The 14 year gap since our last meeting is the longest since we started playing each other in 1885.
Whatever career João Pedro goes on to have, and the signs are it will be a damn good one, he is assured of his place in Watford folklore and a place in the hearts of Watford fans after emerging as the winner in the long-awaited derby.
The Brazilian, who turned 19 today, capitalised after good work on the left flank from Ken Sema, his finish deflected past Luton keeper Simon Sluga, who was called upon to make some more good saves on a day when the hosts should have scored more.
The fixture between keen rivals had not been played since April 2006 but although the match was played behind closed doors, police still insisted on a 12.30pm kick-off. As a result, there was little resembling a derby atmosphere in a cold and biting wind and Luton, in particular, struggled to raise their game against a Watford side whose recent Premier League pedigree gave them a decided edge.
The Hatters really ought to have led when Collins could not keep his shot down from six yards from Harry Cornick’s cross, and Pedro punished them – albeit with the help of a deflection off defender Sonny Bradley on its way in.
Whilst we were on top it would be wrong to paint this as a completely one-sided contest. The visitors were the strongest side we’ve faced thus far, defended well for the most part, desperately on occasions but doggedly enough to stay in it and always looked dangerous on the break where their attacks were neat and tidy. Harry Cornick was the biggest threat in the first half, too often finding space down the right. His ball across was smacked off the underside of the bar by Collins with Foster doing well to come out and force the Luton striker to lift the ball. That goes in it’s a different game; as it was we broke and scored, and never really looked back.