Steve Palmer scored a late winner to beat Preston after Bobby Mimms had kept the Hornets at
bay for ninety minutes, persistently denying one of our more potent attacking displays. Then, in an
excited outbreak of pointless generosity, Palmer decided to give the goal to Devon White. Rumours that
Paul Wilkinson had also claimed it proved to be unfounded.
Having been quoted the bargain basement fare of sixty quid for a return to York, I decided to give that
little jaunt a miss. So I wasn't there to see us attempt (and fail) to chuck away a two-goal first-half lead. By this
time, our habit of winning away and failing at home was becoming irritating for those of us who can't get to The North without
selling our mothers to pay for the travel expenses.
And that pattern continued with the visit of Wrexham as the visitors scored with their only real effort on goal
and we required a curious penalty decision to grab a point. Lots of pressure, a fair few chances, not enough
goals. Then, when you do finally manage to score more than one goal in a home game as we did against Burnley, your defence lets you down
and you still only pick up a useless draw.
The run of stalemates continued at Bury - a result that, in the context of their season and phenomenal home
record, doesn't seem quite so bad with hindsight. Richard Johnson became the first of four Watford players to be
sent off during the 96/97 season.
A weekend trip to Blackpool in October was considerably less enticing if you already live by the seaside. Pete Goddard's
comment that "A blow-by-blow account would be impossible due to the absence of blows" seems disturbingly
appropriate to the season as a whole, really.
The Luton game provided yet another chance to beat our local rivals and, in reality, gave us yet another chance to squeal
in absolute anguish at the realisation that it's never, ever going to happen. In fact, this was a game we should've lost -
having gone behind with fifteen minutes left, we saw Luton hit the woodwork twice and little of note from our
attackers. But Darren Bazeley's scrambled goal deep into injury time saw the Vic Road end go ecstatically ballistic and
preserved a little bit of Hertfordshire pride.