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02/03: Review:
"Happy reading"
By Martin Patching
First published in the Hemel Hempstead Gazette, 09/01/03

The third round FA Cup match at Macclesfield was a breath of fresh air on a sunny January afternoon. No giant killing exploits here as The Hornets cruised through to the next round. Nestling beneath the snow-covered Pennines the sleepy Chesire townfolk made most welcoming hosts and we even received a cheery "safe journey home" from the pie shop lady on leaving. On the pitch Town were somewhat overawed as Watford dominated proceedings. However, no kick and rush from the division three outfit who attempted to play football throughout. Having emerged in recent seasons from the Conference David Moss will endeavour to keep his team in the league and I for one hope he succeeds.

Watford star man Jermaine Pennant had a fine game and capped his performance with a well taken goal early in the second half. It was in fact a good solid all-round team effort which now sees Ray Lewington's men face Premiership West Bromich Albion in the fourth round. I have frequently mentioned The Baggies in this column as a sort of yard stick to what can be achieved if a team is well organised and committed. These attributes earned Gary Megson's team a shot at the big time, they may struggle to survive but they are certainly prepared to give it a go. I am more than aware that we have Albion fans living in the Dacorum area who will be scrambling for tickets and a sell-out crowd is expected for what will be a close, interesting contest.

The Hornets travel to Millwall this coming Saturday. The Lions have so far failed to live up to last season's form, which saw Mark McGhee's team finish fourth in the table. With one eye on their third round FA Cup replay against Cambridge, this may be an ideal time for Watford to gain an overdue away win in the league at Millwall's expense. It would be a massive boost and keep play-off hopes very much alive. With Ray Lewington and Terry Burton now adopting a more defensive formation away from home, a draw at least looks possible.

A new book produced by the editors of the "Blind Stupid and Desperate" and "Look At The Stars" fanzines in conjunction with Watford Museum is set to be launched on 11th of January. The book, entitled " You Are My Watford", is the result of the co-editors asking over 100 fans to answer the question "what are the five things that make Watford FC special to you?". Also featured in this "must have" book are contributions from a few names you might recognise and the result is a stunning, evocative patchwork of Watford related memories. There are also contributions from some of the characters involved in history-making, notably Alec Chamberlain, Tommy Smith, Allan Smart and Nick Wright. Present manager Ray Lewington provides a foreword.

Priced reasonably at 8.OO, "You Are My Watford" will be available at the forthcoming "Goal-den Years" exhibition which starts on the 13th of January at Watford Museum. It will be available from the usual "Look AtThe Stars" selling points along Vicarage Road on matchdays and you may also order by logging on to All profits raised will be donated to The Watford Supporters Trust. Happy reading.


In the charts:
Save Your Love by Rene and Renato

Football League Division One
Luton 1 Watford 0
Sherwood, Rice, Bolton, Sims, Rostron, Callaghan, Taylor, Jackett, Barnes, Jenkins, Blissett.

Reproduced courtesy of Gazette Newspapers