MOONEY MAGIC WORKS AGAIN

(My match reports from our Premiership days – 1999-2000)

  • Match 03 – Premier League – August 21st 1999
  • Watford 1 (Mooney 71)

  • Bradford 0

This was a revenge mission for Paul Jewell. The Bradford City boss was playing for the Bantams when they crashed 7-2 to Watford in December 1989; although the scoreline was not as embarrassing this time around, Jewell still left Vicarage Road empty-handed as Tommy Mooney continued his heroics with his second Watford winner in a week.

Watford huffed and puffed against Bradford City in the first 45 but blew the Bantams away in the second half. Mooney’s crashing finish from a wickedly accurate cross from the right was the culmination of a spell of pressure in which Graham Taylor’s battlers could have scored three times.

Gary Walsh tipped a header from Mooney round the post at the start of the second period. The former Manchester United stopper did well to prevent Watford scoring from a Michel Ngonge close-range header and rushed out of his goal to deny the oncoming Des Lyttle.

The two teams cancelled each other out in a first-half that was low on quality. Chances were few and far between and, when Peter Beagrie nearly hit the corner flag with a shot, it looked the closest there was going to be to a goal.

That was before Micah Hyde, recently called up to the Jamaica squad, released Des Lyttle down the right. The former Forest man crossed into the danger zone only for veteran defender John Dreyer to rescue the Bantams with a clearing header.

Hyde then skipped past two opponents and fired a right-foot shot just wide of Gary Walsh’s right post, and Watford came even closer when Peter Kennedy’s long free-kick was tipped goalwards by Robert Page. The Welsh centre-back’s touch was not firm enough as the ball bobbled against the post and then onto the crossbar before Walsh gratefully gathered.

The Watford pressure eventually told on City though and there was to be no last minute heroics this time.

  • Watford : Day, Lyttle, Williams, Page, Robinson, Hyde, Palmer, Easton, Kennedy, Ngonge (Foley 78), Mooney
  • Subs Not Used: Gibbs, Gudmundsson, Bonnot, Walker
    Booked: Williams, Robinson
  • Bradford City: Walsh, Halle, Wetherall, Dreyer, Jacobs, Lawrence (Saunders 60), Whalley, Redfearn (Grant 72), Beagrie, Mills, Windass
  • Subs Not Used: Myers, Clarke, O’Brien
  • Booked: Jacobs 18, Dreyer 59
  • Attendance : 15,564
  • Referee: R Harris (Oxford)

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