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The BBC's David Oates
"Clubs like Spurs are somewhat behind the best"
 real 28k

Saturday, 25 March, 2000, 17:32 GMT
Smart snatches point

Unfancied Watford matched Spurs' big-name players
Watford 1-1 Tottenham

Allan Smart scored a late equaliser to deny Spurs victory and earn a morale-boosting point for basement club Watford.

Tottenham looked set to become the latest team to leave Vicarage Road with maximum points when Chris Armstrong had given the visitors the lead following a howler from keeper Alec Chamberlain.


Match facts
51: Armstrong capitalises on Chamberlain's error
78: Smart's skillful intervention lifts Watford's spirits
But Watford's top-scorer Smart slotted his fourth goal of the season in the 78th minute to give the home fans something to cheer at last.

And although the draw almost certainly comes too late to keep the Hornets up - they are nine points away from safety - it at least gives them a chance of overhauling Sheffield Wednesday and avoiding bottom spot.

Smart's goal was just reward for Watford's battling efforts, but Spurs boss George Graham will again be furious with his side after they threw away two more points in their attempt to reach Europe.

Chamberlain rollercoaster

Chamberlain may have been at fault for the Tottenham opener, but the Watford keeper did much to keep his side in the hunt as the visitors impressed early on.



The point is unlikely to help Watford avoid the drop
He saved twice from Darren Anderton after good work from the influential David Ginola.

Watford hung on until half-time, but Spurs took the lead after the break when Chamberlain produced an enormous blunder.

The keeper sprinted off his line to deal with a hopeful long-ball, but he hit his clearance straight at Armstrong. The ball spun into the path of the Spurs striker and he was able to walk the ball into an empty net.

To their credit, Watford refused to admit defeat and keep pushing on.

And Graham Taylor's men were rewarded for their never-say-die approach when Nordin Wooter weaved through the visiting defence and set up Smart, who lifted the ball over keeper Ian Walker.

In a frantic finale, Watford had chances to claim a surprise win - but Tommy Smith's finishing failed him - while Ginola came close at the other end.

Teams:

Watford: Chamberlain, Kennedy, Page, Palmer, Robinson, Cox, R. Johnson, Hyde, Wooter, Helguson, Smart.
Subs: Day, Smith, Bonnot, Perpetuini, Williams.

Tottenham: Walker, Taricco, Scales, Perry, Carr, Ginola, Anderton, Freund, Leonhardsen, Armstrong, Iversen.
Subs: Baardsen, Ferdinand, Korsten, Young, Clemence.

Referee: U Rennie (Sheffield)

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