1977–78 Watford F.C. season

1977–78 season
Chairman Elton John
Manager Graham Taylor
Stadium Vicarage Road
Fourth Division 1st (promoted)
FA Cup Third Round (eliminated by West Ham United)
League Cup Third Round (eliminated by West Bromwich Albion)
Top goalscorer League: Ross Jenkins (16)
All: Ross Jenkins (18)
Highest home attendance 18,947 (vs Southend United, 15 April 1978)
Lowest home attendance League: 6,850 (vs Grimsby Town, 6 September 1977)
Cup: 5,722 (vs Reading, 13 August 1977)

Watford Football Club is an English football team, based in Watford, Hertfordshire. 197778 was the club's first season under the management of Graham Taylor, and its last in the fourth tier of English football. Watford ended the season as champions of the Football League Fourth Division with 71 points, the club's highest Football League total under the system of two points for a win, and three points short of the all-time Football League record set by Graham Taylor's Lincoln City side in 197576. The season also marked new club records for the most league wins in a season (30), most home wins (18), most away wins (12), and most away goals scored (42).[1]

Ross Jenkins finished at the club's top scorer for the third time in four campaigns, with 18 goals in all competitions. He was followed by Alan Mayes and Keith Mercer with 16 and 13 goals respectively; both men also scored hat-tricks for the team. Bobby Downes and Alan Garner made the most appearances, playing some part in all 54 competitive fixtures. Garner went on to receive the Watford F.C. Player of the Season award for his efforts. Other player milestones included the arrival of future club captain Ian Bolton, and the breakthrough into the first team of young striker Luther Blissett, who went on to become the club's all-time leading appearance maker and goalscorer.[2]


Watford's score listed first


Win Draw Loss

Football League Fourth Division

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Watford scorers
20 August 1977Stockport CountyA313,056Jenkins (2), Ellis (pen)
27 August 1977York CityH137,620Mayes
3 September 1977Doncaster RoversA102,963Jenkins
6 September 1977Grimsby TownH106,850Blissett
10 September 1977Huddersfield TownH207,852Jenkins (2)
14 September 1977ReadingA314,862Mayes (2), Blissett
17 September 1977BarnsleyA016,443
24 September 1977DarlingtonH217,632Blissett, Ellis (pen)
27 September 1977A.F.C. BournemouthH218,191Bolton, Coffill
1 October 1977RochdaleA321,278Joslyn, Mayes, Mercer
3 October 1977BrentfordA3014,500Ellis, Jenkins, Mayes
8 October 1977Swansea CityH2110,232Downes, Mercer
15 October 1977AldershotA018,059
22 October 1977Newport CountyH2010,749Downes, Mercer
29 October 1977Crewe AlexandraH5210,871Mercer (3), Downes, Garner
5 November 1977Hartlepool UnitedA213,121Garner, Mercer
12 November 1977Scunthorpe UnitedH4110,565Jenkins (2), Mercer (2)
19 November 1977Southend UnitedA0110,919
3 December 1977Halifax TownH119,329Garner
10 December 1977SouthportA221,727Jenkins, Pollard
26 December 1977Northampton TownH3015,056Downes, Mayes, Pollard
27 December 1977Torquay UnitedA326,228Mayes (2), Bolton
31 December 1977WimbledonA317,324Downes, Jenkins, Mayes
2 January 1978Hartlepool UnitedH1016,866Bolton
13 January 1978Stockport CountyH1012,754Garner
21 January 1978York CityA403,831Mayes (3), Blissett
28 January 1978Doncaster RoversH6011,816Joslyn (2), Bolton, Downes, Garner, Jenkins
11 February 1978BarnsleyH0013,216
25 February 1978RochdaleH1010,139Jenkins
3 March 1978Swansea CityA3315,000Bolton, Jenkins, Mayes
7 March 1978ReadingH1011,439Garner
11 March 1978AldershotH1012,641Downes
14 March 1978Huddersfield TownA016,603
17 March 1978Newport CountyA228,409Downes, Jenkins
24 March 1978Crewe AlexandraA224,652Ellis (pen), Jenkins
25 March 1978Torquay UnitedH1010,491Garner
28 March 1978Northampton TownA208,041Bolton, Mayes
1 April 1978WimbledonH2011,212Mayes, Pritchett
4 April 1978A.F.C. BournemouthA216,532Downes, Pollard
8 April 1978Scunthorpe UnitedA105,202Joslyn
11 April 1978Grimsby TownA117,189Pritchett
15 April 1978Southend UnitedH1118,947Jenkins
18 April 1978DarlingtonA002,407
22 April 1978Halifax TownA113,542How
25 April 1978BrentfordH1116,544Blissett
29 April 1978SouthportH3210,089Pritchett (2 pens), Blissett

FA Cup

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Watford scorers
R126 November 1977HendonH2011,825Garner, Mercer
R217 December 1977Colchester UnitedH2011,907Jenkins, Mercer
R37 January 1978West Ham UnitedA0136,475

League Cup

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Watford scorers
R1 1st Leg13 August 1977ReadingH215,722Mercer (2)
R1 2nd Leg17 August 1977ReadingA014,533
R1 Replay23 August 1977ReadingH507,082Downes, Ellis (pen), Joslyn, Mayes, Pritchett
R230 August 1977Grimsby TownA214,345Bolton, Jenkins
R325 October 1977West Bromwich AlbionA0122,140

League table

2Southend United462510116639+2760
3Swansea City462310138747+4056
6Grimsby Town462111145751+653
9Torquay United461615155756+147
10Northampton Town461713166368-547
11Huddersfield Town461515166355+845
12Doncaster Rovers461417155265-1345
14Scunthorpe United461416165055-544
15Crewe Alexandra461514175069-1944
16Newport County461611196573-843
18Stockport County461610205656+042
20Halifax Town461021155262-1041
21Hartlepool United46157245184-3337
22York City461212225069-1936

P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points


  1. Jones, Watford Season by Season pp. 247248
  2. Jones, Watford Season by Season pp. 164165
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