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The BBC's Ron Jones
"They do not have the resources to compete at this level"
 real 28k

Saturday, 18 December, 1999, 17:31 GMT
Watford take a nose-dive

Hut Don Hutchinson: Grabbed Everton's second before the break

Watford 1-3 Everton

Everton earned their first win in 10 games to send struggling Watford deeper into relegation trouble at Vicarage Road.

Nick Barmby put the Merseysiders on the road to victory with a goal in the fifth minute, Don Hutchison added a second and David Unsworth sealed the game from the penalty spot after Michel Ngonge had given the Hornets hope.

Match facts
4 mins: Nicky Barmby puts Everton ahead
37 mins: Don Hutchison grabs a second
60 mins: Michel Ngonge pulls one back
86 mins: David Unsworth scores from the spot
To add to Watford's misery, Neil Cox was dismissed in stoppage time, apparently for arguing with the linesman at the centre of controversy surrounding Everton's late penalty.

The shaky Hornets defence, which conceded five on its last Premiership outing against Wimbledon fell apart at the first sign of attack from Walter Smith's Toffees.

Barmby drifted in from the right, exchanged neat passes with Don Hutchison and found himself staring at Alec Chamberlain in the Watford goal.

Chamberlain got a hand to Barmby's low shot but couldn't prevent it rolling in off the post.

Hutchinson pounces

Everton lapsed after the early gift but by the time Hutchison pounced for the second they were clearly in control.

Richard Dunne lifted a long-ball behind Robinson and into the path of the bustling Kevin Campbell.

The Everton striker whipped an early cross into the goalmouth where Hutchison beat a static defence to the ball and fired past Chamberlain from close-range.

The Hornets showed spirit after the break. Tommy Smith went close with two snap-shots but wasted a golden chance when Gerrard's attempted clearance hit Ngonge and fell to him. The Everton keeper saved the weak shot easily.

Watford, far more threatening in the second half, grabbed a lifeline from Ngonge in the 61st minute.

The Everton back-four failed to deal with a long ball and Watford's leading scorer pounced on the hesitation rifling home his fifth of the season from the edge of the area.

Steve Palmer saw a long-range effort saved as the Hornets pressed for an equaliser and Richard Johnson was inches wide with a left-foot volley but the game was killed off by the penalty decision three minutes from time.

Barmby went to ground under a Mark Williams challenge as he tried to latch onto a through pass and Wilkie pointed to the spot on the advice of his linesman. Unsworth crashed the ball home to the delight of the travelling fans.


Watford: Chamberlain, Cox, Palmer, Page, Robinson, Hyde, Williams, Johnson, Miller, Ngonge, Smith. Subs: Day, Gibbs, Bakalli, Perpetuini, Foley.

Everton: Gerrard, Cleland, Weir, Dunne, Unsworth, Barmby, Xavier, Collins, Pembridge, Campbell, Hutchison. Subs: Ball, Watson, Moore, Grant, Simonsen.

Referee: A Wilkie (Chester Le Street)

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