Ea-sy, ea-sy, ea-sy
Report by Nick Grundy
It's having to start to write reports like this which make you
long for a word which can reproduce the sound which those present in the
Oak Road End at Kenilworth Road made on Saturday 4th October 1997 after
Peter Kennedy slammed home our fourth goal. There isn't, of course -
language isn't very good at expressing emotion. On the grounds that this
report is going to be read mainly by Watford fans, though, I don't think a
straightforward blow-by-blow (as it were) account's the right one to give,
because this match was about emotions, about the release of ten years of
pent-up frustration and anger and occasionally even despair, about release
in general, about ecstasy.
For me, it started about half past ten, when I got butterflies on
the bus down from Cambridge. Then, on one of the club coaches, listening
to 3CR kept the build-up of tension going, with a couple of the callers
getting to the heart of the matter. Pete Fincham, calling from a club
coach which (irritatingly) was a lot noisier than mine, spoke for us all
when he said he thought we'd win (and congratulations really do have to go
out to Pete for getting the "SHIT!" after "What do you think of Luton?"
on the radio - brilliant), but another caller echoed many of our fears
when he said he only thought we'd win if we could get an early goal.
Then, entering the delightful environs of the leafy haven that is Luton,
great pleasure was had by many in taunting the orange and white-shirted
characters outside the bus with a few choice hand gestures.
Piling out of the coaches, we all warmed our voices up a bit, and
hurried into the ground, pausing only to admire the tomatoes on the
windowsill just above our heads. On to marvel at just how uncomfortable
the seating is if you happen to be a taller-than average garden gnome, at
the ironically patchy architecture (those wooden boards covering a big gap
in the back of the stand to our right was my favourite), and the
greenhouses to our left, from which the people living above the away
entrance had presumably just removed their tomatoes. To everyone's
horror, these greenhouses later turned out to contain people who,
apparently, had paid to use them. One of these gentlemen, in greenhouse
number seven, was at least as rotund as he was drunk, and his vigorous
gesticulating towards the away end led, apart from grave concerns as to
the effect this exercise was likely to have on the poor wee mite's heart,
to a somewhat predictable chant of "Who ate all the pies?". The man's
friends thought this was simply hilarious, and stood behind him as he
huffed and puffed at us laughing and conducting our chants. Eventually,
presumably worn out by all his exertions, our new-found friend retreated
into his greenhouse for some further liquid refreshment.
Then the players came on to warm up, and they got sung to, and
sung to, and sung to, prompting Dave Perahia to comment that he was going
to stop singing as last time he'd been hoarse before the game had even
started. I'm sure he meant to, but I didn't really notice any drop in
decibels from him or anyone else from the warm-up till kick-off. A
dead leg picked up in training had meant that Micah Hyde was replaced in
midfield by Stevie Palmer, while up front Lee's suspension saw a second
start for Dai Thomas. The formation was probably the same as the last few
games. Luton kicked off playing towards us, which turned out to be a bit
of a nuisance, and they had possession in our half for at least two
minutes at the start of the game.
That's the last coherent sense you'll get from me, I'm afraid.
What happened over the next thirty minutes wasn't about who passed to who
or who played better than who. It's about Ronny Rosenthal running at the
scum defence, about the ball falling to Richard Johnson and him slamming a
left-foot shot through a crowd of players, and about thinking
isthatgoinginisthatgoinginisthatgo-, and about seeing the net ripple as
the ball crashes into it, and about every single person in the away end
screaming their lungs out with joy and hope and a little bit of fear.
And then it's about seeing Johnno come down our end of the field
and seeing all the players faces, and thinking my god, maybe we're
actually going to do this, and about hollering "Johnno, there's only one
Johnno", and "to the golden boys one-nil". We watched with increasing
disbelief as we continued to piss all over Luton, and I for one kept
thinking that it couldn't last, and that we needed another goal, and that
a one goal lead was so easily lost through one moment of indiscipline or
skill or bad luck.
