19th January 2003- New Division One, Watford 2 Norwich City 1

There was something almost Betjeman-esque about the first 45 minutes here yesterday, so effectively did 22 well-paid professionals evoke the spirit of the thousands of park games that kicked off around the country an hour or so earlier.

This was a wearisome game. A dreary, generally uneventful, rarely attractive football match between two largely uninspired sides. And played at a ludicrous time, just for effect. The equivalent of being dragged from your bed at five o’clock in the morning and forced to watch back-to-back episodes of “Heartbeat”, while being kept awake by periodic prodding with a blunt stick. Probably the most forgettable game since…erm, I can’t remember. But with a reward for anyone who managed to stick with it until the end.

The match itself couldn’t have made much of an impression on the TV viewers, though the three points have brought Watford back in touch with the teams chasing for a play-off place. Whilst a top half finish would have been beyond most Watford fans’ expectations at the start of the season, it is great to see that there is some hope of some end of season games. Keep up the good work Ray, Terry and the lads.

More games from 19th January at https://oldwatford.com/tag/jan19

9th August 1997- New Division Two, Watford 1 Burnley 0

Scan 46Scan 47Scan 48Scan 49Scan 50Scan 51Scan 52Scan 53Scan 54Scan 55Scan 56Scan 57Scan 58Scan 59Scan 60Scan 61Scan 62Scan 63Scan 64Scan 65

BSAD imageBSAD report:This was a match of many good (and a few excellent) individual performances, not a game that offered vital insights into our future – chaotic but fun, essentially. If we play like that all season, most of our fans will have been reduced to dribbling lunatics by May – but, with so many new players and a ‘new’ manager, it’s only to be expected that we’ll take some time bringing everything together into a cohesive whole.

Screen Shot 2018-08-09 at 22.46.25

Screen Shot 2018-08-09 at 22.45.56

More games with Burnley at https://oldwatford.com/tag/burnley/

12th January 2019- Premier League, Crystal Palace 1 Watford 2

Referee:
Paul Tierney
Attendance:
25,010

Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary   Goals: 1  2

Match Report: Crystal Palace 1-2 Watford

Cleverley: “It Feels Like The Hard Work Has Paid Off”

Gracia: “It’s A Good Tribute For Graham”

Cathcart: “It Was A Great Comeback”

Highlights: Crystal Palace 1-2 Watford

Affleck’s Angle: Four Good Men

Relive our coverage of Watford’s victory at Crystal Palace in the Premier League

Watford come from behind to beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace vs Watford: Javi Gracia praises character and ambition after victory

RATINGS: How did Watford perform in their away win at Crystal Palace?

Tom Cleverley speaks after Watford win at Crystal Palace

Five positives after Watford win at Crystal Palace

Watford defender Craig Cathcart sees the funny side of Crystal Palace own goal

A selection of images from Watford’s win at Crystal Palace

Tom Cleverley’s superb second-half volley helped Watford come from behind to beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

A huge scramble in the Watford area saw the ball turned home by Craig Cathcart’s thigh (38) to put Crystal Palace ahead, with goal-line technology confirming it had gone over the line. But the defender redeemed himself in the 67th minute as he nodded home the Watford equaliser before a wonderful volley from Tom Cleverley (74) completed the comeback and handed the visitors the victory.

The narratives off the pitch seemed rather more interesting than those on it. Watford’s Troy Deeney was charged for comments about the referee David Coote following his team’s recent game at Bournemouth. Crystal Palace’s Wayne Hennessey is also under investigation by the FA after making what appeared to be a Nazi gesture during a meal with team-mates following the club’s FA Cup victory over Cardiff last weekend.

Watford have now won 16 points away from Vicarage Road, which is a greater haul than they managed on the road last season.

It’s tempting to say that we would have lost this last season.  In fact we DID lose this last season.  And the season before.  And coulda, shoulda this time too.  But there’s more to us now…  good enough that our bad days aren’t that bad, good enough that when we flame on we’re irresistible, plenty enough to blow Palace, albeit a blunt, stunted Palace, right out of the sky.

Back home watching Match of the Day I notice, during the interview with Javi Gracia, that he is wearing a Graham Taylor matchday badge on his jacket.  I must admit that made me cry.  Javi has been a joy since he arrived at Vicarage Road.  His football is enjoyable and his conduct is exemplary.  I think that GT would have loved him and, from me, there can be no higher praise.

