmann to throw his body in the way of a tame shot.

Gaspar then reciprocated the wastefulness at the other end, lifting his effort over the bar with only visiting keeper Viktor Johansson to beat.

The managers

Watford's Slaven Bilic:

"I'm disappointed with the result, obviously. The plan was to win, no matter how difficult every game is, especially in the Championship. We started well, especially on the right side, and I told the players I can't ask more from them at the moment, but we are missing enough quality in the middle of the park and especially up front.

"The majority of our top players are not on the pitch and we can't rely on the kids to be consistent week in, week out. So many times today we were one against one in promising situations facing the opponent and then it's all about quality. Up until those top players come back, we have to fight and win as many points as we can."

Rotherham's Matt Taylor:

"We've got to believe we can achieve something when we come to these clubs otherwise there's no point coming here. Watford's squad is stronger than ours.

"I'm really pleased with the performance. The commitment's spot on at the moment. The effort's there. We have to make the opposition work hard for everything we get. It's just a question of quality. People look at the squads and say that we shouldn't be competing in this league but we are. We deserve to be in this competition."

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