Monthly Archives: February 2000

26th February 2000- Premier League, Chelsea 2 Watford 1
Daily Telegraph, 28 Feb 2000
Guardian, 28 Feb 2000

BSAD: We have played better this season, but only on two occasions. Even then, those performances did not have the courage in adversity that we showed on Saturday. That we trailed Chelsea for the majority of the game was not unexpected, that we still dominated and disturbed our illustrious opponents was, frankly, astounding. If ever there was a moral victory to be claimed, it was here.

BSAD: We responded in a style reminiscent of last season’s surge to Wembley. Refusing to acknowledge the plethora of stars on the other side we tore into them, giving everything in our artillery. Smart led the line superbly, his movement sharp and strength impressive. He was backed up by the excellent Hyde, who has shown in recent weeks that he really does have the ability to play, and play well, at this level. At the back Page, Gibbs and the imposing Williams looked composed and assured. We looked like we belonged in the Premiership.

12th February 2000- Premier League, Watford 1 Leicester City 1

BBC SportIn an open, entertaining match Watford’s Allan Smart could have had a hat-trick in the space of four frantic first-half minutes – but each time he shot just too high or straight to Leicester goalkeeper Tim Flowers. 

BSAD imageThis was not a classic, just a well-matched contest with plenty of incident. A healthy serving of good, wholesome footie. And we didn’t lose either.

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5th February 2000- Premier League, Aston Villa 4 Watford 0

BBC Sport: Paul Merson helped Aston Villa shrug off the disappointment of their Worthington Cup semi-final defeat by cracking two stunning goals to help destroy bottom club Watford.

Observer, 6 Feb 2000
Daily Telegraph, 7 Feb 2000

BSAD: So this is where the lessons that the Premiership has to teach us get really tough. Remorselessly, the country’s best sides force defeat down our throats, and we are seemingly powerless. There is nowhere to hide. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…but, much as we know that it’s not going to kill us, it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s making us stronger either. Any sign of flagging confidence, anything other than a full fuel tank (our squad included four players – Allan Smart, Peter Kennedy, Clint Easton, Nordin Wooter – returning from lengthy injuries), any mistakes. They all get punished at this level. On Saturday, we were¬†not bad, and we got trampled on regardless.

BSAD:So I felt like the slippery slope to defeat started at kick off rather than half time. Although we were competing with a somewhat disinterested Villa side, their star players rather subdued, the dire quality of the game seemed to be more a reflection of their lack of motivation rather than our toughness. They settled for forcing endless right-wing corners, doing the same back-post routine with each, just to show us how easy they felt we’d be to beat. Our width was customarily non-existent, neither Easton or Cox looking at all suited to their role. Nothing was actually happening of note, but it still felt like we were slipping behind more and more.