Football League Division 1, 25/9/82
Team: Sherwood, Rice, Rostron, Taylor, Bolton, Jackett, Callaghan, Blissett, Jenkins, Lohman, Barnes
Scorers: Blissett 4, Jenkins 2, Callaghan 2
Team: Turner, Venison, Munro, Atkins, Hindmarch, Nicholl, Buckley, Rowell, McCoist, Pickering, Cummins
Supreme Watford reap benefit of interval exercise
Daily Telegraph report by Robert Oxby
Watford devastated hapless Sunderland with their record League score and showed that their defeat at Nottingham Forest the previous week was a minor hiccup. Had this majestic performance been televised it would have sent a shudder throughout the rest of the First Division.
Watford could have scored at least 13 times. Apart from a number of outstanding saves by Turner, who had little chance with any of the shots that beat him, they struck the woodwork four times and were denied a penalty when a defender handled a shot by Barnes in the last minute.
Rarely have I seen a side so utterly in control. Watford used their exciting, attacking system with demoralising effect and Nicholl, just back from the United States, and his fellow defenders had a dreadful afternoon. Venison was run dizzy by Barnes, his England Under-21 colleague.
Blissett scored four times - the first time he had collected more than two in a competitive match - and Callaghan and Jenkins, unbeatable in the air, registered two apiece. One felt sorry for the large Sunderland contingent who had made the long journey from the North-East.
Yet, Sunderland might have scored twice before the rout began. In the first minute Rowell had a shot deflected wide and, sent through by Pickering in the 10th minute, was robbed of a goal by a desperate tackle from Terry.
Watford moved smoothly into gear and, by the 33rd minute, Callaghan had headed two goals and Blissett and Jenkins had driven the ball past the unprotected Turner.
There was a feeling that, with a 4-0 lead, Watford might not have had the inclination to sustain the vivid pressure of the first half but Graham Taylor, their manager, was alive to the danger.
"You can lose a match at the interval, so I made them wash their faces, put down their cups of tea and keep moving. Billy Hails, our trainer, made them go through their pre-match warm-up routine all over again."
Watford came out for the second half as if for a new match and, as Turner stood alone behind his inept defence, Blissett produced the perfect header (59 minutes), sent over a centre for Jenkins (71) and scored two more goals with a diving header (84) and a hook shot (87).
The echoes of euphoria travelled all the way to Monserrat where Elton John, Watford's pop star chairman, was whooping with delight as he listened to a telephone commentary, which cost nearly 300 pounds. Mr Taylor, however, kept his feet on the ground.
"You only score eight goals once in a lifetime and this was the first time for all of us. All those goals in the League, forgetting ours, can only help the game. But you cannot expect people to come to matches if they cannot afford it."