Tag: Neil Cox

30th November 2004- League Cup Quarter Final, Watford 3 Portsmouth 0

BBC SportPortsmouth’s traumatic week sunk to new depths as they were knocked out of the Carling Cup by Watford.

guardianWatford would seem to specialise in compounding the problems of troubled south-coast clubs, but Portsmouth’s first-team coach Kevin Bond did not bemoan the impact of Harry Redknapp’s departure as manager last week.

BSAD imageThree BSAD reports including…Despite recent events, Portsmouth are a much better side than the last round’s victims, and this success required the intense, concentrated implementation of a well-prepared gameplan. Required it, got it…and weagain, astonishingly and spectacularly, arrived at the point where we’d put the game out of reach with half an hour remaining.

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More games from 30th November at https://oldwatford.com/tag/nov30

4th May 2003- New Division One, Watford 2 Sheffield United 0

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BSAD imageBSAD report: Really, the most enjoyable aspect of yesterday’s victory was that it summarised our successes so well. For the final action of 2003/03 had much in common with its best action, albeit that several of the personnel were less familiar. Some of it was ragged, some of it was a real struggle, much of it wasn’t especially pretty. But the attitude – determined, focused, assertive – overcame all of that in the end, enabling the team to build foundations for a deserved victory. Although we can play better, and we have played better, much of this term’s progress has been based upon performances like this.

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22nd March 2003- New Division One, Watford 1 Stoke City 2

In many ways, it would be pleasant to be able to berate the players for lack of effort, commitment, determination, concentration, focus, and everything else. That’d be easy, a simple solution. But the problems are more fundamental, albeit that they’re problems that we’ve overcome until now. To an extent, this was a more encouraging ninety minutes than Gillingham – for one thing, the result wasn’t just down to our own failings; for another, there was a definite, strong (and, yes, faltering) reaction to the possibility of defeat. However, the result makes that largely irrelevant…and, with a series of away games to come, the revival must now be sudden and decisive rather than patient and hopeful. It has to happen. And we have to make it happen.

25th January 2003- FA Cup Fourth Round, Watford 1 West Bromwich Albion 0

Pennant slotted Heidar Helguson through and the Icelandic striker coolly finished in the 80th minute.

Even allowing for our customary difficulties in turning possession into chances and chances into goals, it would be hard – and unnecessary – to imagine a more exhilarating display. From first to last, we did everything right, and then a little bit more. With the benefit of hindsight, that even includes the penalty miss, since an earlier goal would’ve left us with longer to defend the lead. It was a perfect afternoon, one of those when it all comes together at the same time.

More games from 25th January at https://oldwatford.com/tag/jan25

19th January 2003- New Division One, Watford 2 Norwich City 1

There was something almost Betjeman-esque about the first 45 minutes here yesterday, so effectively did 22 well-paid professionals evoke the spirit of the thousands of park games that kicked off around the country an hour or so earlier.

This was a wearisome game. A dreary, generally uneventful, rarely attractive football match between two largely uninspired sides. And played at a ludicrous time, just for effect. The equivalent of being dragged from your bed at five o’clock in the morning and forced to watch back-to-back episodes of “Heartbeat”, while being kept awake by periodic prodding with a blunt stick. Probably the most forgettable game since…erm, I can’t remember. But with a reward for anyone who managed to stick with it until the end.

The match itself couldn’t have made much of an impression on the TV viewers, though the three points have brought Watford back in touch with the teams chasing for a play-off place. Whilst a top half finish would have been beyond most Watford fans’ expectations at the start of the season, it is great to see that there is some hope of some end of season games. Keep up the good work Ray, Terry and the lads.

More games from 19th January at https://oldwatford.com/tag/jan19

30th November 2002- New Division One, Watford 2 Burnley 1

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BBC SportGoals in either half from Heidar Helguson and Tommy Smith sunk 10-man Burnley.

BSAD imageBSAD report: For much of the game, the defence was less an accident waiting to happen than a catastrophe in progress – the individual performances were generally sound, but the unit was a haphazardly-assembled flat-pack – and various other parts only functioned in fits and starts too. Really, though, you can’t escape the fact that, for a side without a win in four games, this was an extraordinarily eager, aggressive and whole-hearted performance.

More games from 30th November at https://oldwatford.com/tag/nov30

26th October 2002- New Division One, Watford 1 Sheffield Wednesday 0

 

BBC SportHeidar Helguson’s fourth goal of the season put the pressure back on Sheffield Wednesday’s under-fire boss Terry Yorath as they slumped to a fifth away defeat of the season.

BSAD imageAt some point during the second half, a familiar (but nameless, here at least) face and occasional BSaD contributor returned to his seat in the Rookery and proudly announced that he’d just been Harry Hornet for the afternoon. Which explains why Harry was looking distinctly trim and athletic as he ambled around the touchline, and why said familiar face had suddenly disappeared earlier on. “I had to do it just once,” he said, and you could see the logic in that.

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More games from 26th October at https://oldwatford.com/tag/oct26/

5th October 2002- New Division One, Watford 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 0

This was the first home game since the players agreed to a voluntary 12% wage deferral to prevent the club going into administration.  The collapse of ITV Digital left many Football League clubs struggling financially but Watford’s situation was particularly grim after the failed gamble of trying to achieve promotion the previous season by appointing Gianluca Vialli and investing heavily in new players.

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BSAD imageBSAD report: We’d beaten the bottom side by a single goal. Big deal. The result and, while it was thoroughly entertaining, the game itself won’t live long in the memory. But there was more to it than that. So much more. Whatever else we lacked – and we know that we can play a great deal better – it’s hard to imagine a more committed, determined, bloody-minded Watford performance than this. It was absolutely monumental, a great surge of stubborn, blinkered effort that simply swamped everything else – we approached the game like a fifty mile route-march, ploughing onwards regardless of hills and valleys, pain and fatigue. It was brilliant.

When the Fatboys’ supporters (I’ve tried other nicknames – the Slims, the Normans, the Zoës, the Remixers – but Fatboys just feels most apt to replace Seagulls) responded to our chant of “Going down, going down, going down” with a chorus of “Going bust, going bust, going bust”, I felt my blood rise to fight-level for the first time in the past two weeks. The feelings of resignation swiftly followed by resolve that greeted our financial announcements of the past fortnight were gone, and I became angry for this club, and no longer angry at it. I wasn’t prepared to take anyone else’s word for it, least of all a beered-up posse of seaside hooligans (with due respect to ig who actually has to live down there). Their side had given no indication of bringing anything useful to the party, and it was just our bad timing and bad luck which combined to keep the score at 0-0 for so long, and then 1-0 for the rest of the game.

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More games from 5th October at https://oldwatford.com/tag/oct5/