Luton Town



Johnson 5', Thomas 19', Kennedy 27', 29'


Sat 4th Oct, 1997Watford recorded an historic victory away at rivals Luton Town in 1997, scoring four goals in the opening half-hour.

The Story

Back in October 1997, Watford and Luton Town were regularly battling it out in Division 2.

For Watford, the past decade had been a struggle; without a win over the Hatters since 1987 (bar an Anglo-Italian Cup win in pre-season 1993) and without a goal at Kenilworth Road in the last two trips meant supporters had every right to feel pessimistic ahead of a trip up the M1 on October 4.

But the afternoon that followed would flip the script and change the tune of the bitter rivalry.

Watford sat top of Division 2 at the time, and displayed the quality of a league-winning side from the start.

With just five minutes on the clock, Ronny Rosenthal’s hold-up play kept the Luton defenders at bay, before laying off to Richard Johnson to strike home from the edge of the box.

Barely 15 minutes later, Dai Thomas, who was in the starting XI in place of the suspended Jason Lee, converted a rebound shot to double the lead. Thomas wheeled away in celebration, removing his shirt in triumph while the away support roared.

Just before the half-hour mark it was Peter Kennedy’s turn to make an impact, and he did so in inspired fashion, half-volleying a loose ball into the bottom corner.

He wasn’t finished there either, intercepting an under-hit pass, cutting onto his right foot and coolly slotting the ball into the bottom corner to put the game beyond doubt after just 29 minutes of play.

The feeling was one the Watford supporters had rarely experienced before. Four goals up in half-an-hour and complete domination of a side that they had failed to beat for years prior.

There were no goals in the last hour of the match, but there didn’t need to be. Watford defended comfortably and didn’t allow the Hatters a sniff of Alec Chamberlain’s goal, sealing their biggest victory over Luton to date.

Match Info

Luton Town Line-Up: White (GK), Davis, Small, McGowan (James), McLaren, Oldfield, Davies (Douglas), Thorpe, Gray, Waddock, Harvey
Manager: Lennie Lawrence

Watford Line-Up: Chamberlain (GK), Gibbs, Millen, Page, Palmer, Johnson, Kennedy, Mooney, Slater, Thomas, Rosenthal (Noel-Williams)
Manager: Graham Taylor

Attendance: 9041

Referee: Terry Heilbron

More On This Match

Read twice-goalscorer Peter Kennedy's thoughts on the game and his performance HERE

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