And then Dai Thomas picks the ball up in the Luton penalty area and
puts a shot in which gets blocked by the keeper, and the ball rebounds to
him on the corner of the six yard box and every Watford fan in the ground
holds their breath for an instant as he lifts his right foot and sends the
ball with power and position past Kelvin Davis. I have a sudden vision of
Chris Lawton, who had mailed the list on the friday to say that he was
going to be sitting with the home fans, as one of the lead roles in the
Beavis and Butthead sketch "No Laughing".
Thomas may look like a convict (another reason I was delighted he
got to start this game), but his heart is quite clearly in the right
place, and in his position (if only...) I'd certainly have sprinted down
towards the Watford fans and pulled my shirt off and yelled my delight at
them. Maybe GT's right that it's a risky business with the refs and so
on, and maybe he's even right to try and stop Dai from doing it. It's
just - it seemed so right. His first goal for the club, a derby game,
away from home, ten years. A bit of heart, a bit of desire, a chance to
let the fans know just how much he wanted it. And the look on his
face, and the look on the faces around me as they all turned to each other
in disbelief, and the pack of players chasing Thomas down the pitch. That
was, I think, the loudest goal, that or the next one - I can't be sure
which, but there was just a great swelling roar from all the fans which
you could feel as much as you could hear it.
Our friend in his greenhouse wasn't best pleased, and I fear our
chants of "Sumo, what's the score, sumo sumo what's the score?" are
unlikely to have improved his mood at all. The same is true of the
increasingly restless and inexcusably violent scum to our right, who were
fighting either amongst themselves or against a Watford fan, and
attempting to reach Lennie Lawrence in the manager's dugout. I saw two
Watford fans get thrown out all game, both for running about three feet
onto the pitch to celebrate our scoring. The Luton fans who were thrown
out tended to be heading for someone at the time, whether Lennie Lawrence,
or Tommy Mooney as he went into the players' tunnel at half time, or
anyone they could reach. Belatedly, the police were called and wandered
around presumably discussing where they'd be safest after the game. They
also put on a delightful horse show at half time - there was a really
pretty white one.
Then it was Kennedy's turn to sprint down the pitch towards us
after a beautiful volley into the corner had put us three up. Somewhere
in the vat of over acquainted genes and the rattle of brain cells in the
Luton end, I could almost see Chris Lawton checking the superglue on his
seat was holding okay. About a minute later, someone scored again - I had
no idea by this stage, but it was apparently Peter "Not good enough for
Notts County" Kennedy again, this time taking the ball at the terrified
Luton defence, picking up on a woeful pass by Alan White and striking it
cleanly into the other corner.
We knew we'd won by this stage, and responded to Luton chants of
"F*ck all, you haven't won f*ck all" with "This game, I think we've won
this game". Rosenthal should have had a penalty shortly before half time,
but the theatrics he produced in support of his case were unhelpful, and
the players left at half time to a standing ovation from the fans. Second
half, playing towards us, the boys never really looked like conceding more
than one, and Alec Chamberlain's excellent save from Thorpe ensured a
clean sheet as well as the biggest away win of the season and indeed for
several years. The programme mentioned Luton's 4-2 win in 94/95
(relatively feeble, really) as the biggest since 1929/30, so we registered
the biggest win for at least 68 years - not bad going. If Johnson had won
the penalty he so evidently deserved when hacked down when clean through,
or if Gifton's goal hadn't been ruled out for attempted GBH on Davis, or
if Dai (Soooooper, super Taff, sooooooper, super Taffy Thomas) had been
fractionally quicker onto Johnson's spilled shot, it could easily have
been five (and, in the latter example, Thomas' eyes would probably have
watered a lot less than they did). The second half did contain the best
moment of the match for me, though, when the players came over to
celebrate: any Watford fan who saw the expressions on the faces of Robert
Page and Tommy Mooney and Richard Johnson and every single other one of
the players at the end of the game couldn't fail to feel an enormous sense
of pride in the present and hope for the future.
