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Monday, August 9, 1999 Published at 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK

Watford let Dons take advantage

Marcus Gayle celebates after scoring the Dons second goal

Watford 2 Wimbledon 3

Watford were given tough introduction to the Premiership by Egil Olsen's Wimbledon.

Watford should have won this game after Wimbledon were reduced to 10 men following Dean Blackwell's sending-off in the 17th minute.

But a naive defence allowed the Crazy Gang to score the winner in the 78th minute after Neil Ardley pounced on a defensive error between Johnson and keeper Chris Day.

The Hornets conceded their first Premiership goal with a Carl Cort strike in the 10th minute.

Watford comeback

Graham Taylor's men soon came back into the match when Dean Blackwell conceded a penalty after fouling Michel Ngonge.

Blackwell was sent-off and Peter Kennedy converted the spot kick to give Watford their first Premiership goal.

However the pendulum swung again when John Hartson was brought down 25 yards out.

Marcus Gayle stepped up to curl the free kick past a despairing Day.

Ardley winner

Taylor gambled at half-time when he took off centre-half and captain Rob Page and brought on striker Tommy Smith.

The second half saw a messy aerial battle between the teams.

Although Wimbledon appeared to be dominating, it was Watford who equalised.

Johnson played the ball forward down the left channel, and Ngonge lifted it over the stranded Sullivan into the goal.

It was the Dons though that had the last laugh ni the 78th minute.

An awkward ball into the penalty area bounced off Johnson and landed to a grateful Neil Ardley who duly gave Wimbledon the win and the three points.


Watford: Day, Lyttle, Williams, Page, Bonnot, Palmer, Johnson, Easton, Kennedy, Ngonge, Mooney
Subs: Gibbs, Smith, Perpetuini, Brooker, Walker.

Wimbledon: Sullivan, Cunningham, Pedersen, Blackwell, Kimble, Cort, Roberts, Earle, Hughes, Hartson, Gayle.
Subs: Euell, Ardley, Jupp, Willmott, Davis

Referee: S Lodge (Barnsley)

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