Ladies| Durham 4-0 Watford

Report by Tom Low

It was an afternoon to forget for the Hornets as they suffered a third straight defeat to a resurgent Durham side, who continued their fine-form at home with a 4-0 win. 

Watford started off positively, with a great opportunity to take the lead with Merrick Will delivering a pin-point cross to the feet of Anneka Nuttall, calling the Durham keeper Helen Alderson into action.

Frances Kitching pulled off a stunning save to deny Durham the lead by forcing the ball onto the bar shortly after, in what was an even opening.

Durham continued to press the Golden Girls though and struck the post twice in quick succession.

Watford almost took the lead with a curling effort from Rinsola Babajide which cannoned off the post, and Nuttall tested Alderson with a well-struck free-kick.

However, it was Durham who took the lead just before half-time from a well delivered cross as the prolific Zoe Ness headed home.

Durham capitalised on their lead in the 54th minute, by adding a second goal. The ball was delivered into the box and flicked onto Abigail Cottam who slotted in past Kitching.

A third goal was then added ten minutes later, when Beth Hepple floated a ball into the area which found the far corner.

The scoring was complete shortly after as Durham added fourth goal, which was scrambled into the net by Kathryn Hill after the Hornets failed to clear the ball from a corner.

Watford fashioned a few half-chances through Babajide, but it was too little too late and it was Durham who deservedly collected all three points. 

Assistant Manager Alberto Kurti said after full-time:

“It was another disappointing performance, I’ve run out of words to describe how we feel. For the first 35 minutes, we demonstrated the abilities that we have as a team, but again unfortunately a lack of concentration at the wrong moments has cost us.”

HORNETS: Kitching (GK), Neal, McCarthy, Jones, McKeag (Kerr, 45), Nuttall ©, Maple (Walkley, 70), Bragg, Petkova (Cudone, 63), Babajide, Will.

Subs not used: Baranowska (GK), Bell, Murray, Sargent.

DURHAM: Alderson (GK); Johnson (Lee, 45), Wilson (C), Hill; Dixon, Hepple (Worthington, 72), Roberts, Atkinson, Gears (Dalgliesh, 70); Ness, Cottam.

Subs not used: Borthwick, Christon, Briggs, Jordinson.


Coton | “Six Unbelievable Years”

During six years on this patch Tony Coton lifted the coveted Player of the Season trophy an unprecedented three times, and that’s perhaps just one of the reasons why the ex-Watford goalkeeper says he’s still to this day greeted with a warmer welcome at Vicarage Road than at any of his other former clubs.

Speaking to watfordfc.com before the recent launch of his new autobiography ‘There To Be Shot At’, the ex-Birmingham, Watford, Manchester City, Manchester United and Sunderland stopper admitted there remains a special place in his heart for the club at which he kept goal from 1984 until 1990.

“I had six unbelievable years at Watford, mainly down to one man. We all know who that is and he gets a mention in the book,” said Coton.

“I always get what I feel is the best reception here. I feel the warmth of the fans and the people who are still connected to the club that were working here when I was here. 

“I hold this club with such fondness, and I think I say that every time I come back.”

Now Head of UK Scouting for Aston Villa, Coton is these days an occasional visitor to Vicarage Road, and he says there’s one particular aspect of the club’s transformation which strikes him more than anything else.

“The biggest thing when you come back to The Vic is the atmosphere. The atmosphere is electric,” he said.

“I played here and the supporters were great, but they were at the Red Lion end with no roof so you lost that noise into the Hertfordshire air, but now we’ve got a great little stadium.

“It echoes around and flags are waving every home game. It really is a fantastic atmosphere and one that I’m a little bit jealous I never had chance to play in.

“I like coming back, it’s been a great start to the season, and long may it continue.”

Watch the full interview – where Coton talks more about his book as well as memories of playing for Watford – in the video above (free to view, no sign-up required).

‘There To Be Shot At’ is available from The Hornets Shop, both online HERE and in-store.