The policing after the game was pathetic - I was on a club coach,
and was astonished when, having been told we were being held up because
there was a lot of fighting on the Dunstable Road, a group of about a
dozen policemen only actually bothered to head down that way from the
empty ground about four minutes before we left in the buses, and a good
thirty-forty minutes after the away fans had been released. Fortunately,
for me the day didn't end with that; it ended with a short walk through
Watford, telling a few people the result, a bus trip back up here, and
then an hour in the College bar wearing my home shirt and a frankly
ridiculous hat which has antlers on drinking myself into a joyful stupor
on beer, cider and Tequila, and ensuring everyone in the bar a) knew
exactly what game I'd been to see, the score, the scorers, how long it had
been since we'd last beaten them, what we think of Luton (tricky when
there's only one of you, but a Wimbledon supporting friend was happy to
oblige after the first few attempts failed), which divisions Watford and
Luton would be in at the start of next season, how many Graham Taylors
there are, where we are in the league and b) thought I was a total wanker.
But God, was it worth it.
A famous victory
Report by Ian Grant
On the basis of a slightly scrappy Watford win, I had a line for this report
already written in my head before the game. It went something like: "After waiting ten
years, we can't afford to get all fussy about how we beat Luton. The
glorious four-goal thrashing can wait a little longer."
Blimey. Trying to write a coherent report on this is like attempting to
squeeze a Zeppelin into a matchbox. Put simply, Kenilworth Road on Saturday
was the venue for one of the great Watford performances of recent times and
for a result that will be talked about by Hornets fans for many years to
If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I'm not entirely sure that I'd have
believed the scoreline - we've spent so long exploring every possible route to
failure against our local rivals that such a crushing victory seems like the end
of an era, the unexpected shedding of a burden. If the decade without a win over the Hatters
had become a potent symbol of our decline, then finally beating them represented
more than the finish to an unfortunate sequence of results.
The chants - "Ten years, we've only waited ten years" and "Ten years
and it's worth the wait" - expressed the sense of utter joy and relief with greater
eloquence than any words I can think of. You don't need me to tell you what
The first half was perfect, impossible, magical. Reducing it to details seems
almost heartless, like taking your favourite record and turning it into crotchets
and quavers. Or maybe reducing it to details is just kinda difficult due to the
somewhat indifferent view of events afforded by the Kenilworth Road away end...
There were, I think, a couple of minutes during this game when it didn't look like we'd
win. From kick-off, the home side looked enthusiastic and lively. It took less
than five minutes, however, for that rather fragile bubble to burst. After a move down the
left, a cross was laid back by Ronny Rosenthal to Richard Johnson who, from his
traditional shoooooting range, gave the ball a full-blooded smack. The keeper
initially appeared to have it covered as it flew through the crowded penalty area
but it evaded him and everything went a bright shade of mental as the Watford
Fifteen minutes of singing and jumping around and bellowing and worrying and taunting later,
we were two goals up. A brand new free-kick routine, involving Peter Kennedy
getting injured and retreating to the touchline before coming back on to receive
the ball unmarked (pretty clever, you've got to admit), led to a cross into the box. Dai Thomas flicked the ball on
and it rebounded back to him from the Luton keeper, who was somewhat distracted by
the wayward activities of one of his defenders. Thomas made no mistake the
second time around before embarking on a truly mighty celebration, complete
with shirt removal, general charging around and a Noel Gallagher impression.
Even then, I was doing my best to leave them chickens uncounted. We've thrown
away two goal leads before and, with the traditional last fifteen minutes of
blind, madcap panic to come, it seemed foolish to believe that it couldn't
But all that tension vanished before the half hour mark as Peter Kennedy scored
twice in two minutes and sent the Watford fans into a state of disbelieving
delirium. The first was a neat volley after a cross was only half-cleared. The
second, scored before we'd even thought about trying to calm down, came
after a long run down the left and another defensive cock-up. You know those moments when all you want to
do is raise your fists to the sky and bellow the word "YEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS"
until every last bit of energy has drained from your body? One of those.
Two days later, I still have a sore throat.
We could have had a fifth before the break, as Ronny Rosenthal was brought down
when running through on goal. But let's not get greedy, eh? I was stood in
that away end, the place where I've witnessed so many disappointments, uttered
so many anguished curses, seen so much half-witted failure. And I was looking
out at a scene I'd only dreamt of. We weren't running rings around Luton,
we weren't making them look stupid - we were just better in every single area
of the pitch. Stronger, fitter, classier, more organised, more confident.
