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Nationwide Division One, 12/8/00
Huddersfield Town
Welcome back
By Tim Pseudonym

A new season. A new division. A huge travelling support at Huddersfield and the pre-season yearning for BSaD reading material means that there'll be loads of reports written about this game. This one will, therefore, be brief.

Despite all the hullabaloo surrounding the Premiership, the reality is there's little difference between the top two divisions of our national game. For long, long periods at Huddersfield, Watford looked as out of their depth as they had done at any time during the Premiership campaign. The ball didn't stick up front, the midfield looked anonymous and out of position and the defence...oh my god, the defence.

There is one important difference, though. Against the majority of Premiership teams, Neil Cox's fortuitous free kick would, even after forty-four minutes, have been little more than a consolation. We should have been dead and buried after less than half an hour. Nine months ago, we would have been.

After Huddersfield had taken a deserved lead, several chances fell their way to kill us off completely. Even when we were leading we gave them all too many opportunities to salvage what they deserved. At one point during the second half, as the ball made its regular journey towards the Huddersfield trumpeter in the stand, Nigel Bevan and I looked at each other, laughed, and said, "welcome back to Nationwide strikers". At this level, we can play badly and not be punished. At this level, as we did yesterday, we can play pretty badly and win. Whether that's the sign of Watford being a good team or whether it's just poor opposition remains to be seen.

Several people have already mentioned the similarities between this game and the one at Fratton Park two years ago. Let's hope the ultimate end result turns out to be similar too.