Football: Rosenthal at double

Barnet 1 Charlery 9 Watford 2 Rosenthal 61, 67 Attendance: 4, 040

BILLED in the programme as the first Hertfordshire Derby, this was the only occasion that Barnet and Watford, barely 10 miles apart, have met in a competitive match. And for an hour it looked as though Barnet would exploit their local knowledge - in the shape of Underhill's end- to-end slope - to cause an FA Cup upset.

Playing with the incline in the first half and true to the spirit of Cup underdogs, Barnet set off with an adrenaline-charged rush towards the Watford goalmouth, taking the lead within 10 minutes. The goal smacked of a well-drilled training routine as Paul Wilson's corner was nodded to the far post, then headed back across the goal by Scott McGleish for Ken Charlery, the centre-forward, to poke the ball home from three yards.

Barnet manager John Still admitted: "The slope is a big advantage for teams which play direct football," but he also has some good players on his books, who have taken his side to a victory over Norwich in the Coca- Cola Cup and fifth in the Third Division. The most promising is 19-year- old Sam Stockley, a wing-back who caused constant problems with his pace and accurate crossing as well as defending with tenacity and aggression.

Graham Taylor, the Watford director of football, refused to blame the conditions for his side's poor first half. He conceded: "If Barnet had scored a second we could have lost."

It fell to Ronnie Rosenthal to tip the balance in Watford's favour. His pace and experience always looked as though it could cause Barnet problems and he squeezed Richard Johnson's free-kick over the line from close range on the hour. The winner came seven minutes later, when Rosenthal capitalised on a defensive error to sprint 40 yards and slide in his second goal after his initial chip had been partially blocked by the Barnet goalkeeper, Lee Harrison.

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