A record-breaking home run

Cristian Battocchio celebrates setting Watford on their way to another clean sheet home win on Saturday. Picture: Dave Peters

Cristian Battocchio celebrates setting Watford on their way to another clean sheet home win on Saturday. Picture: Dave Peters

First published in Latest Sport
Last updated
by , Group Sports Editor

Saturday’s 3-0 win over Barnsley may not have been sufficient to lift Watford any higher in the Championship table but it did ensure club history was made by Beppe Sannino’s men.

As we reported after the win, it was the first time any Watford side has won six consecutive competitive home matches without conceding a goal as the Hornets stretched their run to ten hours and 25 minutes since Kaspars Gorkss netted Reading’s early winner at Vicarage Road. It remains the only goal Watford have conceded in their nine home games since Sannino took charge.

The new record, confirmed with club historian and statistician Trefor Jones before the game in the event it were to happen, surpasses a handful of occasions when Watford have kept six consecutive home clean sheets in all competitions but have not won every game.

The club record for successive home shut-outs is 11 set by Graham Taylor’s Division Four title-winning side of 1977/78 but that featured five wins, a draw and then another five victories.

Ken Furphy’s Division Three championship side of 1968/69 twice achieved six successive home clean sheets in all competitions but on both occasions those sequences also featured a draw.

A look back through Jones’ website, www.watfordfcarchive.com, shows the last time Watford went five league games at Vicarage Road without conceding was March/April 1993 but that run included two draws.

Saturday’s win was the first time Watford have recorded five successive home league wins since their last four matches at Vicarage Road in 1998/1999 and the first leg of the play-off semi-final against Birmingham City.

But you have to go back 14 years before that for the last occasion the Hornets won six straight competitive matches at Vicarage Road when Taylor’s team started the 1985/86 Division One season with seven successive victories in all competitions.

That remains the last time the Hornets had six straight home league wins, the target for Sannino’s men when they face Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday, March 25.

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