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Saturday, 19 August, 2000, 16:40 GMT 17:40 UK
Watford 1-0 Barnsley
Dominic Foley was Watford's match winner
Dominic Foley was Watford's match winner
It was a case of third time lucky for Watford boss Graham Taylor as his side snatched victory three minutes from time when Barnsley looked to be heading for a well-earned point at Vicarage Road.

Taylor had been forced to take off striker Nordin Wooter at the interval and although his replacement Michel Ngonge looked almost as lively, he too was forced to leave the field injured seven minutes from time.

Taylor threw on a third striker, Dominic Foley, who starred for Ireland with three goals at the end of last season.

After forcing Barnsley keeper Kevin Miller to a save with almost his first touch, Foley picked up the rebound off a defender and fired in a swerving 22-yard, left-foot shot to give Miller no chance.

It was a game full of chances but both sides spurned them and the game appeared to be heading for a goalless draw.

Neil Cox and Tommy Smith failed to find the back of the net when presented with chances early in the game.

Telling deflection

After 20 minutes Watford should have taken the lead when Cox was presented with a free header from Wooter's cross but he sent the ball over the bar.

Barnsley had their moments and Lee Jones should have done better than nod a right wing cross straight at Watford keeper Espen Baardsen.

Allan Nielsen, Watford's 2.5m record signing from Spurs, looked set to give his side the lead when played in by Wooter, but Barnsley skipper Chettle gained a telling deflection to save the day.

The second half was less entertaining but again both sides squandered chances.

When a Nielson cross found Tommy Smith his effort was blocked and Michel Ngonge's follow-up effort suffered the same fate.


Ironically, Barnsley's substitute former Watford striker Bruce Dyer should have scored with his first touch. He leapt well to meet Darren Barnard's cross but headed over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

Neither side looked like breaking the deadlock in the last 20 minutes and both teams were reduced to long-range hopeful efforts without creating further chances.

Then on came Foley, who after chasing a seemingly lost cause, retrieved the ball near the line and followed up with an angled shot which forced Miller to a smart parrying save at the expense of a corner.

Watford: Baardsen, Cox, Robinson, Page, Palmer, Mooney, Wooter, Smith, Easton, Ward, Nielsen. Subs: Chamberlain, Ngonge, Gibbs, Bakalli, Perpetuini.

Barnsley: Miller, Regan, Appleby, Ward, Moses, L. Jones, Shipperley, Barnard, Sheron, Morgan, Chettle. Subs: Dyer, Walker, Van Der Laan, Thomas, O'Callaghan.

Referee: D Crick (Worcester Park)

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