Saturday, April 3, 1999

Watford entertained Tranmere Rovers at Vicarage Road in a first division match.

Having followed up promotion from the third tier the previous season with a positive start to the campaign, the Hornets' season had faltered badly in the run-up to this game.

As David Kelly gave the visitors a second-half lead in a drab encounter, Watford were sliding towards mid-table and out of play-off contention. John Aldridge's Rovers, however, were an aggressive, confrontational side.

A Peter Kennedy equaliser preceded the controversial dismissal of midfielder Richard Johnson, a decision encouraged by Aldridge, and both Watford's team and supporters seemed to wake from their stupor.

A chaotic final 20 minutes saw Watford finish with nine men but claim victory through a Michel Ngonge follow-up to Kennedy's weak penalty.

The Hornets went on to drop just two points in their last eight regular-season games to seal a play-off spot and ultimately promotion.

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