Avon Insurance Combination, 22/12/98
Watford Res 2(1)
Team: Day, Iroha, Perpetuini, Bonnot, Millen, Pluck, Daley, Hazan, Smith, Slater, Rosenthal
Subs: Gibbs (for Perpetuini), Ward (for Pluck), Grieves
Scorers: Smith, Rosenthal (pen)
West Ham Res 2(1)
Report by Rupert Licht
Like the first team, Watford stiffs are full of intrigue. A Watford reserve
team containing four full internationals is quite something. West Ham fielded a
reasonably strong team including Chilean international Javier Margas,
ex-scummer Tim Breacker, new signing from Kingstonian Gavin Holligan and
supposed "next David Beckham" Joe Cole.
The Horns started off like a house on fire, playing some smashing football.
Our goal came from a quite excellent Ronny Rosenthal cross, which was
superbly headed in by Tommy Smith. It became a bit even-steven after that.
West Ham's goal was quite neatly taken by Omoyimni, recently back from a
loan spell in Scotland with Hearts.
In the second half, Chris Day dealt very poorly with a kick in open play
hitting the ball straight at a West Ham player, with Cole eventually
despatching the ball into the net. Towards the end, Ronny Rosenthal was
crudely brought down in the box and stepped up to take the resultant
penalty, smashing the ball high into the roof of the net. Ronny had a superb
game, looking by far our liveliest player and surely with a performance like
this he should at least be on the subs bench for the Bristol City game on
Tony Daley twisted and turned but the jury still seems to be out. Hazan,
Smith and Bonnot had decent games and Millen made a cautious return. It was
good to see Graham Taylor at the match.
The attendance of 362 was the largest reserve gate of the season with a
good contingent of West Ham supporters. It is quite difficult to count the
crowd at a game and it was not helped by several fans heckling me as I made
the trip round the ground. Several people called out random numbers which
made my task all the more difficult. In the absence of any announcement of
the attendance, I believe I perform a very public service by counting the
All in all it was a fascinating night's entertainment. Watching the stiffs
with chums eating a bacon and sausage roll from the top van is truly
life-affirming stuff. Come on, try the Northwood experience, full of cracking
football and intrigue.