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Watford 2008

Five days before the 2008 Football Aid event, the Watford first team lined up in the tunnel at Vicarage Road, ready to play to fans the last home game of the season. Now, twenty-six Football Aid fans were lining up in the tunnel, ready to play to their families and friends who had gathered on this cold evening, to enjoy replicating the skills similar to Nathan Ellington and Danny Shittu.

Friday 16th May 2008
Watford Home Vs Watford Away
Vicarage Road
KO: 18:00 pm
Legend: Jimmy Gilligan

The night was cold, however the best way for the Football Aiders to warm up was to start their 90 minute game on their Field of Dreams. It was end to end football for the first ten minutes, with neither team showing any real threat. In 12 minutes however, a great tackle by David Marsh for the Away Team to keep the score line at 0-0.

An exciting moment minutes later could have swung both ways when a cry for a penalty from the Away midfield was ignored by the referee. In the 18th minute, the home team worked together to produce a string of great passes that looked to threaten the Away sides score line. Home defender Nicholas Chainey managed to intercept a ball in the air, and got it to the ground where he passed over to the right to Paul Whittenbury. Whittenbury ran the ball past Jarrit, Kelly and Fawell, however much to the amazement of the crowd, the ball struck off the post and went out of play.  

The it came – the first goal that every team longs for. Peter Wickes came into the box for the Away Team and swept straight past defender Nicholas Chainey. Home goalkeeper, Terry Tompkins made a great save, and tried to push the ball away from the danger, however upon doing so, the ball fell back to the feet of Wickes who flicked the ball through the legs of Chainey and into the back of the net.

Half Time: Watford Home 0-1 Watford Away

The Away Team kicked off the second half, but it wasn’t long before a great goal from the Home Team equalised the score. This time it was midfielder Joel Moody who impacted on the scoreboard, with a powerful strike straight past the keeper and into the top of the net. Moments later, the Home Team doubled the score when Joel Moody scraped the ball past the Away team defenders and found Paul Whittenbury in the box. The ball soon became lost in the excitement of play, and a few shots headed towards the net, with keeper Paul Goldsmith doing well to prevent them from crossing over the line. After a slight fumble and two attempts later, striker Timothy Gibson managed to find the back of the net with a fast hitting strike that allowed the home team to be in front for the first time in the game.

In an exciting turn in the game, the ball headed back down to the other end of the pitch, with Bradley Punter hitting the ball to the back post to equalise the score for the second time in the game. Moments later, as the home team came back to retaliate, a fantastic save by Away keeper Paul Goldsmith kept the Away team even for a little longer than they may have anticipated at this stage.

It wasn’t long before there was another goal, with the home team coming back to take the lead for a second time. Scott Mathers brought the ball through for Whittenbury, who twisted in and out of the defenders to place the ball in the back of the net. The Away team were determined not to lose such a close-nit game and almost managed to equalise when a free kick by David Marsh was quickly taken, for the ball to unfortunately hit off the bar and deny the Away team their third goal.

The last chance for an equaliser was woven through the centre of the pitch into the path of Away midfielder, Andrew Stalbow. Stalbow drove the ball into the box, where a tackle by Lee Biggerstaff resulted in the ball slipping away from both players and into the path of a quick-thinking Peter Wickes, who shot it into the back of the net. This was the last moment of the match, which, with the even score, meant that the game now relied on a penalty shoot out to decide the winner of the match.

Full Time: Watford Home 3-3 Watford Away

It was the Home Team who opened the penalties, with Matt Ball taking the penalty spot, however keeper Paul Goldsmith was on the case and the shot was stopped from going in the back of the net. Away midfielder Andrew Stalbow was the next man to take to the spot, however his shot zoomed past the keeper to take the lead for the Away Team.

Two home spot misses by Matt Wells and Nigel Jones were reproduced by two away misses by Barry Maclure and David Marsh, however the next two penalties by Home team striker, Scott Mathers and Away Team forward Clive Gibbard both flew into the back of the net. This signified that for the Home Team to go even, they would have to score and the Away team would have to miss.

The pressure lay with Home team defender Nick Chainey, who unfortunately could not manage to scrape it past the keeper. Away striker Craig Bird knew that hitting the ball in the back of the net would not matter now that the Away team had already won 2-1 on penalties. He scored regardless. The Away team would now walk away with a 3-1 victory on penalties, a suitably dramatic end to the game. Football Aid Ball

Man of the Match (Home): Nicholas Chainey

Man of the Match (Away): David Marsh

Moment of the Match: Joel Moody

Home Team: Tompkins ©, Chainey, Higham, Ball, Jones, Whittenbury, L Biggerstaff, Gibson, Hills, Mathers Subs: B Biggerstaff, Wells, Moody

Mascot: Lauren Wallis

Away Team: Goldsmith, Crook, Fawell, Marsh, Pevreall, Punter, Jarritt, Punter ©, Wickes, Gibbard Subs: Stalbow, Kelly, Maclure

Mascot: Arielle Stalbow


There are a wide selection of fantastic action photos available from Matt Nuttall Photography for this match, please visit his website for full order details.

In addition there is a superb DVD available, it includes footage of the pre-match build up as well as full match action and can be ordered by contacting Shane Wilkinson on tel - 07976 509335, or by e-mail at -

A percentage of all these sales will go towards Football Aid’s nominated charities.