Sometimes you just know.
It should have become apparent that we'd be in for a tough night when young William Hoskins defied physics, gravity and every other logic defining law to spoon the ball miles over the Coventry City bar from barely a yard.
A slightly more impressive effort from the ex Rotherham man - a smart backheel from a corner - elicited more groans from the Rookery end (which reminds me, follow www.twitter.com/rookeryend for interesting WFC "tweets") and when Danny Graham missed wonderful chances either side of half time, you just knew there wasn't going to be a happy ending.
And of course there wasn't. We ended up beaten 2-3 by a very average* C0ventry, despite creating enough clear cut chances to win 3 games. Initially, the overriding emotion was frustration. Having managed to battle back from a goal down (again), it was disappointing that we ended up with nothing, and as I blathered on at my long suffering brother, all I could see was three points dropped and a season rapidly turning into what we all feared it might.
By the time I'd got to the car however, I was in more reflective mood.
The Watford FC class of 2009/10 isn't exactly bursting at the seams in terms of numbers or experience, and when the squad was depleted further by suspension, illness and random injury (has anyone other than our American hero ever cut their eye with a contact lens?!) we looked mighty thin on the ground.
The result was that we saw the future. Admittedly Mackay's hand was forced, but Hodson, Bennett, Henderson and Oshodi all featured on Tuesday night, and have to my knowledge all come through the Watford youth ranks. So have more established, experienced names - Doyley, Mariappa, Richard Lee. We should be proud and excited by that.
Our club has gone through an exciting yet turbulent decade, with two near-fatal dalliances with wreckless spending. Whilst we struggle to right the good ship Watford, the emergence of these youngsters prove that somewhere along the line, our club is operating as it should be. Perhaps better than it should be - how many other clubs can boast such a successful conversion rate of their academy players to the 1st team?
Alright, so Liam henderson should have scored at the end, and young Eddie Ashodi looked a bit tentative. Who cares. With a name like that he can do no wrong. These are our kids, our future. And they are a welcome sign that there will continue to be an our Watford.
*Nothing average about Clinton Morrison though. He has to be the most sulky footballer I have ever seen. If he chanelled half as much energy into his game as he does at hurling abuse at his team-mates, his name might appear on the scoresheet a bit more. What a clown. Entertaining to watch though.
LATEST POD: Winning Ugly
In the February From The Rookery End, Jon, Jason and Mike talk about which of the games from the last month was the most significant, look at the squad after the transfer window, add two new objects into the 100 Object list, chat to Watford Ladies manager John Saloman about the new Ladies team season which starts in April and reflect on a slightly weird game against Middlesbrough..
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