Irrespective of the detail of what follows below, we visited a side with a hundred percent home record, a place where our own record is less than outstanding. We rested arguably our five most effective players, three of whose replacements had eight senior starts between them. And we won three-nil. Reading rested players themselves but in lesser numbers. What was close to a first choice eleven had their applecart upset, with Danny, Gav, H, Dyche and Ards (but for a thirty-second cameo) with their feet up ready for Saturday. So much for damage limitation.
Month: September 2004
BSAD report: At various points, it was a game that we wanted to win, were winning, and should’ve won. Apart from the second, these states were more theoretical than anything else, however, as we were never good enough to overcome determined and organised opponents: we should be frustrated by our failure to preserve the lead for five more minutes, but that lead would’ve been the result of evading justice and heading out on the highway with our ill-gotten gains. Which would’ve been fun, clearly, and a reward for sitting through such a monotonous, mundane football match. A point is hardly a disastrous alternative, though.
At one o’clock I arrived in Watford, and one could smell the whiff of optimism around the area, predictions that it was three points in the bag for the Hornets due to the fact that Brighton had been labelled “relegation candidates” this year. Almost fifteen thousand tickets had been sold, ensuring the game would have an electric atmosphere. And both sets of fans were in good voice, obviously keyed up for the day’s game.