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99/00: Friendlies:

Pre-season friendly, 27/7/99
Wealdstone 0(0)
Watford 7(4)
Team: Trialist, Lyttle, Page, Williams, Perpetuini, Gudmundsson, Bonnot, Johnson R, Kennedy, Ngonge, Smith
Subs (rolling): Pluck, Gibbs, Bakalli, Easton, Brooker, Johnson L
Scorers: Williams, Kennedy, Smith 2, Ngonge, Brooker, Johnson L
One sided
Report by Laurence Boyd

Watford beat Wealdstone by seven goals in a predictably one sided encounter this evening. Considering that Northwood, typically reserve team fodder for the Hornets preseason, had beaten the Edgware residents 3-0 at the weekend, the incentives for this fixture could justifiably be argued as guilt, rather than a challenge - a belated compensation for the millions Watford took from the smaller team in their failed groundshare.

A good humoured crowd saw a relatively strong side from Vicarage Road take the lead on three minutes through a Williams header and never really looked back. The newly signed centre half seemed strong and dealt with this admittedly weak opposition admirably. Lyttle looked less confident, especially going forward, but the Watford defence had more trouble coping with the verbal attack from Wealdstone's number eight than their football.

An own goal, which Kennedy may claim, a fine finish from Smith and a tap in from Ngonge took Watford in 4-0 up at half time and unsurprisingly the Watford management (not including Graham Taylor - rumoured to be scouting in Jamaica or Scandinavia depending on who you believe, one hopes Jamaica for his sake!) opted to make several changes. Lee Johnson replaced his namesake Richard in midfield and often combined well with Easton and Perpetuini in attack, scoring the goal of the game: a well struck effort following a short corner which the keeper made no effort to move for. Bakalli, who replaced Gudmundsson, looked a little lackadaisical in midfield but contributed a few nice passes whilst Pluck looked the pick of the defenders in the second half. Ngonge's replacement up front, whom I understand to be Brooker, was a little unambitious against a weak side.

Wealstone kept the Golden boys to just two other second half goals, another good finish from Smith and a strong header form Brooker. The underdogs had a competent sweeper and a useful centre half but were otherwise poor, to be generous. Easton hit the corner between cross bar and posted an impressive performance whilst Perpuitini seems to have modelled his crossing as well as his hair cut and attitude on Posh's husband. Both sets of fans went home relatively happy despite the result, the three riot vans were definitely a little over-cautious. However, the Watford team were hardly challenged and the Wealdtone team rarely challenged the young keeper, who did well in the situation. Perhaps this game was more useful as a public relations exercise and a morale boost in what so far has been a less than impressive pre-season results wise.