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96/97: Friendlies:

Pre-season friendly, 2/8/96
Chesham United 0(0)
Watford 2(0)
Scorers: Connolly 2
Not so friendly
Report by Kate Holmes

For many Hornets this was the first opportunity to view our many new signings. All three of them. Flash AHHHHHHH wasn't playing, as he made an outing at Slough in midweek, obviously not ready for the first team just yet. Thinking back to Slough, it cost stlg6 to get in!!! Mind you, Nathan Lowndes and Wayne Andrews scored cracking goals. Other than that, I can't really comment as I wasn't paying that much attention. At least the Reserves are continuing in the same vein as last season - throwing away two goal leads. Not that the Reserves had too many leads last season.

Anyway, Chesham for me was about the third match of the Hornets campaign, having seen the Juniors play, and the bonus of the Reserves v First Team at the same place. You would think that with Watford H v Watford A, I would manage to see Watford win. No chance - a 2-2 draw. Tommy Mooney scored two goals, one an absolute corker against Kev, and an early contender for goal of the season.

The team at Chesham was about what you would expect, with Ramage on the bench - oh how the mighty have fallen. Talboys played in midfield, and my instant thought was how much he looks like Lee Nogan. Poor bloke. I was quite impressed with him, and he covers a lot of the pitch. I suppose he is going to be seen as a replacement for Hessy.

The first half was fairly one way, with us camping in their half, but not able to stick the ball in the back of the net. Their keeper had a stormer, and was awarded man of the match. Dev was guilty of a few misses, as was David Connolly. For a while we were hoping that Wolves were watching - it would certainly have put them off. The pitch was presenting a lot of trouble, as it seemed to have tractor marks down the middle. It made the Ref's Ass's job much easier. Not that we would ever have been caught offside, of course.

The action really began in the second half, when their players decided to get a little bit nasty. Dominic Ludden received a rather nasty challenge right in front of us, and turned to his assailant and asked what he thought he was doing, which led to the bloke pushing our Dom around. In stepped the ref, who booked one of theirs for protesting, and then ordered Chesham to substitute the nasty man who kicked out at Dom. This of course made them a little bit upset.

We brought on Johnno and Mooney, and got instant success. DC had a storming shot, which the keeper tipped over, and from the corner the ball dropped loose in the area and DC hammered it home. 1-0 to the Golden Boys and all that. Lovely feeling, this taking the lead lark. Don't care who it is against.

Anyway, back to the behaviour off the ball. Johnno got fouled (brave man), and he tried to get the ball to take the kick quickly, but the Chesham player held onto it. Johnno and him ended up squaring up to each other, so Robert Page, doing the Captain's bit, ran up to separate them, then thought better of it and joined in the free for all. OK, bit of exaggeration there, as it was a bit tame, but it is the start of the season and I need to practice.

We went further ahead when DC got put clean through against the keeper, and he put the ball away with ease. We should have really won this game by a fair landslide, but did not take our chances too well. With about 10 minutes to go, this hot air balloon started to fly over the ground, a little bit on the low side. Rumour has it that Mark McGhee was on a secret spying mission for Wolves. We were beginning to worry at one stage, as the balloon was flying at a rather precarious height, and we began to wonder if it was going to be a desperate attempt to kidnap our DC and hold him to ransom. Sorry, wondering off at a tangent here. That's what pre-season (not so) friendlies are for.

The rest of the game passed without me noticing anything more. I think the problem with playing these local games is that people turn up expecting us to play like our away shirt compatriates in Milan. All these games are there for us to learn where the goal is, appreciate the sort of grounds and pitches we will be playing on, and generally a good chance to catch up on all the gossip. Which in our case is round about nil.

I saw the Juniors play again on Saturday, this time against Reading. We won 6-2, and Gifton Noel-Williams only scored one goal!!! We scored 3 goals in the first 15 minutes, and one of our defenders was heard to shout "No mercy boys!" Nice to know at least one of our teams has a bit of a killer instinct. Roll on the Scum game this Saturday morning. I wonder if anyone has ever been arrested at a Juniors pre season friendly before.