9th March 2002- New Division One, Crystal Palace 0 Watford 2

Transfer-listed duo Allan Nielsen and Marcus Gayle made Gianluca Vialli think again when they both scored in Watford’s win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

In first-half injury-time Allan Nielsen converted Stephen Glass’s centre, then two minutes after the interval Marcus Gayle beat Matt Clarke to another Glass cross.

At its start, a rather feeble turn-out of Watford fans – in either this season’s away performances or our recent record at Selhurst Bloody Park, it’d be hard to find a logical reason to swap nineteen quid for a seat in the Arthur Wait Stand – was taunted and ridiculed by the ever-charming locals. “Why don’t you all sit together?” they queried, looking at expanses of empty seats and occasional clumps of people. By the end, the same chants were being cheekily returned to the rapidly emptying home stands.

Pre-match, looking at the programme, my ‘escort’ was his usual optimistic self. “We haven’t beaten this lot since 93”. “All the more reason to be here than, in case we witness this rare event”. Looking around the fleapit that is Selhurst, that is the only reason.


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