Watford 1 Wimbledon 1 (Mooney)
Watford 0 Huddersfield Town 1
Wimbledon 1 Watford 0
Sheffield United 1 Watford 1 (Bazeley)
Wimbledon in the FA Cup was never going to be easy - and so it proved. With Richard Johnson attempting to hold the midfield together (supported by those hard-workers Ramage and Pitcher), we were always up against it. Freed from defensive work, Leonhardsen put on a one-man show and should have scored more than the one he got. We got a draw thanks to utter brilliance by Kevin Miller and an absolute screamer of a goal by Tommy Mooney, celebrated with the now-infamous "dead ants" routine and later to be voted goal of the season.
Having picked up seven league points from a possible twelve the previous month, we were looking to re-gain our composure and start climbing the table. The game against Huddersfield gave a debut to controversial signing Kerry Dixon, who, despite the fact that no-one apart from Kate was prepared to face facts and acknowledge it, was our best player on the day by a considerable margin. We lost the game not because Huddersfield were the better side (although they had toned down their long ball-isms a bit since the start of the season) but because we failed to put our chances away. Kevin Phillips, who'd been so outstanding for so long previously, finally had a complete off-day and missed a hat-trick of chances - the cut-up pitch didn't help a lot. It was that kind of performance that should have seen us turn the corner - instead it brought yet another home defeat.
The Wimbledon replay was clearly some kind of sick joke. It didn't require anything more than a run-down of the teams to realise that we didn't stand a hope in hell of winning the game - the team was simply decimated by injuries. Warren Neill, having helped out the reserves a few times, was drafted in as sub to make up the numbers - otherwise we wouldn't have been able to find fourteen players. The ones that were vaguely fit did okay - we had early chances and held out until ten minutes from time in front of a paltry Wimbledon crowd. But if you're going to beat Premiership opposition, you have to do with a strong side - walking wounded are not going to be enough.
Sheffield United was, perhaps, even worse - Warren Neill was actually called into the side this time as further injuries forced more changes. It said everything for our season that Darren Bazeley scored the equaliser and was injured in the process - we couldn't get out of bed in the morning without injuring ourselves. In the circumstances, a point against our fellow strugglers was a better result for us than it was for them.