Month: December 2003

20th December 2003- New Division One, Watford 1 Stoke City 3

Ade Akinbiyi scored twice to help Stoke complete a superb comeback at Watford. Heidar Helguson had put the Hornets ahead as early as the fourth minute, but on-loan defender Gerry Taggart levelled just 11 minutes later with a firm header.

Good taste precludes me from attempting to compare it with the worst of this and other managers’ reigns, but we can’t have seen much worse for a while, especially given the importance of the fixture and, no offence, the quality of the opponents. As we’ve discovered in recent weeks, victories can turn into draws and draws can turn into defeats by the merest playful twist of fate. Results are fragile things, easily changed by accident as well as design. None of that applies here, though. Stoke didn’t need a late goal. We were beaten, and by a margin that ought to embarrass us into a considerable and immediate improvement.

With five minutes to go, we decided we’d seen enough. “When did you last leave the game before the final whistle?” I asked a twenty-year season ticket holder as we walked back to the car. “Can’t remember – a long time ago,” came the sullen reply.

https://www.soccerbase.com/matches/results.sd?date=2003-12-20
https://www.11v11.com/league-tables/league-division-1/20-december-2003/

6th December 2003- New Division One, Watford 1 Nottingham Forest 1

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BSAD imageBSAD report:As is regularly mentioned on these very pages, the First Division of the Nationwide Football League is a very strange place. There are games that delight you, the recent trip to Norwich being one. There are games of free-flowing football with goal scoring chances aplenty and excitement beyond compare. There are also wars of attrition, games high on honest toil and endeavour, but low on skill, thrills and entertainment. Frankly, they are best described as dull. The fact that this is a third (or fourth, I lost count) attempt at writing this report flings this game into the final, instantly forgettable category.

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