Christ, it felt so good.
You could say that the second half was an anticlimax. If you were a completely
miserable sod. Inevitably, Luton's wounded pride and our slight relaxation saw the
home side enjoy a few chances - most of which were completely wasted by Thorpe,
one of which was brilliantly saved by Alec Chamberlain. At the other end,
Richard Johnson saw another drive saved (despite the chants of "dodgy keeper", it
was a fine stop - from my seat behind the goal, you could see the ball swerving
all over the place) with Thomas just failing to score from the rebound and
Gifton Noel-Williams had an effort (rightly) disallowed for a foul. We weren't great in the second half but,
crucially, we didn't need to be great.
But, as I said, details don't matter. What matters is that I've been
walking around with a slightly dazed grin on my face for the last two days. What
matters is that Watford have finally done their supporters proud. I mean,
this is just the best thing...
Twelve Watford heroes, then. I see no point in singling out individuals, no
reason to find things to criticise - this was just a magnificent result, the
product of a stunning team performance. They were all responsible for it,
every last one of them. Right now, I can't find the words to
convey how glorious, how feverishly wonderful Saturday afternoon was - still,
there's always the Famous Victories report to write when I've managed to
find some sort of grip on reality...
Spot the difference
Report by Paul Goldsmith
In forty years time, I'll sit down in my armchair, sit little grandson
Johnny on my knee, and tell him about being a Watford fan. I'll tell him about
promotion to the first division in 1982. I'll tell him about coming second in
the league the next year, with Luther winning the Golden boot. I'll tell him
about playing in Europe, and the night Watford beat Kaiserslautern. I'll tell
him about the Cup Final in 1984, and the quarter-final win at Arsenal in 1987.
And I'll tell him what it was like to stand in the away end at Kenilworth Road
with thirty minutes gone, and the Hornets winning 4-0.
It's been ten years since Watford beat Luton in a match of any substance. Ten
long years, mirroring the drop in the club's fortune. The question has to be,
what was the difference? Or, more pertinently, what did Watford have in 1986,
that they didn't have between 1986 and now, and that the Hornets have now. The
answer is in two parts. The first part is Graham, and the second part is Taylor.
The Watford team contained a couple of minor surprises, namely that Micah
Hyde wasn't playing, and was replaced by Steve Palmer, and Gifton Noel Williams
was on the bench, leaving Ronny Rosenthal and David Thomas up front. Whatever
the reason for Hyde's non-appearance, it was probably a blessing, as the
combination of Palmer and Richard Johnson tied up the midfield so well that the
Hornets felt able to swarm forward from the word go. As for the Luton team,
well, they definitely had injuries and it wasn't their strongest team, but at
the end of the day, the problem for that is far more deep-seated - their
players lacked commitment and motivation, and, once they fell behind, the
wherewithal to find their way back.
Talking of falling behind, it took only four minutes for that to happen. And,
to be honest, the source and method of it is no longer a surprise. A free kick
from Robert Page was sent towards the penalty area, where Ronny Rosenthal
controlled the ball, turned, and tried a speculative shot, which rebounded off
a defender's foot, and out towards the waiting Richard Johnson.
It was almost unnecessary for the Watford fans to remind him what action was
required, but they did anyway, and he pulled back his foot, as the "sh-"
reached their lips, and, by the time "oot!" came out, the net was a-bulging.
The away end went crazy.
Luton, with the supposedly dangerous duo of Tony Thorpe and Phil Gray in
attack, looked clueless as to how to come back from going behind. Their passing
was inaccurate, their crossing straight to Chamberlain, their defence looked
shaky all the time. It was a shame that they were wearing blue shorts, as it
would have been interesting to see how brown their shorts would have become had
they been white, such was the extent of their panic whenever the marauding
Slater and Rosenthal and Kennedy got the ball. Still, the Watford fans were all
too aware of the necessity of scoring a second goal, to rest the nerves.
Luckily, it wasn't long coming.
Peter Kennedy took a free kick from the left, and as it came in, Dai Thomas
attempted to flick the ball in as he ran across the goal area. That was
blocked, but he swivelled round, and thumped the ball in with his right foot.
