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Tuesday, 10 September, 2002, 21:22 GMT 22:22 UK
Watford 1-2 Luton

Luton Town pulled off a shock Worthington Cup first round giant killing act at bitter rivals Watford in a match marred by scenes of violence.

Matthew Spring and Steve Howard scored stunning first half-goals, and the Hatters held on for a hard-fought victory despite Dominic Foley's late strike.

It has been four years since the sides last met, but this encounter eventually began 15 minutes late after dozens of rival fans fought a running battle on the Vicarage Road pitch.

Watford were forced to cancel a minute's silence to commemorate the victims of the 11 September tragedy, and one injured fan was stretchered away after receiving treatment to a head wound.

When play finally got under way, police in riot gear formed a protective wall behind each goal, where both sets of supporters stood to a man to hurl abuse at each other during the opening exchanges.

Watford were well on top against their Second Division opponents, but failed to convert early possession into chances.

And Spring punished their wastefulness to stun the home fans with a superb opener in the 31st minute.

Heroic defending

He emerged from a crunching tackle won by Howard from Sean Dyche on the halfway line and burst forward unopposed before unleashing a stunning 25-yard bullet into the top corner.

And he added insult to injury 10 minutes later, turning provider for Howard, who struck an equally vicious first-time shot past helpless former Hatter Alec Chamberlain.

Watford substitute Anthony McNamee almost got his side back in it on 63 minutes, threading a delightful through ball to Dominic Foley.

But Luton goalkeeper Carl Emberson, recalled because Charlton blocked loan signing Ben Roberts from playing, saved with his legs.

Watford were growing in confidence and grabbed a lifeline when Dominic Foley scored his second goal in two games after 74 minutes from a Micah Hyde cross.

But Luton held on with some heroic defending to preserve a remarkable record - they have not lost at Vicarage Road since 1987 - and shatter their rivals' unbeaten home start to the season into the bargain.


Watford: Chamberlain, Doyley, Cox, Dyche, Robinson, Ardley, Hand, Hyde, Glass, Smith, Foley. Subs: Vernazza, McNamee, Ifil, Norville, Lee.

Luton: Emberson, Boyce, Perrett, Bayliss, Davis, Brkovic, Nicholls, Spring, Hughes, Howard, Crowe. Subs: Neilson, Griffiths, Robinson, Coyne, Fotiadis.

Referee: P Walton (Northamptonshire).


Wednesday's games

First round - Tuesday
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