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BBC Five Live's Dave Woods reports
"Wednesday are a battling outfit these days."
 real 14k

Tuesday, 7 November, 2000, 23:03 GMT
Watford 1-3 Sheffield Wed
Alan Quinn celebrates his winner
Alan Quinn celebrates his winner at Vicarage Road
Fast-improving Sheffield Wednesday brought Watford's 15-game unbeaten start to the season to a grinding halt with a shock win at Vicarage Road.

The first division leaders were always struggling to keep pace with a Wednesday side that belied their lowly position to claim only their fourth win of the campaign.

As early as seven minutes, Wednesday made their intentions clear as they took the fight to Watford and Espen Baardsen had to pull off a superb save to fingertip wide a fierce shot by Tony Crane.

Andy Booth then headed against the crossbar from a Terry Cooke corner a few minutes later, with Watford firmly under the cosh.

Despite losing striker Gerald Sibon, Wednesday continued to move forward, although Watford picked up the momentum after the half-hour.

Noel Williams and Quinn
Gifton Noel-Williams battles with Alan Quinn

Kevin Pressman made a vital save to deny Watford's Heidar Helguson - and both Alan Nielsen and Tommy Mooney went close.

Wednesday broke out from defence and an Andy Hinchcliffe cross forced Baardsen to tip over before on-loan defender Richard Jobson suffered a miserable start to his Watford career.

Steve Haslam challenged for Cooke's corner in the 38th minute, but Jobson, on-loan from Manchester City, stumbled and saw the ball glance off his head past a despairing Baardsen.


I am not going to say we have turned the corner because I thought that after we beat Sheffield United and we got stuffed in the following match
  Wednesday boss Paul Jewell

But two half-time substitutions by Taylor bore instant fruit, as one of them, striker Tommy Smith, ran clear to score the equaliser.

Smith broke free in the 48th minute after a Baardsen long throw-out had been flicked on by Gifton Noel-Williams and Mooney and the young striker rounded the keeper to slot home.

Smith twice went close to putting the home side ahead but Watford conceded a needless corner after 66 minutes and Cooke's flag kick was met by the stooping Crane with a header.

Despite attempts by Nielsen and Baardsen to clear on the line, the ball squeezed over.


The important thing now is how we react to our first defeat in 16 league games. We have to be ready to bounce back when we travel to Tranmere on Saturday
  Watford boss Graham Taylor

Watford were rattled and substitute Michele di Piedi tested Baardsen with a left-foot shot, before the keeper had to intervene again when Cooke broke clear.

Watford were furious with the officials when they gave a throw-in to Wednesday after 82 minutes and the home side's defence was caught in disarray as the ball was played in to Alan Quinn.

Quinn rubbed salt into the wounds, beating Baardsen with an angled shot to seal the 3-1 victory and lift Wednesday out of the bottom three.


Watford: Baardsen, Cox, Page, Palmer, Mooney, Wooter, Noel-Williams, Helguson, Perpetuini, Nielsen, Jobson. Subs: Chamberlain, Smart, Gibbs, Smith, Easton.

Sheff Wed: Pressman, Haslam, Hinchcliffe, Harkness, Walker, Quinn, Sibon, Booth, Hendon, Cooke, Crane. Subs: Lescott, Di Piedi, Stringer, Geary, Morrison.

Referee: D Gallagher (Banbury)

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