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Sky Bet Championship: Troy Deeney strike earns Watford a 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough

Troy Deeney cancelled out Kike's opener as Watford drew 1-1 with fellow high-flyers Middlesbrough in their Championship clash at the Riverside.

The 26-year-old scored his fourth goal of the season less than 10 minutes after coming off the bench to cancel out Kike's 49th-minute strike.

Watford then pressed for a winner and Joel Ekstrand hit the post with a header as the Londoners finished strongly but had to settle for a 1-1 result.

But after dominating the first half and the opening part of the second, manager Aitor Karanka's home side were full value for the point after creating a string of chances.

Watford's first problem of the afternoon came before kick-off when goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes pulled up in the warm-up and had to be replaced by England Under-21 international Jonathan Bond.

Bond was the busier of the two goalkeepers on show in the first half.

Middlesbrough went close in the 13th minute after good work by Albert Adomah on the left. His cross was laid off nicely by Kike but Patrick Bamford's rocket was blocked by Daniel Tozser.

Bamford should have put Middlesbrough ahead in the 24th minute when George Friend's cross found him, but Bond managed to stick out a leg to deny the on-loan Chelsea striker.

Watford forced a fine save from Dimi Konstantopoulos when Matej Vydra's low shot was tipped wide by the Greek goalkeeper.

Konstantopoulos showed good reflexes again when Watford winger Ikechi Anya found space on the left side of the box and hit a powerful angled cross which the goalkeeper palmed away.

Middlesbrough took the lead in the fourth minute of the second half, when after great work by Adam Clayton and Ryan Fredericks down the right, Bamford pulled the ball back for Kike who lashed the ball past Bond for his fifth league goal of the season.

Bamford almost doubled the lead a minute later when he ghosted into the box with some clever footwork before he was denied twice.

But Watford drew level on the hour when Deeney, who had replaced Fernando Forestieri less than 10 minutes earlier, smashed Anya's cross past Konstantopoulos.

The goal gave the visitors confidence and they started to get on top.

Only the woodwork stopped them from taking the lead in the 69th minute when Ekstrand's flicked header from Tozser's ball hit the post.

Middlesbrough, up against it, found an outlet in Fredericks down the right and his cross to the far post found Kike but he shot back across the face of goal trickled wide.

The game was there for the taking as it opened up in the last 15 minutes, with both sides looking for a winner.

Tozser's long-range free-kick was tipped wide by Konstantopoulos as Watford pressured the home side. Middlesbrough had a late surge but they had to settle for a share of the points.

Headlines for Watford this week

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  • Sky Bet Championship: Troy Deeney strike earns Watford a 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough

  • Troy Deeney cancelled out Kike's opener as Watford drew 1-1 with fellow high-flyers Middlesbrough in their Championship clash at the Riverside.

  • Sky Bet Championship: Aitor Karanka beaming after Middlesbrough's draw with Watford

  • Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka was beaming after a deserved 1-1 draw at home to high-flying Watford.

  • Sky Bet Championship: Watford boss critical after Forest hit back to claim draw

  • A frustrated Slavisa Jokanovic felt his Watford side played with their hearts rather than their heads after letting the lead slip twice in a 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest.

  • Sky Bet Championship: Watford held by Nottingham Forest at Vicarage Road

  • Watford were knocked off top spot in the Sky Bet Championship as Nottingham Forest came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw at Vicarage Road.

  • Keith Andrews blogs on managerial changes at Watford, Bolton and Cardiff

  • Football League Focus blogger Keith Andrews gives his thought on a successful weekend for new managers at Watford, Bolton and Cardiff.

  • Sky Bet Championship: Watford won 3-0 at Sheffield Wednesday to go top of the table

  • Watford won 3-0 at Sheffield Wednesday in Slavisa Jokanovic's first game in charge to move top of the Sky Bet Championship. .

  • Sky Bet Championship: Slavisa Jokanovic praises table-topping Watford

  • New Watford boss Slavisa Jokanovic believes his Watford side are good enough to stay at the top of the table following their comfortable 3-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

  • Championship Chat: Lennon to lift Bolton

  • James Dixon discusses Neil Lennon's appointment at Bolton, hails the league's youngsters and singles out Leeds United's Lewis Cook for praise.

  • Cost of football continues to rise

  • New figures collated by the BBC reveal that the cost of watching football in England is continuing to rise at a worrying rate.

  • Championship: Lloyd Dyer confident Watford can challenge for promotion

  • Lloyd Dyer is confident Watford can challenge for promotion this season despite the recent upheaval at the club.

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