Plymouth were the only non Premiership side left in the FA Cup - and Ian Holloway-s boys were attempting to equal their best ever showing in the Cup - a semifinal place in 1984.Watford blocked their route to the final that year, and this time, it was Watford who again stood between them and a spot in the last four.
Home Park was filled to capacity as supporters of the Pilgrims walked in to spur their club on.
Watford started out well, and restricted Plymouth to their half for the first 10 minutes. Luke McCormick tipped the ball away in the 7th minute, and it found Steve Kabba who shot over. Watford did enjoy better possession and Plymouth did have some defending to do. Watford went ahead in the 21st minute through a Hamuer Bouazza screamer, a goal that the Moroccan will not forget for a long, long time. Plymouth were caught napping by the short corner option chosen by Watford, and Bouazza-s shot from the edge of the box gave McCormick no chance. The goal seemed to give a new lease of life to Plymouth and Watford-s defensive resolve was tested time and again. Scott Sinclair made Adrian Mariappa-s life hard on the left, and he was at the heart of several Plymouth moves. Jade Demerit went off the pitch and returned with three stitches to his head wound. Meanwhile, David Norris overran the ball as he tried to take it around Ben Foster. Foster produced a brilliant save to prevent Kevin Gallen-s free kick from going into the net.
Ian Holloway brought on Barry Hayles for Gosling as Plymouth searched for an equaliser. Norris missed another chance a few minutes into the second half. Watford were restricted to a couple of shots here and there on goal. Foster produced another save to keep Blake-s angled shot out. Both Blake and Gallen failed to tap in a low cross from Paul Connolly, and Watford held on for dear life.
Most of Watford-s players were anonymous on the pitch, and the Hornets were indebted to Ben Foster for his form in goal. Shittu fought hard, but the rest didn-t do anything much on the field. Plymouth had more corners, more possession and more shots on goal, but they lacked the class and finishing ability to get past Foster.
If this had been Manchester United or any other Premiership side, Watford would have possibly been despatched by three or four goals to nil, but the luck of the draw ensures that the Golden Boys make it to the semis for the second time in four years. Nothing to take away from the Pilgrims - all credit to their fighting spirit, but you need something more than that - that extra bit of class and quality and some luck too.
Watford now join Blackburn in the last four, and will hope to emulate their team of 1984 by making it to the finals.
Plymouth 0-1 Watford ( Hamuer Bouazza)
First yellow - Marcel Seip ( Plymouth)
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