Watford produced a remarkable comeback to beat Southampton in the League Cup 34 years ago today

On this date in Watford FC history

On this date in Watford FC history

First published in Sport

Tuesday, September 2, 1980

Having gone down 4-0 to Southampton at the Dell in the first leg of their League Cup second round tie, few gave the Hornets much chance of salvaging more than pride in the second leg despite the absence through injury of Kevin Keegan.

By half-time the home side were two up through Malcolm Poskett and Ray Train. Martin Patching added a third, but a Steve Sims own goal with less than 20 minutes remaining appeared to end any hopes of a comeback.

Within a minute, however, Chris Nicholl fouled Ross Jenkins in the penalty area and Ian Bolton converted the spot kick. Jenkins himself made it 5-1, and when Charlie George hit the bar with a late screamer the game went into extra-time.

Teenage substitute Nigel Callaghan added a sixth before Poskett rounded Katalinic for his second to complete an extraordinary 7-1 scoreline.

Reproduced by kind permission of Matt Rowson from his book,Watford FC On This Day

Comments (12)

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7:33am Tue 2 Sep 14

ashdownforestieri says...

I still have the press cutting from the WO. It's faded a bit. Wish I had been there it must have been a great night.
I still have the press cutting from the WO. It's faded a bit. Wish I had been there it must have been a great night. ashdownforestieri
  • Score: 2

8:50am Tue 2 Sep 14

Hampshire hornet says...

Being a local to Southampton, it was one of the best moments ever, at school being able to brag for a change!
Being a local to Southampton, it was one of the best moments ever, at school being able to brag for a change! Hampshire hornet
  • Score: 2

8:53am Tue 2 Sep 14

gloryhornet4 says...

In those days you had to get your football results at 9.55 on t'wireless or on the news on telly.

As the game went into ET the radio would have said "latest score 6-1" and that would be it.

As I came in from a night out I caught the TV caption and could not believe it said 7-1 but any thoughts I was reading it wrong were dispelled as the right hand caption had (7-5).

I was working in Oxford but even that far away from Watford there was a buzz as footie supporters discussed the result the next day.

McMenemy Southampton's boss was a dinner speaker not long after and had a pencil with the game's score on the table in front of him as a gift. He started his speech by saying thanks for the pencil as every time he needs to write something down someone always has a pencil with Watford 7 Southampton 1 at the ready for him.

European football briefly used the term "doing a Watford" meaning to come back from 4 goals behind in a 2 leg tie.

A Saints player said the boss said at half time not to worry as they can't keep coming at us and at 90 mins the boss said keep it tight and we will take it on the away goal. The player said we all just knew we would not be able to keep Watford from scoring but did not want to say anything.

I have often wished that there was a video of the game and the game 2 rounds later as Watford thumped the reigning Euro Champs Forest 4-1,
with Ross Jenkins bagging a hat trick after 68 mins making 4-0.

The next day after the 4-1 a paper had a cartoon of Brian Clough the Forest boss reading the match report and saying, "our chairman has to learn to sing".
In those days you had to get your football results at 9.55 on t'wireless or on the news on telly. As the game went into ET the radio would have said "latest score 6-1" and that would be it. As I came in from a night out I caught the TV caption and could not believe it said 7-1 but any thoughts I was reading it wrong were dispelled as the right hand caption had (7-5). I was working in Oxford but even that far away from Watford there was a buzz as footie supporters discussed the result the next day. McMenemy Southampton's boss was a dinner speaker not long after and had a pencil with the game's score on the table in front of him as a gift. He started his speech by saying thanks for the pencil as every time he needs to write something down someone always has a pencil with Watford 7 Southampton 1 at the ready for him. European football briefly used the term "doing a Watford" meaning to come back from 4 goals behind in a 2 leg tie. A Saints player said the boss said at half time not to worry as they can't keep coming at us and at 90 mins the boss said keep it tight and we will take it on the away goal. The player said we all just knew we would not be able to keep Watford from scoring but did not want to say anything. I have often wished that there was a video of the game and the game 2 rounds later as Watford thumped the reigning Euro Champs Forest 4-1, with Ross Jenkins bagging a hat trick after 68 mins making 4-0. The next day after the 4-1 a paper had a cartoon of Brian Clough the Forest boss reading the match report and saying, "our chairman has to learn to sing". gloryhornet4
  • Score: 6

8:57am Tue 2 Sep 14

The BestTrip2011 says...

Remember it very well and I still have my pen!
Talk about belief. We never gave up that night!
Remember it very well and I still have my pen! Talk about belief. We never gave up that night! The BestTrip2011
  • Score: 4

9:02am Tue 2 Sep 14

gloryhornet4 says...

Hampshire hornet wrote:
Being a local to Southampton, it was one of the best moments ever, at school being able to brag for a change!
I now live in Southampton and the result still haunted them up to I would say the FA Cup Semi in 2003.

