Dozen Delight for the Internet ‘Orns

AN extraordinary morning in Bedfordshire saw Watford IFC rack up a remarkable 12-0 victory over local rivals Hatters Fans FC of Luton Town.

Charlie Wood hit six of the 12 goals scored in total, to become only the second player to achieve that feat for the club, as WIFC’s dozen came in two even half-dozen batches both before and after half-time.

Kicking up the Stockwood Park slope for the first 45, WIFC’s pass-and-move football from a 3-4-1-2 formation was too hot for their hosts to handle. With the mercurial talents of Mark O’Connor deployed in a free role behind the strikers, Watford created danger at will and were ahead inside the 10-minute mark.

The opening and closing goals of this one-sided contest were fortuitous – both far-post crosses from Cleveland Brandy that dropped into the far corner or the net – but there was nothing lucky about the other 10 in between.

Wood started his double hat-trick when he made it 2-0, cutting inside his man and firing low inside the near post. It was three when Wood fired home through a forest of legs after a corner had only been half-cleared.

Number four went in off Adam Gallichan’s shin-pad as he turned home a low cross from the right, before Wood brought up his first treble when breaking free and slotting past the helpless Hatters’ keeper.

Two centre-halves combined to send the Hornets into the break six up. Another corner wasn’t properly dealt with, leaving Frank Smith to turn the ball across the six-yard box for Ben Bateman to gratefully sweep home.

O’Connor kicked off the second-half goal spree, around the 50th minute. Set free down the left flank, he cut in and lifted the ball past the onrushing keeper. That was seven – and it was eight when Wood stroked home after good work down the left from Lamar St-Cyr.

Alby Salvidge thought he’d notched on an impressive debut, but he was ruled off-side from a long throw flicked on. No matter, it was soon 9-0 with Wood capitalising at the far post from an O’Connor cross-shot.

Rangy forward Wood completed his six-shooting display with a one-on-one finish, set up by Salvidge’s through-pass.

Before the second of the Brandy goals from crosses, O’Connor profited after Luton summed up their abject performance with a defensive mix-up which left Watford’s tormentor-in-chief time enough to roll the ball across the line with the sole of his foot, all alone in the Hatters’ goalmouth.

It was, simply put, one of those days where everything WIFC did went just about perfectly and their hosts obliged with a display to forget. 

A result that had stat-man Dave Messenger scrabbling around in the history books, it was one goal off matching WIFC’s biggest-ever scoreline of 15-2 and consequently the record 13-goal margin of victory.

It’s the first time the Hornets have hit double-figures on the road since a 10-1 win at Wycombe some eight years ago and the 13th time in total, while Wood’s goalscoring antics earned him the Man-of-the-Match award.

WIFC: Richard Walker, David Sitkowski, Frank Smith, Ben Bateman; Cleveland Brandy, Richard Murphy (c), Daniel Moss, Tyrone Brandy; Mark O’Connor; Charlie Wood, Adam Gallichan. Subs used: Lamar St-Cyr, Alby Salvidge, Stuart Sperinck.