Main Menu
What's New
02/03: Review:
"Great team spirit"
By Martin Patching
First published in the Hemel Hempstead Gazette, 02/10/02

Watford manager Ray Lewington praised his men highly following another impressive away victory at Sheffield United. Helguson, in place of the injured Tommy Smith, earned a penalty after The Hornets had gone behind to a Wayne Allison goal. Cox drilled the spot kick home with confidence. Referee Chris Foy sent-off United's Phil Jagielka for the foul on Helguson and Watford stormed into the lead a minute later when the Icelandic front-man flicked the ball home following good work down the left-flank by Paul Robinson.

Although down to ten men, The Blades threw everything at The Hornets and showing great team spirit in front of a hostile home crowd, the Watford defence stood firm and strong. Marcus Gayle deputised for the injured Sean Dyche at centre-back and along with Cox in particular performed very well. Another former Wimbledon man Neal Ardley was in great form, using his good passing and intelligence on the ball, he is fast becoming a major influence in midfield. Ardley missed pre-season training but grows stronger with every game.

The players also took credit from Ray Lewington for agreeing to take a wage deferment, in order to help the club through its present financial crisis. Many local suppliers have also followed suit, by deducting 10% from bills and chief-executive Tim Shaw along with new chairman Graham Simpson are working tirelessly behind the scenes to steady the ship. The two have invested further £millions in order to secure an independent Watford PLC and stave off the administrators.

There was a good away following at Bramall Lane and I had the pleasure of a brief meeting with members of the newly formed Watford Supporters Trust Limited. Acting chairman Peter Fincham had outlined the trust's intentions in the first of many meetings to come, held at Harry's bar last week. A second meeting will be held this coming friday at the Bill Everett Centre, Leggatts Way, Watford, starting at 7.30pm. All fans are urged to attend and support the supporters trust, who aim in the long term to seek representation on the Watford board of directors. For membership forms you may log onto or alternatively write to The Secretary, Watford Supporters Trust, 5 Westbourne Mews, St Albans, Herts, ALI ILS.

Almost a quarter of the season already gone and Watford are poised to consolidate their good early season form in the next few fixtures. Struggling Brighton are the visitors this saturday (K.O 3.PM). The Seasiders have found life very tough following two successive promotion campaigns and have lost their last nine games on the trot. However Bobby Zamora is fit again and this sort of run cannot go on for ever. Having said that The Hornets are confident and with the correct mental approach they should avoid the potential banana skin. Grimsby, Gillingham, Sheffield Wednesday and Stoke come next so its all to play for down at Vicarage Road once again.

A special mention this week for midfielder Richard Johnson who made a second half appearance at Bramall Lane, out for two years the popular and dynamic Aussie has shown great courage to return following reconstructive sergury on his knee. I know only too well the long, lonely road Richard has travelled and all credit to him. Manager Ray Lewington may see him as a new signing and a very good one too.


In the charts:

Saturday 18th September 1982
Nottingham Forest 2 Watford 0
Sherwood, Rice, Bolton, Jackett, Rostron, Callaghan, Taylor, Lohman, Barnes, Blissett, Armstrong. sub,Jenkins.

Reproduced courtesy of Gazette Newspapers