League Cup 4th Round, 28/10/80
Team: Steele, Henderson, Harrison, Blissett, Sims, Jackett, Pritchett, Poskett, Jenkins, Train, Rostron
Scorers: Blissett, Jenkins 3
Nottingham Forest 1
Team: Sutton, Gunn, Gray, Ponte, Lloyd, Burns, O'Neill, Bowyer, Mills, Wallace, Robertson
Ross leads the way
Report by Robert Alexander
The Forest game was a brilliant display and the entire team were responsible for the result, not just Ross and Luther as the score would indicate. Not only did Watford win, but we actually made Forest look VERY second rate in the process, something we were sadly never really to repeat against them.
The evening was cold, but dry, and there were nearly 23,000 fans packed into Vicarage Road. As I recall the penalty was very blatant, and really set the scene for the game to follow. Forest, who had been to Watford just over a year and a half before this match for the League Cup Semi-Final Second Leg, were in no mood to let our giant-killing record in cup games get the better of them, but in those days Watford were near invincible in the cup, any cup and especially at home. It was almost as if we were possessed by a need to defy the critics of our game (something that I feel would eventually cost Taylor the England job years later), in order to write the headlines on the back pages the next morning.
I went to the game with my girlfriend at the time, Catherine Harris (wonder where she is now?), who had never been to Watford before (and who supported Chelsea - well, we all have our cross to bear) and she was totally blown away by what she saw that night. The atmosphere in the ground was electric and even after the game was evened up everyone knew that it was a fluke and only a matter of time before we would score again.
Ross Jenkins then found that other gear that only he could, at the twilight of his Watford days this was probably his last truly explosive run-out for the club (with the exception of the promotion-clinching Wrexham game on 4/5/82 maybe). Ross was always being written off in the press and on Match Of The Day (when we got on) as being 'too lanky' and 'gangly' for a striker, and yet he scored a blinding hat-trick that was a tonic to any Watford fans that were there on that night they'll never forget.
Strangely (or perhaps not so) we then went on to have an abysmal run of results which included a 1-0 home defeat by Luton, which of all the 1-0 home defeats by Luton that I've seen still ranks amongst the most annoying - it wasn't that we performed so badly, though we were appalling that night, but that Luton were outright awful themselves and even their fans were chanting how could we have beaten Forest so convincingly just two weeks before.
Daily Telegraph match report
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