Dennis ends Watford’s winless run; Troost-Ekong, Kalu benched

Etebo not fit enough to make squad list


Emmanuel Dennis struck with 12 minutes to go at Villa Park against Aston Villa to deliver Watford’s first win since November.

The goal was the Nigerian’s ninth of the season in 22 appearances and his second against Aston Villa after scoring last August in a 3-1 win at the Vicarage Road stadium on his Premier League debut.

Aston Villa have become the first team in the Premier League Dennis has now scored twice against in two games within the same season.

The goal also ended Watford’s three-month wait for a victory as Roy Hodgson celebrated his first win in charge of the Hornets.

Watford arrived at Villa Park in the midst of the longest current winless run in the Premier League, having picked up just two points in the 11 matches that followed November’s memorable win against Manchester United.

Hodgson replaced Claudio Ranieri during that bleak run and secured his first victory as Watford manager on Saturday afternoon as Dennis headed home a cross from Ismaila Sarr to seal a 1-0 triumph.

Dennis also ended a run of five matches without a goal, his longest so far in the competition as the 24 last scored in the Hornets’ 4-1 loss to visiting West Ham towards the end of December.

Nigeria’s vice captain William Troost-Ekong and January addition Samuel Kalu were both left on the bench for all 90 mniutes in the both.

Both have not played in the Premier League this year and are yet to feature under new gaffer Hodgson.

Meanwhile Peter Etebo who returned to full training last week was not considered fit enough to play and did not the matchday squad list.

Etebo has not played for Watford since he got injured against Newcastle last September and has now missed his club’s last 19 Premier League games.

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