Watford had too be relegated from English Football's top Division the previous season and fans knew it would be a gruelling encounter; which the home side eventually won with a single goal scored by Lee Williamson.
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This was a ground I had previously visited on the final day of the 2002-03 season; that too ended in defeat (2-0) but wasn't too down hearted as the Blades had already qualified for a Play-Off position and fielded a weaker team because of it.
I had travelled with the supporters coach, something that I will do at all away fixtures (with the exception of Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley) this season.
A scheduled stop at Northampton Services had been planed but were shelved when the supporters of Huddersfield Town had taken up all the parking spaces. We eventually wound up at Toddington only to be met by fans of Derby County who were embarking on there first away game of the season at Tottenham Hotspur. Later the fans from Kidderminster Harriers would pull up.
We eventually arrived at Watford around 1:00pm, two hours before kick-off with nothing to do except walk around.
Stadium and Pitch: 8/10
It was exactly like it was before, some three years ago. The only noticeable change was the swipe card system has since been introduced.
The away stand is split into two parts, sat behind goal. The Watford fans were occupying one side whilst the visitors were occupying the other end of the stand.
Opposition, behind the opposite goal was a similar one tiered stand whilst at the right hand side was a smart two tiered structure.
On the left hand side was an ugly shed end stand which reminds me of Millmoor every time I see it; the pitch was luscious and the stadium looked okay. Maybe if they were a recognised Premiership outfit the ground would improved or think about relocating.
Never the less its a nice ground to visit and I have rewarded Vicarage Road with an extra point due to the niceness of the pies they serve.
I have yet to read the entire programme but what I have ready was fantastic. The visitors section was immense, choosing to talk about Sheffield United collectively rather than a player by player biography that you see in all match day programmes.
Performance and Result: 5/10
It was somewhat of a poor performance by a Sheffield United team that are expected to gain promotion to the Premier League at the first attempt.
The United fans sung for the majority of the game and the presence of TV pundit Tony Cottee who took some stick due to his West Ham connections made the game more entertaining. However the Hornets fans didn't get going until they scored.
:: Previous Visits to Vicarage Road ::
- 04.05.2003 - Watford v Sheffield United
- 18.08.2007 - Watford v Sheffield United