It was then that it dawned on the Hornets fans that the long wait could be
over. Alec Chamberlain turned round, with a big grin on his face. He had two
fingers up on his right hand, and his fingers were curled into a zero on his
Soon after that, there was no doubt. Another free-kick from the left, another
blocked shot, this time from Peter Kennedy. And another follow up shot
dispatched into the back of the net. 3-0, it was hard to believe, but true it
Kennedy was pumped up now, and when he received the ball on the halfway
line, and set off on a purposeful run towards the Luton goal, the expectation
was tangible. Sure enough, as the Luton defence seemed to invite him through by
parting courteously. The Northern Ireland winger kept going, and picked his
spot, before smashing the ball past the goalkeeper's left hand into the corner
of the net from just inside the penalty area. Thirty minutes gone, 4-0, I
pinched myself, and it was still 4-0. I slapped my face, and it was still 4-0.
I shut my eyes, opened them again, and it was still 4-0. Unbelievable.
At that point, it looked like Watford could reach double figures, and they
knew it too. Unfortunately it seemed that each player wanted to do it
themselves. From then on until half time, it seemed that every time there was a
possible scoring position, the players wanted to try themselves. Kennedy was
particularly responsible for this, but, at the end of the day it didn't matter.
There can't have been a contingency plan for going 4-0 up. The football during
this period was sublime, a cross field ball from Kennedy to Slater a good
example of this.
The Watford fans spent this time taunting the Luton fans, who were probably
too busy fighting amongst themselves to notice. A fan had run onto the pitch to
remonstrate with the Luton captain, another one had attempted to get at Lennie
Lawrence. Half time came, and it was purely a welcome respite from the
expression of unadulterated joy that had so consumed the Watford contingent,
that they had had no time to catch their breath.
One can only wonder what Graham Taylor said to his team at half time. I
suppose it could be something along the lines of - "Well, if you'd given me 4-0
after thirty minutes before the game, I'd have taken it". But, he had decided
that enough was enough, and that his team should not waste too much energy in
the second half. Whatever it was, the rest of the game was a bit of a
disappointment. At the risk of sounding pessimistic, even though Watford still
had plenty of chances in the second half, their performance tailed off as the
match went on. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, and suggest that they
were relaxing, not having the need to swarm forward any more. It mattered not,
as the work was done. Peter Kennedy, Ronnie Rosenthal, David Thomas and Stuart
Slater all had good chances, but more often than not, they ended up rebounding
off the stadium roof. Luton had a few chances, but they only served to
highlight that Tony Thorpe has had his season, and won't be bothering the
scorers chart too much again.
And so to the players -
- Alec Chamberlain had not much to do, apart from signalling to the
Watford fans that he was aware of the score. But when called upon he caught the
ball well, and made a fine save in the second half.
- Nigel Gibbs was almost anonymous in the first half, but that wasn't a
surprise, as there wasn't much defending required. He joined Slater in attack
in the second half, but one could not help wishing it wasn't going to be him
playing the final ball in.
- Peter Kennedy obviously had a match to remember. His left footedness
gives Watford a great deal of balance, and his attacking verve and vitality is
so impressive. When Watford are attacking, he is a key contributor. When
Watford are being attacked, he's a bit of a liability. It was a shame he became
a touch glory-hunting after his goals.
- Robert Page did everything asked of him as usual, and organised the
defence superbly as usual. It his his timing in the tackle which is so
important, and he tends not to lose headers. Faultless.
- Keith Millen shackled Gray so much that it was almost easy to forget
he was playing. He is a rock in the air, and as long as he doesn't get the ball
on the ground much is a vital cog in this team.
- Tommy Mooney continual graft and effort means that no striker can
relax. His attacking forays are useful, and as long as he has Page next to him,
he will eventually look more comfortable in his role.
- Richard Johnson won every tackle, and tied up the midfield
excellently, especially in the first half. He plays as a through-fare to funnel
the ball between defence and attack and from wing to wing, assuming Watford
aren't hoofing it. It's at the stage now that one wonders what Watford will be
like without him.
- Steve Palmer chased and harried all afternoon to tie up the midfield,
and didn't make too many mistakes on the ball.
