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25th September 2021- Premier League, Watford 1 Newcastle United 1

WFC.Net Jon Mark’s Goal Commentary: 1


Newcastle United

BBC Sport: Sean Longstaff gave Newcastle the lead, but Ismaila Sarr levelled for the improved hosts after the break.

Sky Sports: Vicarage Road then erupted with one minute to go when King fired home from close range but referee Jarred Gillett – the first overseas official to referee a Premier League game – was instructed to disallow the goal by VAR for offside.

BHappy: If there’s anything more enjoyable than scratching and fighting and shithousing your way to an away win it’s depriving an opponent of doing so.  The few seconds between Joshua King tucking away the loose ball after João Pedro’s tidy lay-off had set up Sissoko to drive at Darlow were a wonderful thing but  it wasn’t to be.  Referee Gillett rubbed salt into the wound unnecessarily by getting his handpointing all wrong and invoking a second abortive goal celebration, but VAR confirmed that Newcastle’s offside trap was in better working order than ours had been and King had stepped beyond it.

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25th September 2010- Championship, Watford 3 Middlesbrough 1

BBC SportMiddlesbrough’s struggles continued as two goals from the club’s former trainee Danny Graham helped Watford to a comfortable victory at Vicarage Road.

BHappy imageFive thunks from another win. “Crikey”, would be the first, take that as read.

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25th September 2004- Championship, Watford 0 Reading 1

If we were somewhat flattered on Tuesday, we were plainly insulted on this occasion.

The weather was strange. It didn’t know whether it wanted to rain or not. On fourteen minutes, Mr Webber didn’t know whether he wanted to score or not, and throughout the match we never seemed to grasp whether we were playing at home or not.


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25th September 1999- Premier League, Arsenal 1 Watford 0

Observer, 26 Sep 1999
Sunday People, 26 Sep 1999

BSAD report: For all the intimidating, ominous thunder that precedes the arrival of this Arsenal team – most notably with the endless, movie-trailer announcement of the line-up before kickoff – the reality proved to be rather less terrifying. For forty-five minutes, little Watford – line-up gabbled out over the PA in about ten seconds flat, as if to say “Oh yeah, somebody else turned up as well!” – made their hosts look very ordinary indeed.

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25th September 1982-Division One, Watford 8 Sunderland 0

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Sunday Mirror, 26 Sep 1982
Sunday People, 26 Sep 1982
Sunday Sun, 26 Sep 1982

Taken from the programme on 9th October 1982-Division One, Watford 2 Norwich City 2

BSAD imageBSAD report:Lest we forget, this was the seventh game of our first ever season in the top flight – that puts the result in some sort of perspective.

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Taken from the programme on 29th September 2009- Championship, Watford 2 Coventry City 3

Taken from the programme on 22nd September 2012-Championship, Watford 2 Bristol City 2  (note-the fixture date shown is incorrect)

The inside front page of Nick Davidson’s book ‘Team Shirts to Ticket Stubs’

Following Sunderland’s 8-0 loss away at Southampton in October 2014 the then Rangers manager Ally McCoist was reminded in a press conference that he played in the previous Sunderland side to lose 8-0 away.

23rd September 2023- Championship, Leeds United 3 Watford 0


Official site: Match dashboard


BBC: The Whites dominated the 90 minutes with Georginio Rutter having a goal ruled out for offside and Daniel Bachmann keeping a muted Watford on level terms with a string of excellent saves during the first half.

Sky: Piroe gave Leeds the lead midway through the second half as he volleyed home to finish off a fine move by Daniel Farke’s side. Byram capped his return to the side as he headed in from a corner and Anthony’s late goal moved Leeds up to fifth in the table having seen off a Watford outfit who rarely threatened.

