Tag Archives: Jon Harley

24th August 2010- League Cup Second Round, Watford 1 Notts County 2

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BBC SportLeague One side Notts County caused an upset by knocking Watford out of the Carling Cup despite the Championship side largely dictating the play.

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Bhappy report: So much a game of two halves that using more than a pair of thunks – good thunk, bad thunk – seems a little wasteful. Unless you count this as a thunk in its own right, of course. Ah.

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3rd January 2010- FA Cup Third Round, Chelsea 5 Watford 0

FA Cup holders Chelsea began the defence of their trophy in style as a vibrant display overwhelmed Watford.

The Blues led as early as the fifth minute, 20-year-old striker Daniel Sturridge staking his claim to fill the void left by African Cup of Nations absentee Didier Drogba by converting from six yards out after the visitors had failed to clear a Frank Lampard corner.

The second goal had a hint of farce but was just reward for Chelsea’s dominance. Joe Cole had volleyed Malouda’s cross into the Watford penalty area and triggered an extraordinary game of pinball. The ball cannoned between Adrian Mariappa, Frank Lampard and Scott Loach before finally bouncing off John Eustace for an own-goal. There was also a slice of luck about Chelsea’s third goal when Yuri Zhirkov’s shot deflected off Malouda and beyond Loach. But then Lampard scored a cracker from outside the penalty area and Sturridge calmly converted Ashley Cole’s cross for his second to seal an emphatic win.

The home side conjured 10 corners in the opening half-hour, and three goals within the first 22 minutes. Watford were spikier thereafter, but, by then, they could play with the freedom of a condemned side. Their defending hardly improved at any point.

Whilst it’s easy enough to be smart with the benefit of hindsight, it’s difficult to remember a Watford squad as ill-equipped to handle a match like this. That’s not a comment intended to downplay the very great achievements of the squad this season… but any recipe for a cup upset against any senior opposition (let alone the league leaders) really does demand a bit of physical presence and a bit of pace, and we have neither – quite apart from the superior quality, each Chelsea player was a good three inches and half a stone bigger than their opposite number. Our biggest asset (minus the sorely missed Helguson) is the movement and interplay of our midfield, but Chelsea are far more used to this sort of thing than our regular opponents and more adept at dealing with it.


26th December 2009- Championship, Watford 0 Nottingham Forest 0

The club message in the programme relates to the Russo brothers quitting from the Watford board and then demanding back the money they had loaned the club. Various media outlets reported we were on the verge of administration but this was averted due to Lord Ashcroft paying off the £4.9 million demanded.


Nottingham Forest extended their unbeaten away record but had to survive a spirited Watford display. Watford’s Don Cowie came closest to breaking the deadlock when his 77th-minute shot struck the post.

First off, one should perhaps (in the absence of Peterboro thunks) acknowledge that it’s rather good to actually have a club to trundle out to watch at silly’o’clock on Boxing Day. However genuine or otherwise the threat to the club’s future presented by Russo’s disgusting posturing in the wake of the AGM, it felt real enough. We’re here, watching football. That will do for starters; the future comes later.


16th August 2008- Championship, Watford 1 Charlton Athletic 0


BBC SportTommy Smith’s fierce strike gave Watford victory over 10-man Charlton.

BHappy imageNew passing game, new passing formation. Fine. But the real benefit thus far has been the protection afforded the defence. It speaks volumes that on a day when John Eustace was below par, Charlton rarely got more than a sniff – having Eustace and Williamson, fantastic today, as two sitting midfielders makes us a whole lot more secure. It does ask a lot of the four attacking players though (4-3-3 my arse). Speaking of whom….