Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Watford 2 Cherries 1

Date: 28 April 1998

The train to Watford stopped at Wembley Central on the way and two fans in Bournemouth strip got out! (Force of habit?) This turned out to be some kind of omen because, as at Wembley:

  • We were 1-0 up at half time
  • We eventually lost 2-1
  • John Bailey was man-of-the-match
  • Another dream died! Promotion ceased to be a mathematical possibility.
Stein's goal from a set-piece free kick (15 minutes into the game) was a beauty. His attempt to repeat it in the second half, though, was unsuccessful.

Robinson shot into the side netting on about the 70th minute, somewhat making up for some poor crossing early on.

For most of the first half Machin played the team in 5-3-2 formation (with wing backs). He switched to 4-4-2 after Watford's equaliser in the second minute of the second half, and later to 4-3-3 when we needed two goals to get to the play-offs! My scores out of ten:

Glass (7);
Bailey (9), Rolling (7), Cox (8), Howe (8), Vincent (7);
Beardsmore (7), Robinson (7), Warren (7);
Stein (8), Fletcher (7).

The 4-4-2 team was:

Young, Cox, Howe, Vincent;
Bailey, Robinson, Warren;
Stein, Fletcher.

The 4-3-3 team was

Young, Cox, Howe, Vincent;
Bailey, Robinson, Warren;
Brissett, Stein, Fletcher.

This was Watford's promotion party night and, in fairness, they deserved to win. They could easily have been 2-0 up even before Stein's goal, some thanks being due to Bailey for one excellent goal-line clearance.

Final score: 2-1 to Watford.

Man of the match : Bailey.

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