Watford Observer: Live Feed

Gulf between teams finally reflected in result after Watford hung on for an hour

Ismael disappointed Watford did not force Leeds to work harder

Skipper says some of the Watford players were ‘a bit scared’

Fran’s Watford Blog: Bachmann was the first player to come over to the travelling Hornets, he looked very shame-faced but, without his saves, Leeds would have scored 7.  We were glad to get out of Elland Road and decided to avoid the bus and walk back into the City.  It was a beautiful afternoon and the walk was very pleasant indeed.  There was time for another beer before I caught the train home.  The post-match analysis was brief.  Watford had been absolutely awful, creating almost nothing.  They couldn’t string two passes together for large portions of the game.  Bachmann had been superb and had prevented the score being embarrassing.  Ironically, the Hornets had been marginally better in the second half, particularly after Asprilla came on.  But the fact that the first shot on target came in the 94th minute tells you everything about the game.  The atmosphere at Elland Road was typically unpleasant and our position at the front of the top section meant that we spent much of the second half having to peer around security staff and police officers who were there to keep the fans apart.  A horrible set up.


20th September 2023- Championship, Watford 2 West Bromwich Albion 2


Official site: Match dashboard


BBC: Watford and West Bromwich Albion shared the points at Vicarage Road as Valerien Ismael’s Hornets were held to a draw by his old club in the Championship.

Sky: Tom Ince gave the hosts a third-minute lead but John Swift and Jed Wallace replied in the next 14 minutes for the Baggies. Matheus Martins responded for the Hornets but neither side was able to find a winner in the Championship fixture.

Watford Observer: Live feed

The conditions led to errors from both sides though, and one from Wesley Hoedt almost resulted in a winner for Brandon Thomas-Asante, but he was denied by an excellent Daniel Bachmann save after he had also kept out a stinging drive from the Albion striker earlier in the second period.

Head coach Valerien Ismael had seen tonight’s movie a few times already this season, and it’s not one he’s enjoyed previously.

It wasn’t just the sublime finish that made Tom Ince’s first goal for Watford a bit special, it was the move that led up to it as well.

Fran’s Watford Blog: In the end, a draw was probably a fair result.  All of the goals had been in the first 20 minutes, but both teams had chances to win it in the second half and had their keepers to thank for making terrific saves.  The conditions had been horrible, so misplaced passes could be excused, and I was glad that the weather didn’t lead to any catastrophic errors.  Watford’s game is still annoyingly error strewn, but the attacking threat continues, and it was a very entertaining game for those that braved the elements. 

16th September 2023- Championship, Watford 2 Birmingham City 0


Official site: Match dashboard


BBC: Birmingham City’s unbeaten start to the Championship season came to an end as two stoppage-time goals from Mileta Rajovic and Ryan Andrews gave Watford their first win since the opening day.

Sky: The visitors had started brightly, threatening inside the first minute when Oliver Burke’s pass from the right set up Fulham loanee Jay Stansfield for a low right-foot shot from outside the box only for Hornets goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann to save.

Watford Observer: Live Feed

It looked increasingly like the home side would have to settle for a point from a frustrating goalless draw, but with two minutes of normal time remaining the Blues were reduced to ten men when left-back Lee Buchanan was sent off for a second yellow card.

Head coach Valerien Ismael heralded the patience of the Watford fans as being a contributory factor in yesterday’s late, late show victory over Birmingham.

BHappy: It’s a tremendous header.  A Duncan Ferguson header.  Under challenge from several opponents, with the significant distraction of Dion Sanderson flying in to try to clear and having achieved very little in the game to that point – indeed one wonders if, had Vakoun Bayo been on the bench, he would have made it that far – Rajović kept his eye on it, held off the multiple distractions and directed a header cruelly beyond the helpless Ruddy (for whom this may have triggered an uncomfortable flashback to Wembley 2019).

Fran’s Watford Blog: The game seemed to being winding down when Chakvetadze squared for Andrews, but the youngster hit a low shot from distance that took a deflection and beat Ruddy.  He ran to the 1881 section of the Rookery and celebrated with Harry the Hornet while the crowd sang “He’s one of our own”.

From the Rookery End: The trio talk Val’s best XI, Dan Bachmann and supporter patience and try to work out just how much credit shoukd go to the Head Coach for that much needed home win against Blues.

2nd September 2023- Championship, Coventry City 3 Watford 3

Official site: Match dashboard


BBC: Mileta Rajovic’s double on his first Watford start was not enough to clinch victory as Coventry fought back three times to share the points in a thriller at the CBS Arena.

