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Saturday, November 6, 1999 Published at 18:12 GMT

De Bilde saves Wednesday

Wednesday's Des Walker shepherds Hornets' livewire Nordin Wooter

Sheff Wed 2-2 Watford

Gilles de Bilde rose above the poor showing of his Wednesday team-mates, as Watford were denied a win by two equalisers from the striker.

The BBC's Alan Biggs: "There was entertainment of a sort"
The Belgian's second was particularly classy, as he turned and dragged the ball inside the area before despatching a fierce shot.

Michel Ngonge had put Watford ahead in the first half, before De Bilde levelled from the penalty spot after 56 minutes and Robert Page restored Watford's lead moments later.

The result holds Wednesday's deficit at the bottom to Watford at four points.

The Owls could have taken the first half initiative after 11 minutes when a Wim Jonk corner was powerfully headed goalwards by Emerson Thome, but then cleared by Micah Hyde.

De Bilde then failed to control a flick from Andy Booth as his strike partner raced into the area for a return.

Ngonge: One-two and in

When their chance to take the lead on 22 minutes came the Hornets were not so wasteful.

A great one-two with Charlie Miller set Nogone free in the box and he drilled the ball past the recalled Kevin Pressman.

The goal seemed to have dented Wednesday and heads drooped as misplaced pass followed misplaced pass.

De Bilde was the first to suffer under the frustration of the supporters after Niclas Alexandersson's great ball to the left of the area was weakly struck at Alec Chamberlain.

The Watford keeper denied Danny Sonner six minutes before the break after some good work from De Bilde.

Wednesday boss Wilson recognised his side's lack of attacking threat and swapped Alexandersson for Richard Cresswell for the second period.

But the former York striker was equally lacking in awareness as his more experienced team-mates, and he was almost guilty of setting up Noel-Williams with a wayward backpass.

Second half goals

But 11 minutes after the re-start De Bilde renewed hope among the fans.

A Peter Atherton long throw was adjudged to have been handled by James Panayi and referee Jeff Winter pointed to the spot.

The Belgian international stroked the ball past Chamberlain, although his side were soon facing a one-goal deficit once again when Page restored the Hornets' advantage.

The Welshman headed his first league goal for Watford past Pressman after Hyde's free kick was given for Thome's foul on Charlie Miller.

The goal proved to be the last straw for a number of fans, who left their seats and headed for the exit.

They missed the crowning moment of the match, as De Bilde showed rare class by superbly controlling the ball and charging into the area to slam home.


Sheff Wed: Pressman, Atherton, Walker, Thome, Hinchcliffe, Alexandersson, Sonner, Jonk, Rudi, Booth, De Bilde. Subs: Srnicek, Sibon, Cresswell, Nolan, Briscoe.

Watford: Chamberlain, Cox, Palmer, Panayi, Page, Johnson, Hyde, Millen, Easton, Wooter, Ngonge. Subs: Day, Noel-Williams, Gibbs, Smith, Perpetuini.

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