Six Years Ago Today That Watford-Leicester Play-Off Madness Took Place

It's exactly six years to the day that one of the most dramatic moments in English football history took place in the Championship play-off final second leg between Watford and Leicester City.

With the scores 2-2 on aggregate as we entered the dying embers, the visitors were awarded a hugely controversial penalty when the referee deemed Anthony Knockaert to have been fouled by Marco Cassetti in the area.

The Hornets were heading for defeat in the most cruel circumstances, given the penalty shout was very, very dubious.

But one of the greatest sequences in football ensued.


Knockaert's tame penalty was saved by Manuel Almunia, who rushed to deny the Frenchman on the rebound. Cassetti was on hand to hook the ball clear up the pitch and Watford broke swiftly.

The ball made its way to Fernando Foriestieri on the right flank and he swung in a cross to the far post for Jonathan Hogg.

With Kasper Schmeichel jumping towards him as the ball dropped to him, the former Villa midfielder knocked the ball down for the onrushing skipper Troy Deeney to wallop home a stunning stoppage time winner to book a place at Wembley.

<img src="http://beta.ems.ladbiblegroup.com/s3/content/62b225d45af6ee36caf95b13347f24f6.jpg" data-orig-height="1848" data-orig-width="2776" alt ">

Images: PA
Images: PA

The Watford striker whipped off his shirt and promptly jumped into the crowd, sending Vicarage Road into utter pandemonium.

Incredibly, there was just 20 seconds between the penalty save and the ball bulging Schmeichel's net at the other end.

The commentary on the broadcast will forever be etched in the minds of Watford fans, but the reaction from Jonny Phillips on Soccer Saturday is something else. In complete disbelief at what he has just seen, his voice broke like a teenage boy and it's just pure gold.

Try and not get goosebumps watching it. Football has a tendency to throw up the most unbelievable turn of events and it was Watford who progress to the play-off final, where they were beaten by Crystal Palace.

They finished in 13th the following season before achieving automatic promotion to the Premier League in 2014/15.

Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

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