Watford beat Arsenal in a the FA Cup quarter-finals 27 years ago today

This Is Local London: On this date in Watford FC's history On this date in Watford FC's history

Saturday, March 14, 1987

Watford travelled to Highbury to face Arsenal, then third in the first division, in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

The corresponding league encounter had seen Watford goalkeeper Tony Coton dismissed as the home side won 3-1. That day's referee Brian Stevens was again chosen to preside over a match that is remembered as fondly as any in Graham Taylor's reign.

A rare John McClelland error gave Ian Allinson the opportunity to give the home side the lead but Luther Blissett equalised before half-time with his 164th for the Hornets, a goal that broke Tommy Barnett's club goalscoring record.

David Bardsley's cross was headed in by John Barnes to give the Hornets the lead early in the second period.

In the closing minutes a challenge between Steve Sims and Arsenal striker Niall Quinn in the Watford penalty area caused the linesman to flag. As Arsenal players protested, referee Stevens allowed play to progress and Blissett, who had played to the whistle, escaped into the Arsenal half leaving Tony Adams in his wake to score Watford's third from a rebound having hit his first shot into keeper John Lukic. His goal provoked bedlam, but confirmed the Hornets' semi-final place.

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

Comments (3)

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8:14am Fri 14 Mar 14

gloryhornet4 says...

On You Tube and well worth looking at.

Loved lip reading the Arsenal fan behind the ref and lino shouting out "it's a foul" as if the ref needed his help.

All the talk of Watford being a long ball/kick and rush side. In those 6 years Watford were a Div One side - they took more points off Arsenal than any other club. A 3-1 6rd round FA Cup win in their back yard - a bit of a juvenile argument to say win after win at Highbury and Vic Rd that it was not football.
On You Tube and well worth looking at. Loved lip reading the Arsenal fan behind the ref and lino shouting out "it's a foul" as if the ref needed his help. All the talk of Watford being a long ball/kick and rush side. In those 6 years Watford were a Div One side - they took more points off Arsenal than any other club. A 3-1 6rd round FA Cup win in their back yard - a bit of a juvenile argument to say win after win at Highbury and Vic Rd that it was not football. gloryhornet4
  • Score: 4

10:53am Fri 14 Mar 14

Poppet Bear says...

David Bardsley on the wing.....I remember it well !!!!!
David Bardsley on the wing.....I remember it well !!!!! Poppet Bear
  • Score: 1

4:59pm Fri 14 Mar 14

andyhooked says...

Yep. I was there. I lived in Ruislip at that time and a pub acquaitance took me to the ground in his black cab and took me back to our pub in his cab, even though he was a Gunnar!!! Glory days they were indeed under GT!
Yep. I was there. I lived in Ruislip at that time and a pub acquaitance took me to the ground in his black cab and took me back to our pub in his cab, even though he was a Gunnar!!! Glory days they were indeed under GT! andyhooked
  • Score: 1

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