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98/99: Reserves:

Avon Insurance Combination, 17/3/99
Watford Res 3(0)
Team: Day 3, Gibbs 4, Robinson 2, Ward 3, Panayi 3, Bakalli 2, Lee Johnson 3, *Bonnot 4*, Smart 3, Ngonge 2, Easton 2
Subs: Grieves 3, Cornock 2, Langston 0
Scorers: Smart, Ngonge, Bakalli
QPR Res 2(1)
Back on the goal trail
Report by Rupert Licht

An interesting game. The crowd was a lot lower than usual, shame and disgust upon those who stayed at home to watch the televised game.

QPR fielded a reasonably strong team, with Iain Dowie the elephant man's descendant playing at centre half. Other notable names in their line-up included Manchester City flop Tony Scully, veteran centre back Steve Yates, Steve Slade - QPR's scorer at Vicarage Road earlier this season and non league hopeful Ross Weare from East Ham United who is aiming to win a contract with the Hoops. Watford fielded a very strong line up with Allan Smart trying to get back on the goal trail with the Stiffs.

This was a topsy turvy encounter. QPR took the lead but the Hornets hit back five minutes into the second half through Smart who took the ball on his chest and then scored with an excellent overhead kick. Soon after, Ngonge put the Horns ahead with a clinical header. Two minutes from time QPR equalised through their substitute Rustem but the last word was left to the Hornets, as Adrian Bakalli headed home a last minute winner.

The race for the Avon Insurance Combination title is hotting up!

We are top of "the league"!
Report by Pete Fincham

With Peterborough only drawing last night, and Southampton still behind us on goal difference, the real worries are Charlton and Ipswich who both have a game in hand and can mathematically just take over top spot of the Avon Insurance League.

Southampton beat Cambridge 4-3 last night in a thriller (!) at the Abbey Stadium, and while Watford snatched all three points against QPR at Northwood, Peterborough were being held at home 1-1 by Bournemouth.

With Slade giving QPR an early lead, an exceptional goal from Smart (overhead kick) and battling scramble from Ngonge enabled Watford to come from behind to take a 2-1 lead just after the break. In the final minutes QPR equalised through Rustem who shot in from close range. However just like in the 1-1 draw with Arsenal a week earlier, Bakalli awoke from his slumber at the end of the game to head home from substitute Grieves' free kick to give the Hornets a deserved three points against a QPR side featuring Iain Dowie at the back.

Day conceded only his third and fourth goals since Christmas which goes some way to suggesting how good a defensive unit we have. Of course, Gibbsy had another stormer, but Bonnot was Man of the Match with invention matched with crunching tackles in midfield. He was a true inspiration. Unfortunately he got injured five minutes from the end, and he held his calf as he left the field to be replaced by young Matt Langston who slotted into the centre of defence.

Good to see Ronny not out there as well!