By Kevin Affleck
The return of Harry Forster was the big positive for Hayden Mullins to take from the Under-23 side’s narrow defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.
The 18-year-old forward, who was on standby for England Under-20s last month, came on for the last half-hour of the 1-0 Professional Development League defeat at the Owls’ training ground following an ankle injury and looked lively as the Hornets finished the stronger of the two sides.
In front of Owls’ boss Steve Bruce and against former Watford favourite Daniel Pudil, Forster whipped over a threatening free-kick just minutes after coming on and had the visitors’ last effort at goal, smashing a chance over from distance. It was his first appearance since the victory over Colchester United in January.
“It was good to have Harry back,” said Mullins, the Under-23’s coach. “He’s been out a long time but he came on and did well. Harry works very hard in training and applies himself so well. He runs at people and is tough to stop when he gets going. We need to get him right and keep him fit until the end of the season and then hopefully he can show what we he can do next season.”
The only goal of the game came on 49 minutes from Connor Kirby, who hit one from distance past Adam Parkes in the Watford goal. Dan Phillips, twice, and Emmanuel Adebiyi all had shots at goal in the second period, but it just wasn’t to be for the Hornets who named seven trialists in the match day 15.
“We found it tough in the first 15 minutes,” Mullins said. “We struggled to get to grips with it, but in the last 20 minutes of the half we grew into the game. It was a tough pitch and against good opposition who were big, tough and strong – a bit more like a Football League opposition, which is good.
“We stood up the to the challenge as they were really up for the game. They had a lot of power and pace and were a good side. It’s good to play against players like that and expose the players to that sort of level. We did well.”
HORNETS | Parkes (GK); Yamfam, Tricker, Trialist, Maclean; Trialist, Phillips, Trialist, Adebiyi, Bennetts; Trialist.
Subs: Forster for Trialist (59), Trialist for Trialist (65), Trialist for Bennetts (85).