Month: February 2004

28th February 2004- New Division One, Watford 4 Wimbledon 0

This would be the last time we played this incarnation of Wimbledon and by then they were very much Wimbledon in name only.   They were already playing home games at the National Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes and at the end of the season the Football League allowed Pete Winkleman to change the name of the side he’d taken over to the MK Dons.

The fans of the real club had already established AFC Wimbledon in the summer of 2002 and at the time of this game were top of the Combined Counties League which they would win starting a run of 5 promotions taking them back to the Football League in 2011.

For more about the whole sorry business of how two members of a three person independent panel, commissioned by the FA, allowed franchising to happen see the Wikipedia article, ‘Relocation of Wimbledon F.C. to Milton Keynes‘.

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BBC SportWatford pulled further away from the drop zone while Wimbledon were sent closer to the relegation trapdoor.

BSAD imageBSAD report: The easiest three points of the season, gained with a performance that ambled around for long periods to general disinterest before casually stuffing another goal past an utterly shambolic Franchise defence.

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14th February 2004- New Division One, Watford 2 Preston North End 0

BBC SportHameur Bouazza scored on his full debut to set up Watford’s victory against Preston at Vicarage Road.

BSAD imageSo, Preston then. And as I struggle to remember the game’s various events and talking points, one thing is clear above all. This was a good thing.  Not just the performance (although it was surely one of the best of the season, if not the best) but for the number of factors that gave the more optimistic supporter something to smile about.

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Taken from programme on 6th August 2005- Championship, Watford 1 Preston North End 2

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7th February 2004- New Division One, Watford 2 Sunderland 2

BBC SportDarren Byfield’s goal on his debut just four minutes from time saw Sunderland claw their way back from a two-goal deficit to steal a share of the spoils.

BSAD imageReally, much of this was very good indeed. Not in a tidy, graceful, stylish way, for we can hardly expect to see much that’s glorious and elegant at the moment. Nor in an organised, solid, nerveless way either, for we courted disaster on a few occasions, even before the late Sunderland fightback. But in a battling, struggling, fighting way, it was pretty much beyond criticism. As we know only too well, there are barely three or four players in the entire squad who can reasonably be considered to be in good form at the moment, yet there were many more here who were giving it absolutely everything in an attempt to get through the sticky patch. That’s more than half the battle, right there. And it’s a battle that we seem ready to fight, at long last.

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