- Stuart Slater was dangerous and imaginative as usual, but again, his
final ball, whether a pass, cross or shot, was found wanting. Until he sorts
this out, he will have trouble being a regular in the first team.
- Ronny Rosenthal ran his heart out, but looked a bit tired in the
second half, and was the right person to be taken off for Gifton. His final
ball was also not at its best.
- Dai Thomas will be a popular player at the club, as he puts so much into
everything. He springs very high to try and head balls, even though he isn't
very tall, and he chases everything. Unfortunately, he will never be a regular
at Watford, as he's not particularly pacey, and his finishing, his goal
notwithstanding, looked shaky. A competent reserve, but the feeling is that
Jason Lee's presence would have brought two or three more goals. Thomas's
positional sense is not yet developed, and he tended to hurry chance that came
- Gifton Noel-Williams came on as sub for Ronny, and looked his usual handful,
but there wasn't really enough time to judge him.
Report by Chris Lawton
Saturday's fixture will live long in the memory of many fans for a whole
host of reasons. The last time I saw Watford beat Luton was Boxing Day
1986 and I, like the rest of you, had suffered long enough. As I took my
seat in the ground, in amongst the Luton fans, I could see the game going
one of two ways. Either a scrappy game with Luton snatching a last
minute winner or the unthinkable - Watford destroying Luton. After 28
minutes I knew my suffering was over.
The game started quietly with both sides moving the ball reasonably well
and the ball being knocked forward more with a sense of optimism than
purpose. The referee, who apart from a few decisions was excellent
throughout, was stopping the game for every single incident. After a
couple of minutes Luton earned one such free kick about 25 yards out but
could only send the ball curling away over the bar. As it turned out
this represented their only real chance in the entire half.
Four minutes in and Watford won a free kick on down the left. Page
curled the ball in and Ronny with his back to goal laid the ball off to
Johno who was in yards of space. He stepped forward, and quite
deliberately, drilled the ball low through a crowd of players. The
keeper made a hash of it and the ball trickled over the line. Cue
jumping out of seat (not a wise action in the Luton end but we had scored !)
For the next 15 minutes Watford ran the show in midfield. Luton didn't
get a look in forced to punt the ball hopefully rather than with skill or
purpose. The Horns, however, moved the ball around well and won all the
30-70's let alone the 50-50's. After about 10 or so minutes Watford
nearly doubled their lead when a Kennedy free kick was was curled just
past the post. On 19 minutes, however, the goal finally came.
Kennedy was fouled, possibly an elbow to the head, which causes a small
delay. Because of the new rules Kennedy had to go off the pitch even
though he was ready to come straight back on. The free kick was taken
and knocked back out to Watford player who passed the ball straight to
Kennedy as the referee waved him back on the pitch. He sent a lovely
curling cross into the box which the defence made a complete hash of.
Thomas pounced only to see his shot blocked by the keeper (he should have
held it), luckily the rebound fell back to Thomas who smashed it home.
At this point the Luton fans took a distinct dislike to what was going on
- but I shall return to this later.
Watford were now rampant with Slater, Kennedy and Thomas running hard at
Luton and Page and Millen stopping everything at the back - of the centre
circle. After about 25 minutes Watford forced a corner on the left. As
the ball was swung in it looked like it was going into the net but the
keeper managed to tip it over. From the second corner Watford produced
an out swinger. For a few seconds the ball bounced around in the penalty
area with Luton having at least two attempts to clear it. Eventually the
ball fell at spun out to the angle of the penalty area where Kennedy
connected with to produce a waist high driven volley back across the
keeper - cue more unrest.
Two minutes later the rout was complete. Kennedy intercepted the ball
on the half way line and ran with confidence at the Luton defence. After
a neat one-two with Ronny (no defensive hashes) he fired the ball home
from 12 yards out. Cue more scenes of excitement. As for the goals that
was it. THe Horns dominated the rest of the half and should have been
awarded a penalty when Ronny was pulled down when clean through. The
referee, perhaps sensing a riot, bottled it.
