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banner Tuesday, 31 October, 2000, 22:41 GMT
Watford 0-3 Man Utd
Nordin Wooter battles with Quinton Fortune
Nordin Wooter battles with Quinton Fortune
Sir Alex Ferguson has been criticised for fielding under-strength sides in the Worthington Cup, but few can argue when his selection run out comfortable winners.

Watford were easily beaten by a team consisiting of many of Old Trafford's future stars, although it was established strikers Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who netted twice, and Dwight Yorke who did the damage.

Even without nine players who started Saturday's 5-0 drubbing of Southampton, United were always in control of the match and could have added to their tally.

Solskjaer put them on their way with a well-taken 12th-minute goal which came after good work on the right from Michael Clegg.

The right-back released Luke Chadwick whose close-range shot was blocked by home keeper Alec Chamberlain only for Solskjaer to slam in the rebound with a clinical volley six yards from goal.

Yorke added the second eight minutes after the restart when he blasted home a half-volley after good work from Chadwick on the right.


And Norwegian striker Solskjaer completed a comfortable night's work for the Premiership leaders by coolly chipping the advancing Chamberlain after being set free by van der Gouw's goalkick.

In an action-packed opening 20 minutes both sides should have made more of an impression from the chances they created.

As early as the second minute former Worthington Cup winner Allan Nielsen met Nordin Wooter's excellent cross from the right at the near post but could only direct his shot from the six-yard box the wrong side of the post.

Ronnie Wallwork then drove a fierce shot into the sidenetting after excellent work from Yorke before Mooney should have done better in the United penalty area after being found unmarked by Neil Cox's corner.

Dwight Yorke
Yorke was on target

In the 18th minute Yorke was allowed the freedom of Vicarage Road as he ran unchallenged from the centre circle before drilling a low shot inches wide.

Watford enjoyed plenty of first-half possession but they never really threatened van der Gouw inside the penalty area.

Hornets manager Taylor was forced to make a half-time change with impressive Dutch winger Wooter having to be replaced by Clint Easton because of injury - and that virtually ended Watford's attacking threat.

Missed penalty

Gifton Noel-Williams tested van der Gouw with a scorching drive from more than 20 yards out but the Dutch keeper did well to cling on to the rising effort.

That was Watford's best chance of the second half, apart from a missed penalty.

In the 84th minute the Dutchman was sent off for bringing down Helguson inside the penalty area, with referee Matt Messias harshly ruling the keeper was United's last line of defence.

Substitute keeper Paul Rachubka replaced Quinton Fortune and did not have to make a save from Mooney's resulting penalty which was kicked wildly over the crossbar.

Watford: Chamberlain, Cox, Robinson, Page, Palmer, Mooney, Wooter, Noel-Williams, Smith, Ward, Nielsen. Subs: Day, Gibbs, Helguson, Easton, Foley.

Man Utd: Van Der Gouw, P. Neville, Yorke, Solskjaer, Wallwork, Clegg, Brown, Fortune, O'Shea, Greening, Chadwick. Subs: Stewart, Notman, Djordjc, Rachubka, Healey.


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