A lively first half saw Palace’s Owen Garvan score either side of Martin Taylor’s goal from close range. The second half was a quieter affair until the dying minutes when Julian Speroni once again helped the Hornets by letting Abdi’s strike squirm past him and then Vydra curled the winner deep into injury time.
My first game of the season after an eventful and often stressful summer… and this was just what the doctor ordered. A wonderfully open, chaotic second division game of football, with just enough individual excellence and collective calamity to ensure the full attention of all in the stadium throughout (save the many early Forest departees, natch). I’d been apprehensive, based on reports of unconvincing Watford performances and Forest’s impotent dominance of West Brom but we looked far better than advertised… Forest being far less than a sum of their parts only tells half the story. Poor teams don’t score four times away from home against anybody.
Another man having a bad day was Alvin Martin. He was reporting on the game for Sky and really could have picked a better spot to stand than directly above the Sheff Utd fans. ‘Stand up if you hate West Ham’ and ‘Cheap suit from Matalan’ were among the chants during his broadcasts. We responded with ‘there’s only one Carlos Tevez’ Full marks earlier on though for the Sheff Utd fans who pretty much to a man all appaluded Don Fraser getting his throughly deserved Barclays Supporter of the Year award.
Taken from the programme on 27th August 2001-New Division One, Watford 2 Walsall 1
A bit of inaudible mumbling from the PA, an unmistakable rattle of drums and it’s back. “Z Cars” returns to Vicarage Road, unheralded but still welcomed with open arms. It might well be a godforsaken wailing mess of a tune, so old and dusty and dated that no amount of revamping will ever save it, but it’s ourgodforsaken wailing mess of a tune. Which, if you think about it, is a pretty good metaphor for what supporting a football club ought to be about.