Watford 2 Southend United 2 (Caskey, Phillips)
Leicester City 1 Watford 0
Port Vale 1 Watford 1 (Ramage)
Watford 1 Luton Town 1 (Phillips)
Watford 0 Norwich City 2
If the cracks had been starting to show previously, then this was the month when it all began to fall apart. We came so close to beating Southend - sadly, we conceded two stupid goals at the start of either half and were forced to come back from behind twice. Even then, we managed to look sharp and dangerous in attack and it took an extraordinary save from Royce to deny Kevin Phillips a last-ditch winner (that was the best save I've seen this season). It was a very encouraging performance (if you forget about the defending) but the result did us no good at all.
According to most, we deserved at least a point out of the Leicester game, if not all three. Again, we just couldn't find that killer instinct to punish our opponents and the points were lost. Similarly, at Port Vale we took the lead and looked like gaining a valuable win against another struggling side yet were denied by a hotly-disputed goal which didn't appear to cross the line. Gary Penrice returned and made his debut at Vale, then got injured against Luton. The luck was going against us and our heads were going down.
A win against Luton would have provided the best boost for morale imaginable. Both sets of fans were well up for it - unfortunately, only one set of players really wanted to win. It wasn't us. We put in the kind of half-hearted performance that fans find utterly unforgivable. Luton took an early lead and held on to it, surviving a penalty, until the very end when a defensive error let Phillips in to equalise. We were extremely fortunate to escape with anything from the game.
The problems were obvious for all to see - we were keeping possession of the ball but weren't doing any damage with it, too often resorting to pointless square passes that carried no threat whatsoever. The point was driven home by Norwich's routine win - a game in which we had a huge amount of possession, yet created nothing; Norwich did little but take their chances. Only Tommy Mooney appeared to have any fire in his belly, winning the tackle of the season award for a crunching goal-saving effort in the second half. Craig Ramage and Darren Caskey, two very skillful players that we were relying on for service to the front two, were completely AWOL.