6th January 2019- FA Cup Third Round, Woking 0 Watford 2

Referee:
Graham Scott
Attendance:
5,717

Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary   Goals:  1  2

FA Cup Report: Woking 0-2 Watford

FA Cup Reaction: Gracia, Deeney & Hughes

Hughes: “We Applied Ourselves Really Well”

Wilmot: “We Want To Go As Far As Possible”

FA Cup Highlights: Woking 0-2 Watford

Relive our coverage as Hornets secure FA Cup success at non-league Woking

Watford into FA Cup fourth round after win at Woking

Troy Deeney pleased by Watford’s professionalism in Woking win

Javi Gracia thinks Watford can beat anyone with right attitude after Woking win

Our player ratings from Watford vs Woking in the FA Cup

A selection of images from Watford’s FA Cup win at Woking

Tom Cleverley reflects on injury return after Watford beat Woking in the FA Cup

Watford reached the fourth round of the FA Cup with a routine victory at National League side Woking.

Watford took the lead in the 13th minute through Hughes during a first half in which the Hornets dominated possession. The second half contained few goalscoring chances for either team, but Watford substitute Deeney wrapped up a comfortable victory for the Premier League side with a simple tap-in (75).

Yet it was still a day to feel the glow of FA Cup romance. The competition is too predictable; it has had its day? Do not say that to Alan Dowson, the old-school Woking manager, whose north-east tones remain loud and proud. He talked of his thrill at seeing Kingfield sold out, of his young players coming up against established professionals (even if Javi Gracia made 11 changes to his Watford team) and of the uplift that the tie has brought to this corner of England.

Javi Gracia, Watford’s former Villarreal and Malaga manager, has certainly also never received a post-match gift from an opposing manager quite like it. A bumper bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale. “He took it and he gave me one of his sangria,” said Dowson, who was born in Gateshead. “I thought he was a bit tight. The Newcastle Brown was bigger.”

There were 110 places separating the top flight and National League South side before kick off, but this was Watford and we all knew that the ability to ‘do a Watford’ was very much possible.

The first action of the second half was the rather thrilling sight of the lino on the opposite side falling backwards over the hoardings.  It is dreadfully childish, but you can’t help but laugh when the officials come a cropper. 

2nd January 2019- Premier League, AFC Bournemouth 3 Watford 3

The date shown on the programme is incorrect
Referee:
David Coote
Attendance:
10,261

Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary   Goals: 1  2  3

Match Report: AFC Bournemouth 3-3 Watford

Deeney: “It’s Nice To Score”

Gracia: “Scoring Three Away, You Have To Win”

Mariappa: “We’ll Take The Point And Move On”

Highlights: AFC Bournemouth 3-3 Watford

Affleck’s Angle: The Siege Of Troy

Gallery: AFC Bournemouth v Watford

Watford score three but still have to settle for a point against Bournemouth

Watford and Bournemouth share six goals in New Year opener

Watford head coach Javi Gracia pleased with Ben Foster after Bournemouth draw

AFC Bournemouth vs Watford: Javi Gracia admits he’s ‘never see a first half like that’

Watford player ratings: How we scored the Hornets at AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth vs Watford: Troy Deeney claims Dan Gosling tried ‘to do’ Tom Cleverley

Adrian Mariappa becomes 25th player to make 300 Watford appearances

Watford captain Troy Deeney said “Sunday League” defending contributed to his side’s astonishing 3-3 draw at Bournemouth, with all six goals arriving in a frenetic first half. “It was an end-to-end game that could have been 6-6,” said Deeney, who scored two of his side’s goals.

Troy Deeney’s two goals gave Watford a commanding lead (14 & 27) before Bournemouth responded in quickfire fashion with goals from Nathan Ake (34) and Callum Wilson (37). Seconds later, Ken Sema put Watford back in front again with a fine half-volley (38) before Ryan Fraser levelled the game with a composed finish (40) in an action-packed first half.

Though bad tempered, the second half settled into a more predictable pattern. 

Deeney accused Dan Gosling of trying “to do Tom Cleverley” and also claimed the referee “bottled it on a few occasions”.

At half time, a number of supporters from each team were invited on to the pitch for a “beer goggles” penalty shoot-out.  I couldn’t help but wonder if the defenders had been wearing these goggles for the last 15 minutes of the half.