Wycombe Wanderers made history after registering their first point in the second tier of English football, but will feel a win would have been a better reflection of their performance following an encouraging display against high flying Watford as Adams Park.
Story of the game
Wycombe Wanderers were made to rue a host of missed chances as the Championship strugglers succumbed to defeat against a strong Watford side at Adams Park.
A solid first half display provided multiple opportunities for the home side to take the lead, but they could not convert their chances. The ball was in the back of the net after five minutes, however a deflected shot from Scott Kashket was diverted over the line by the offside Daryl Horgan.
Watford grew stronger after early heavy pressure from the The Chairboys with Kiko Femenia seeing plenty of the ball down the right wing, but lacked creativity in the final third.
At the other end, Wycombe forced a spectacular save from Ben Foster when Adebayo Akinfenwa's knockdown was met by Kashket and looked destined for the net after 30 minutes. Foster was called into action again just five minutes later with a fine save from Akinfenwa's classy, curling effort towards the top corner.
On the stroke of half time, the best chance of the half fell to the usually reliable Akinfenwa, but he somehow managed to miss an open goal after being played in by Kashket from 12 yards out, lashing his effort over the crossbar.
The second half began in the same way the first half ended, with Wycombe penetrating Watford's defence and they almost took the lead again through David Wheeler's powerful, low volley from outside the box brought another fantastic save from Foster.
Watford took the lead against the run of play in the 50th minute, as Kiko Femenia's silky run down the right and cross to the back post was met by the head of striker Ismaila Sarr.
Sarr was again in action moments later when he forced a strong save from Ryan Allsop. However, Wycombe did not let the setback knock their confidence or commitment to the cause, and finally got on the scoreboard with a bullet header from Wycombe's Wembley hero Anthony Stewart from Joe Jacobson's corner after 66 minutes.
The tenacity of the match calmed slightly as both sides adopted a more patient style of play, which suited Watford more as they found more time and space on the ball.
With 10 minutes remaining, Watford thought they had a penalty as Kiko Femenia played in Sarr who looked to have been brought to the ground by the onrushing Allsop, but after consulting the linesman, referee John Brooks rightly turned down the appeals and subsequently booked Kiko Femenia for dissent following the decision.
As the game approached the end, Allsop's long punt upfield was flicked on by Akinfenwa putting Kashket through on goal but his low shot was denied by the leg of the outstretching Foster.
Wycombe thought they'd snatched all three points in the 90th minute, but substitute Alex Samuel was adjudged to have fouled Foster following another quality corner kick from Jacobson. It was a massive decision for the referee to make, but he waved away the protests and Wycombe had to settle for a draw, registering their first point of the season against a side destined for a high league position.
With the game drawing to a close, referee John Brooks had his first major decision to make. As Joe Jacobson's corner was whipped in, Alex Samuel backed into Watford's Ben Foster and as the substitute nodded the ball in, he was adjudged to have fouled the goalkeeper.
It's the sort of challenge you seen week in, week out and in a different area of the pitch, it would not have been a foul. However, with Foster being prevented from collecting the ball and Samuel pushing his body back into the 'keeper, it was a firm decision from the referee who did not hesitate when making the decision.
There was a slight confusion when it appeared he pointed to the centre circle, indicating a goal had been given, but it was not to be and a free kick was given to the away side.
Wycombe will feel hard done by, but Watford will feel justice prevailed. It was ultimately only the referee's decision which mattered and at a critical point of the match, that contributed to the outcome of the entire match.
Stand out player
While Wycombe were the better side, the best player on the pitch by a long shot was Watford's right wingback Kiko Femenia. He always wanted the ball, took the game to Wycombe and his pace and mazy runs were a delight to watch. His cross for Watford's goal was pinpoint for Sarr and he always posed a threat to the Wycombe defence.
Wycombe Wanderers: Allsop, Grimmer, Stewart, Knight, Jacobson, Adeniran, Thompson, Wheeler, Horgan, Kashket, Akinfenwa
Subs: Pattison, Ikpeazu, Bloomfield, Phillips, Onyedinma, Samuel, Stockdale
Watford: Foster, Kiko Femenia, Kabasele, Troost-Ekong, Cathcart, Sema, Cleverley, Quina, Capoue, Pedro, Sarr
Subs: Ngakia, Wilmot, Chalobah, Garner, Murray, Bachmann, Sierralta