The second half was poor fare. Watford eased up and although Luton
forced their first corner (after 55 minutes), forced Chamberlain to make
a fine save, and should have had a penalty the result was never in
doubt. The Horns were trying to make sure they didn't get bookings and
didn't do any more than they had to. By the end the performance in the
second half didn't matter. If one of our early efforts at the start of
the half had gone in we may half scored more, likewise if Luton had
scored. I got the impression that the lads were enjoying it - take the
mick if you like.
So to all the trouble. Being in the Luton end was life threatening and
entertaining. After the first goal went in heads dropped. After the
second chaos. Fans started throwing their programs on the pitch, some
ran on the pitch and some just got up and left !!! I had to withstand a
barrage of garbled drivel from some lout, looking for trouble, who kept
on threatening to break my legs. It was a bit like the 'Big Nose' sketch
in the Life of Brian except I kept quiet and he didn't hit me.
About ten minutes later another fan tried to get on the pitch and was
eventually hauled out by three policemen and a steward, followed by his
mate - the lout who had threatened me. Clearly these were trouble makers
that the police knew about and were trying to deal with.
What made matters worse, however, was the ineptitude of the police. the
Luton fans were enraged at the team's performance - and rightly so since it was
very poor. The police were not exactly being understanding to this. In
the second half a fan ran onto the pitch to kick the ball back to a player
'cos the police wouldn't do it. Cue stupidity. The police decide to
incite the crowd by throwing this guy out - 10 minutes later he returned
to rapturous applause. In all these incidents lies the problem at Luton.
The majority of Luton fans are, believe it or not, like us. The banter
between the two sets of fans by the end was great. With cries of 4-0
being countered with it only took ten years - great entertainment. The
problem Luton have is that they have a) a small minority of fans who are
looking for trouble, and b) a police force that doesn't get on well with
the fans. I suspect that the police stayed away from the Dunstable Road
because they would get in a fight. By doing their bit around the ground
99 % of fans go home unaware of any trouble - I feel sorry for the few of
you who got attacked.
Enough postulating about Luton because I don't really care - other than
when fans get beaten up. Watford punished Luton on Saturday. They made
some basic errors and were exploited them. It was not a classic
performance - but it didn't have to be. Once the first goal went in we
looked comfortable and in control. The lads played with great composure
and a measure of confidence that comes from being top of the table. the
whole team deserve the man of the match award. The all played well and
to a man they fought for that victory. If we never beat Luton again
(unlikely I fancy) I don't care. This game will be long talked about as
the day we routed Luton in 28 awesome minutes. Roll on Bristol Rovers....
One of those magical days
Report by Matt Bunner
Even though I couldn't go on Saturday I felt the relief. I instead went
to see Aldershot v Leatherhead, but I always had one ear on the Watford
score, except that the PA didn't run through the half-times and I
couldn't rely on people with radios as all they were interested in were
the Arsenal and Man Utd scores. After Aldershot had deservedly won 1-0
after being all over Leatherhead, we raced off to the car to listen to
5-Live: I was interested in Watford, Jelly (a mate's nickname) in Southampton,
Hearts and Berwick and Olly in Forest (when we remembered they played on
We were in the car driving home when the headlines from 5-Live
announced that "Watford bang 4 past Luton...". That was it. I lost it.
I swore loudly and proudly, almost demanded the car to be stopped so I
could run naked down the dual carriageway. Why? Because of the relief -
I couldn't believe my ears! 4-0 at Luton?! I'm sure I wasn't the only one,
whether listening live or watching Ceefax, that got carried away on the
tide of emotion. There I was saying I'd be happy with a draw and we win
4-0! It wasn't until later I realised that we had scored all four in the
first half hour (I immediately thought, "Why didn't we score more" - but,
hey, I'll take that!). Then it was Jelly's turn to go potty as Saints,
Berwick and Hearts all won. It was one of those days where all the
teams you like win and the ones you don't lose. It was inevitable that I won
£10 on the lottery later in the day.
So why am I writing this? I didn't go to the game. Why? It was the
relief of not only beating Luton, our bogey side, but stuffing them
away! What joy! This feeling rarely comes around and that is the reason
why it is so special. Other WFC supporters I met later in the evening
said they felt the same. I just wish I could've been there in person: I
certainly was in mind!