Watford 1-3 Arsenal
Barclays Reserve League South
Vicarage Road
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
  • Stuart Taylor
  • Emmanuel Eboue
  • Justin Hoyte
  • Kerrea Gilbert 65
  • Patrick Cregg
  • Arturo Lupoli 72
  • Pascal Cygan
  • Sol Campbell
  • Sebastian Larsson
  • Olafur Skulason
  • Adam Birchall 65
  • Jeremie Aliadiere
  • Robin Van Persie
  • Ryan Smith
  • Alec Chamberlain 
  • Reece Kirk 45
  • Junior Osborne 
  • Jermaine Darlington
  • Al Bangura 
  • Paul Mayo
  • Sean Dyche 
  • Jack Smith 
  • Omari Coleman 
  • Jason Norville 
  • Toumani Diagourara 
  • Ryan Gilligan 50
  • Andy Ferrell 
  • Joel Grant 70
  • Gauthier Diafutua 
  • Adrian Mariappa 
WATFORD1Norville 6
ARSENAL3Aliadiere 24, 42
Van Persie 71


By Andy Verspeak

Sol Campbell completed another 90 minutes as an experienced reserves side came from behind to beat Watford 3-1.

Robin van Persie and Jeremie Aliadiere continued their fine partnership up front. The Dutch star set up Aliadiere to score twice in the first half before driving in a sweet free kick himself in the second half.

Campbell made his second reserve start on his road back to full fitness as Neil Banfield named a side with significant first-team experience.

Justin Hoyte also returned to action after recovering from the ankle injury that has kept him out since February, and he was joined at the back by Emmanual Eboue and the senior partnership of Campbell and Pascal Cygan.

Van Persie and Aliadiere led the line again after scoring three of Arsenal's four goals against Norwich last week; top scorer Arturo Lupoli remained on the bench.

The first half saw three goals but not much else as Stuart Taylor's only action was to pick the ball out of the net, but Banfield's side responded well to an early setback.

They started sluggishly and Watford took the lead with the first real chance of the game through striker Jason Norville after just six minutes. Toumani Diagouraga picked up a loose ball in the Arsenal half and threaded it through to Norville who fired a simple finish past Taylor.

Banfield's side started to make inroads and levelled the scores 20 minutes later. The tenacious Olafur-Ingi Skulason won the ball in midfield and played it to van Persie. The young Dutchman shaped to shoot before sending Aliadiere through on goal to finish with ease.

The French Under-21 international nearly made it two three minutes later when a mix-up in the Watford defence allowed him to shoot, but instead of repeating the composed finish moments before he opted for power and sent his shot wide of the mark.

As the first half was drawing to a close Arsenal showed their class as Van Persie and Aliadiere combined again to give the Gunners the lead and Aliadiere his fourth goal in two games. Van Persie picked up the ball with his back to goal before turning beautifully and stroking a ball through to the Frenchman to slot past Alec Chamberlain.

Watford had Arsenal under early pressure in the second half, winning a few corners without ever really threatening but it was the Gunners who looked more likely to score. Van Persie tried his luck from outside the area on the hour mark but his low shot fizzed wide of Reece Kirk's goal. The Watford man had replaced Chamberlain between the sticks at the break.

Adam Birchall and Kerrea Gilbert came on soon after to replace Justin Hoyte and Skulason respectively.

Van Persie sealed the victory with a sublime free kick 20 minutes from time. The kick just outside the box favoured a right footer but the Dutch star showed he was the perfect candidate and drove a left-footed shoot fiercely into bottom corner of the net.

A late flourish from the Hornets nearly gave Arsenal a nervy last few minutes but a brilliant double save from Taylor preserved Arsenal's two-goal lead. He was called into action again five minutes from the end, saving well after Norville's cross was headed goalbound by Jack Smith.


Pascal Cygan brings the ball forwardPatrick Cregg holds off Sean DycheSol Campbell continues his comebackAliadiere celebrates his firstgoalAliadiere nets his secondA Robin van Persie free kick makes it 3-1

 2004/05 FIXTURE LIST  

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12 Apr 2005