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ANDREW VORCE - Thursday, April 8, 2010
Zak Whitbread and Norwich took another huge stride towards automatic promotion as Jay DeMerit overcame a back injury to play 80 minutes for Watford.

Watford 1 -1 West Brom

Jay DeMerit started from the bench after overcoming a back injury, but was forced on in the 10th minute as 10 man Watford drew at home to West Brom.

Watford's task of staying up continues to take major blows as Lloyd Doyley and Tom Cleverly were both forced off due to injury. Will Buckley was also forced off through injury, while Jon Harley was sent off with 10 minutes to go.

It was Danny Graham got the opening goal five minutes from time, taking a long range strike that left Scott Carson helpless. With all of the injuries, there were five minutes added on at the end of the game.

Chris Brunt got the game tying goal that could see the team promoted in their next match, heading home from six yards. John Eustace and Danny Graham were also booked for Watford, while Roman Bednar, Brunt, Graham Dorrans, Jonas Olsson, and Gabriel Tamas were booked for West Brom.

Up next for DeMerit is a Saturday visit from Kenny Cooper and Plymouth.

Southampton 2 - 1 Leyton Orient

Eric Lichaj was a 90 minute man as Leyton Orient gave up a second minute lead to lose at Southampton.

Charlie Daniel's long throw in the second minute caught Southampton out. John Spicer punished the sleeping defense from six yards at the back post. With Orient looking to head into the break a goal up, Adam Lallana went on a solo run to net four minutes from half time.

Jason Puncheon was at the center of everything good for Southampton, crossing into the area for Rickie Lambert to flick on. Llana was on the back post waiting, and headed in the game winner nine minutes after the break.

Adam Chambers was the only player booked in the match. Lichaj and Orient next face Exeter on Saturday.

Walsall 2 - 1 Wycombe

Jon-Paul Pittman was a 90 minute man as Wycombe's relegation fears continue to mount as Wycombe failed to salvage a point at Walsall.

Julian Gray notched a goal and an assist in the first half to see Walsall hold on to their narrow lead. Gray crossed in just seven minutes in, and Manny Smith was on hand to head home with a powerful header to open the scoring.

Darren Byfield and Alex Nicholls linked up in the 22nd minute, with the ball ending at Gray's feet. Taking little time, Gray sent in a curler that left Tom Heaton unable to save.

Wycombe captain Adam Hinshelwood took the game into his own hands in the 78th minute, netting at the back post. Lewis Montrose and Gareth Ainsworth had chances to put the game to rest, only for Rene Gilmartin to deny both the opportunity.

Byfield was booked for Walsall, the only booking in the match. Pittman and company are in desperate need of points when Hartlepool come to Adams Park on Saturday.

Norwich 2 - 1 Stockport

Zak Whitbread started his first game for Norwich since joining the club who took a huge step towards promotion with a victory over Jemal Johnson's Stockport.

Anthony McNamee got the scoring started just three minutes into the match, netting for the first time for Norwich. Owain Fon Williams was found off his line and McNamee wasted little time chipping from outside the area.

Jabo Ibehre got one back for Stockport in the 12th minute, giving some hope to the basement dwelling Stockport. Stand in goalkeeper Declan Rudd did well to save Ritchie Patridge's initial effort, but Ibehre was on hand to net the rebound.

Grant Holt scored his 30th goal of the season to seal the deal for Norwich, netting in the 25th minute. Stockport failed to clear their lines and Darel Russell laid the ball back for Holt who powered home the game winner.

Jemal Johnson was the only player booked due to dissent in the 25th minute. Norwich next face Milton Keynes Dons while Stockport take on Yeovil at home.

Notes:

Frank Simek was on the bench in Sheffield Wednesday's 1-0 loss at home to Bristol City.

Kenny Cooper stayed on the bench as Middlesbrough won 2-0 at Plymouth.

Devann Yao's Ipswich won 3-1 at Derby.

Mike Grella stayed on the bench in Leeds 2-1 win at Yeovil.

Seb Harris played the final minutes in Northampton's 0-0 draw at home to Torquay.
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