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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 October, 2003, 21:07 GMT 22:07 UK
Watford 1-1 Walsall

Watford had a Chris Baird own-goal to thank for a share of the spoils against Walsall at Vicarage Road.

Simon Osborn had put the visitors ahead but Baird's own goal saw the scrappy affair end all square.

The first chance of the game fell after just two minutes and was created by Walsall's dynamo Paul Merson.

He flighted a free-kick into the penalty area and Danny Hay's close-range shot was brilliantly saved by Alec Chamberlain in the Watford goal.

Walsall had the better of the early exchanges but the Hornets did threaten just before a quarter of an hour gone when Bruce Dyer headed over after Devlin had sent in the cross.

Low-key

Watford began to dominate the play and Scott Fitzgerald was at the centre of most of their good work, having one shot deflected into the side-netting and another blocked.

However, when a long throw came in and Hornets keeper Chamberlain punched the ball away, Osborn was on hand to head the ball back into the Watford goal.

The home side struggled to respond after the break and it was Walsall who were controlling the play, although chances were still at a premium.

Lewington rang the changes after 58 minutes with Ashley Young coming on for Bruce Dyer and Micah Hyde replacing Jamie Hand.

And just three minutes later the Hornets were level thanks to an own-goal from Baird, who played for Southampton in last season's FA Cup final loss to Arsenal.

Devlin put a cross into the box and although Watford's Danny Webber missed it, Baird put it high into his own net from close-range.

After the goal the game lost what little momentum it had, and although Neal Ardley sent a shot over the Walsall bar, there were few chances.

The last action of the game came from Watford's Young, whose brilliant volley from 25 yards out flew over the bar, but there was to be no winner.


Watford: Chamberlain, Doyley, Cox, Gayle, Kelly, Ardley, Hand, Devlin, Webber, Fitzgerald, Dyer. Subs: Dyche, Hyde, Young, Pidgeley, Smith.

Walsall: Walker, Hay, Ritchie, Fryatt, Baird, O'Neil, Osborn, Lawrence, Aranalde, Merson, Leitao. Subs: Bazeley, Roper, Emblen, Birch, Kerr.

Referee: K Hill (Hertfordshire).





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