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Tuesday, August 24, 1999 Published at 22:06 GMT 23:06 UK

Delaney wins it for Villa

Watford's Tommy Mooney attempts to slide in on Villa's Lee Hendrie

Watford 0-1 Aston Villa

Defender Mark Delaney scored his first goal for Aston Villa as the Midlands side saw off Graham Taylor's Watford to move alongside Manchester United at the top of the Premiership.

The BBC's Simon Brotherton: "Despite a stirling effort they just came up a little bit short"
Delaney struck a stunning 68th minute volley to deny Taylor the chance of taking a point from his former club.

The former England manager - back in the top flight for the first time since leaving Villa - was hailed by both sets of supporters.

But it was not to be his night, as Watford old boy David James produced a superb display in goal.

James, off-loaded by Liverpool in the close season, has so far proved one of the transfers of the summer and he continued in his top form at Vicarage Road.

He kept Watford at bay with two excellent first-half saves from Michel Ngonge.

And James clinched victory for Villa when he turned away Tommy Mooney's late volley which threatened to salvage a draw for Watford.

Visitors on top

John Gregory's Villa, with Lee Hendrie again impressive in midfield, dominated first-half possession without genuinely troubling the Hornets goal.

They stepped up a gear after the break but still lacked the killer touch, Dion Dublin sending a 52nd minute header wide of the post.

But midway through the second half, Delaney's moment of inspiration at last broke the deadlock.

There appeared little danger as Clint Easton attempted to head clear but the ball dropped perfectly for Delaney.

The former Cardiff defender hit a superb first-time volley with the outside of the right foot past Day into the far corner of the net.


Watford: Day, Lyttle, Williams, Page, Robinson, Hyde, Palmer, Easton, Kennedy, Ngonge, Mooney. Subs: Gibbs, Gudmundsson, Bonnot, Foley, Walker.

Aston Villa: James, Ehiogu, Southgate, Calderwood, Delaney, Taylor, Hendrie, Merson, Wright, Joachim, Dublin. Subs: Watson, Boateng, Oakes, Ghrayib, Vassell.

Referee: Steve Bennett (Orpington)

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