Tag: Steve Palmer

14th May 2000- Premier League, Watford 1 Coventry City 0

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BSAD imageBSAD report: Like us, Coventry came to enjoy themselves. Their last chance for an away win brought their fans out in force and they contributed fully to a tremendous pre-match atmosphere. Robert Page received his “Player of the Season” trophy to a huge ovation, and both he and Haig Oundjian paid tribute to the supporters who have done the club proud in recent months. Following a earth-shaking, immense “ELTON JOHN’S TAYLOR-MADE ARMY” session, the team emerged from the tunnel into bright May sunshine for its final Premiership appearance….

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25th March 2000- Premier League, Watford 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0

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BSAD imageBSAD report: There are less than ten minutes left. Robbo’s receiving a pass and steaming down the left like an irate, stampeding wildebeest. He whacks a cross towards the penalty area, hitting a defender and winning a corner. His momentum takes him over the touchline and towards the Rookery, fists clenched and bellowing insanely to demand more support. Spurs are visibly rattled by our bruising assault, suddenly defending a draw rather than pursuing a victory.

In the stand that Robbo’s glaring at, we’re all on our feet. My vocal chords are taking more abuse, screaming encouragement. I’m bracing myself for the winner.

Take a freeze-frame of that moment. Think about it. We’re supposed to have accepted relegation, to feel humbled by the Premiership experience. Yet it takes only the slightest encouragement to flip the script entirely, to bring us back to life as this roaring, snarling beast of a team.

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12th February 2000- Premier League, Watford 1 Leicester City 1

BBC SportIn an open, entertaining match Watford’s Allan Smart could have had a hat-trick in the space of four frantic first-half minutes – but each time he shot just too high or straight to Leicester goalkeeper Tim Flowers. 

BSAD imageThis was not a classic, just a well-matched contest with plenty of incident. A healthy serving of good, wholesome footie. And we didn’t lose either.

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More games from 12th February at https://oldwatford.com/tag/feb12

3rd October 1999- Premier League, Watford 1 Leeds United 2

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BSAD imageBSAD report: Sandwiched between Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United, it’s easy to see Leeds as something of a respite. It has as much to do with not seeing their shirts on every high street and their absence from the intolerable hype of the Champions League as anything. Above all, they’re still recognisable as a football club (fans that sing, quaint stuff like that) rather than the entertainments arm of some giant multinational – although the imminent share purchase by Sky will soon put paid to that. You get three points if you beat them, but you don’t get to parade around the office on Monday morning.

Body language, it was all in the body language. As I watched the Golden Boys warming-up, I could sense something just wasn’t quite right; they seemed sluggish and tired, the usual passion and vigor was missing. It was almost as if there was some kind of player-fan synergy going on. Some of their lethargy rubbed off onto us and some of ours onto them.

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14th September 1999- League Cup Second Round First Leg, Watford 2 Wigan Athletic 0

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BSAD imageBSAD report: For all the occasional moments of utter glory, documented elsewhere, this was what the last ten years of lower division football were usually like. Abysmal football in front of less than seven thousand fidgety fans in the sweeping rain. Dreadful League Cup and Auto Windscreen ties with the likes of Southend and Torquay in an empty stadium foolishly built for bigger things. Roger Willis, Derek Payne, Geoff bloody Pitcher. Awful.

It was an awful night, let’s get to the point. It was drizzling, it was empty, it was ten pounds to get in. (And twenty to get out, we reckoned at half time.) Could tell from the off no-one wanted to be out there on the pitch, and that feeling spread to the stands within minutes. So what if we hadn’t scored since the Premiership title race was still in the balance? We attempted passes of the sodden, slippery ball with the aplomb of those old farts who kick it back to you in the park to look good in front of their ladies and it winds up sliced into someone’s picnic miles from where you’re standing. Except that there were Wigan players in the way tonight, to make us look even stupider. Thank goodness they fell over nearly as frequently as we did, but they had better ideas while they were upright, which gave the lie to blaming it all on the rain. And they knew that if you’re splitting two legs over a week (ah, that’s where the crappy pun was going…) you have to make the away one count. So we gave them as much help as we could, and for 45 minutes we were unspeakable. I don’t remember when we last booed the boys off the pitch at half-time. But for future reference, it was tonight.

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