Sky: Mileta Rajovic’s opener was brilliantly cancelled out by Milan van Ewijk to leave the score 1-1 at half-time. Matheus Martins and a second from Rajovic had Watford ahead twice in the second half, but Wesley Hoedt’s own goal and Matt Godden’s late strike salvaged a point for the Sky Blues.

Watford Observer: Live Feed

For three games Watford struggled to score goals. Today that wasn’t the problem – it was giving them away down the other end that cost them all the points in a crazy 3-3 draw at Coventry.

BHappy: City’s second goal owed less to struggling with the demands of the new system than it did to a complacent and expensive lack of concentration.  At 2-1 for ten minutes or so early in the second half, we were bossing the game.  City looked beaten following Martins’ merciless strike, Watford were knocking it around and making the home side chase the ball.  Porteous’ pass across the back line to Hoedt didn’t place the Dutchman under particular pressure, but a moment’s hesitation as an opponent half-heartedly considered closing down saw him panic, turn away from the centre of the pitch and without looking play a firm back pass towards the goal.  No blame attached to Bachmann here – he has been told to be a passing option and so had to be a long way out of his goal. There’s no excuse for a back pass without a look, much less one that’s on target and with comic precision finds the narrow path between the goalkeeper’s tortured lunge and the inside post.   The away end slumped in stunned disbelief, the home stands were rejuvenated and the basketball resumed.

Fran’s Watford Blog: It was then Coventry’s turn to have a defensive shambles as Thomas played a short back pass, Bayo nipped in to pick it up and rolled it back to Rajović who prodded it past Wilson to give the Hornets the lead for the third time in the game. 

From the Rookery End: The Hornets returned from Coventry with only a point but they did mange to bag themselves 3 goals – something that has been missing for a few weeks.


27th August 2023- Championship, Watford 0 Blackburn Rovers 1

Official site: Match dashboard


BBC: Blackburn rode their luck on the way to snatching a narrow win over a dominant Watford side in the Championship.

Sky: The only goal of the game came after 72 minutes, when Ryan Hedges took over after Lewis Travis could lead the counter no longer, controlled the ball with two neat flicks and fired in from the tightest of angles.

Watford Observer: Live Feed

While it would be unfair to describe the Hornets’ second straight defeat as a smash-and-grab raid for their opponents, the fact the Hornets had 24 goal attempts to the visitors’ five would suggest they did enough to at least secure a point. But of those just four were on target and goalkeeper Aynsley Pears was only forced into two saves of note, meaning it is now three-and-a-half league games since the Hornets last found the back of the net.

Head coach Valerien Ismael felt his side shouldn’t have lost to Blackburn, but also admitted they need to adapt when opponents change their style of play.

BHappy: Prior to kick-off there was tribute payed to Andy Rankin who passed away during the week.  I was surprised to hear that he made his last appearance in 1979, the year I started attending matches as my memory was of watching him for far longer than that.  He had been my first goalkeeping hero and I was very sad to hear of his passing.  The minute’s applause was heartfelt. On 30 minutes the big screen showed a photo of Matt Sillitoe, the PA announcer at Ewood Park, who has passed away at the age of 30.  All sides of the ground joined in the minute’s applause. At half time, Danny Webber and Neil Cox were at the side of the pitch remembering Jimmy Davis as it is 20 years since his passing.  Gangster’s Paradise was played over the tannoy as this was the song that Jimmy had sung for his initiation.  Danny was very emotional talking about his friend.  Jimmy is remembered for his bubbly personality and cheeky smile as much as for his great footballing talent.  Danny talked about what a hard worker he was, wanting everything that he did to be perfect.  This even extended to the song, which he had practised until it was perfect.  He was enjoying his performance so much that he had to be carried off the stage as he wouldn’t stop singing.  Jimmy had been a very popular member of the team and is greatly missed by all who knew him.

FTRE: We can sit here, at least Mike would, and quote that Watford haven’t scored a goal since the 43rd minute of the opening game… about 230 minutes. But Mike is on holiday so Jon, Jason, Jordi and DCW gathered post match in Mad Squirrel to disucss the match, the changes – some enforced, some the choice of Valerian – the difference performace in the first and second half plus how the players got along, particulary the latest signing Mileta Rajovic and what led to the the 0-1 home defeat.