The week before the FA Cup Semi Saints were at home. and at half time it was announced - (so I was told)

our FA Cup Semi Final opponents are at Burnley.

Half time

Burnley 4 (every Saints fan jumping up and down with delight)

Watford 5 (ground goes quiet - like a minutes silence complete with a cough sound in the distance)
[quote][p][bold]Hampshire hornet[/bold] wrote: Being a local to Southampton, it was one of the best moments ever, at school being able to brag for a change![/p][/quote]I now live in Southampton and the result still haunted them up to I would say the FA Cup Semi in 2003. The week before the FA Cup Semi Saints were at home. and at half time it was announced - (so I was told) our FA Cup Semi Final opponents are at Burnley. Half time Burnley 4 (every Saints fan jumping up and down with delight) Watford 5 (ground goes quiet - like a minutes silence complete with a cough sound in the distance) gloryhornet4
  • Score: 9

9:16am Tue 2 Sep 14

bornyellow says...

i was at the match....is it really 34 years ago
i was at the match....is it really 34 years ago bornyellow
  • Score: 2

9:27am Tue 2 Sep 14

Mickey Quinn, not so thin says...

Was unbelievable being there and watching it unfold. Even at 2-0 it hadn't really occurred that we might actually go through, just looked like we might actually win on the night (and beat the team who were topping the first division at that time I believe ??).
Was unbelievable being there and watching it unfold. Even at 2-0 it hadn't really occurred that we might actually go through, just looked like we might actually win on the night (and beat the team who were topping the first division at that time I believe ??). Mickey Quinn, not so thin
  • Score: 4

9:55am Tue 2 Sep 14

Hornetpw says...

I've just wished my wife a Happy Anniversary, see looked puzzled, until I informed her it was 34 years ago today that she attended her 'first ever' football match.
What an introduction, standing on the Vicarage Road Terraces she couldn't understand why people were jumping up and down, hugging each other and getting so excited, it was one of those unforgettable evenings.
Unfortunately no Video Recording, I have the seven 'Black and White' goal pictures from the Watford Observer.
Years later at work, I was talking to a contact from another company, having confirmed I was a Watford supporter, he stated 'I was running the line' at the Southampton (7-1) game, he observed the 'cocky attitude' of their players upon arrival and to his amusement saw their miserable departure following the humiliation, he said they got what they deserved.
I've just wished my wife a Happy Anniversary, see looked puzzled, until I informed her it was 34 years ago today that she attended her 'first ever' football match. What an introduction, standing on the Vicarage Road Terraces she couldn't understand why people were jumping up and down, hugging each other and getting so excited, it was one of those unforgettable evenings. Unfortunately no Video Recording, I have the seven 'Black and White' goal pictures from the Watford Observer. Years later at work, I was talking to a contact from another company, having confirmed I was a Watford supporter, he stated 'I was running the line' at the Southampton (7-1) game, he observed the 'cocky attitude' of their players upon arrival and to his amusement saw their miserable departure following the humiliation, he said they got what they deserved. Hornetpw
  • Score: 4

11:13am Tue 2 Sep 14

StewartScullion says...

Would this be the greatest match ever purely because Watford
Overturned a 4 goal deficit against a side at the top of the first division
I have the pen.....and it still works
Would this be the greatest match ever purely because Watford Overturned a 4 goal deficit against a side at the top of the first division I have the pen.....and it still works StewartScullion
  • Score: 1

12:04pm Tue 2 Sep 14

matey_from_brighton says...

ashdownforestieri wrote:
I still have the press cutting from the WO. It's faded a bit. Wish I had been there it must have been a great night.
I have the cuttings too from most of the tabliods and was there to witness it. Probably the best single result we achieved but at the time was just yet another amazing result as GT pushed the club on to things no-one thought possible. Happy Days...
[quote][p][bold]ashdownforestieri[/bold] wrote: I still have the press cutting from the WO. It's faded a bit. Wish I had been there it must have been a great night.[/p][/quote]I have the cuttings too from most of the tabliods and was there to witness it. Probably the best single result we achieved but at the time was just yet another amazing result as GT pushed the club on to things no-one thought possible. Happy Days... matey_from_brighton
  • Score: 3

2:18pm Tue 2 Sep 14

John Howard Norfolk says...

I was there and still think back to that game every year since
I was there and still think back to that game every year since John Howard Norfolk
  • Score: 1

2:55pm Tue 2 Sep 14

gloryhornet4 says...

Graham Taylor said in the programme - something like -

"If I had the temerity to give advice to Southampton it would be to forget the league cup ..................."


He was saying as they were 2nd in the league and unbeaten don't get distracted by the league cup.

Nothing like a helping hand Sir Graham.
Graham Taylor said in the programme - something like - "If I had the temerity to give advice to Southampton it would be to forget the league cup ..................." He was saying as they were 2nd in the league and unbeaten don't get distracted by the league cup. Nothing like a helping hand Sir Graham. gloryhornet4
  • Score: 4
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