Match Report & Reaction | Watford 1-1 Coventry
PIC: Michael Folivi is felled by Coventry goalkeeper Corey Addai
Watford Under-23s were held to a 1-1 draw by Coventry City this afternoon, with the returning Alex Jakubiak grabbing the Hornets’ only goal of the game.
The visitors took the lead after just ten minute when wide-man Kyle Finn curled home a fine effort from the edge of the area, but Jakubiak levelled on 25 minutes after Michael Folivi was bundled over inside the area.
The Hornets did have chances to grab all three points, but Jakubiak was denied when left with only keeper Corey Addai to beat on 85 minutes before Connor Stevens had a late effort ruled out by the linesman’s flag.
In tricky conditions at UCL, both teams were presented with good openings inside the first ten minutes. First, Devon Kelly-Evans charged down Watford keeper Andrew Thomas’ clearance after a short back pass, only for the ball to stop just short of goal-line, before Josh Roe saw a goal-bound effort deflected narrowly over the cross-bar at the other end.
However, the first goal of the afternoon wasn’t far behind thanks to a superb effort from Finn. The Irishman picked the ball up just outside the Watford area, before sending a curling strike beyond the despairing dive of Thomas and into the far corner.
That lead was very nearly doubled on 25 minutes when forward Jordan Ponticelli crashed an effort against the Watford post, with Thomas beaten. The Sky Blues would end up ruing that missed opportunity, with Harry Kewell’s side awarded a penalty at the other end almost immediately.
Addai failed to clear a routine back pass and could only foul Folivi, who pounced on the loose ball, with the forward baring down on the Coventry goal. Jakubiak made no mistake from 12-yards, powering the ball down the middle of the goal and levelling proceedings in the process.
Folivi then had the opportunity to turn goal scorer shortly after, but fortunately for Coventry, defender Reece Ford recovered to make an excellent last-ditch block to deny Folivi from close-range, after excellent wing play from Watford's Dion Pereira.
The second-half continued in the same fashion as the first with chances falling to both sides. Jakubiak was denied early on by another good block from Ford before Thomas was called into action to make a smart double save from Kelly-Evans and Finn respectively.
As the game entered the final five minutes, it was the Hornets who came closest to snatching all three points. First Jakubiak was released by substitute Ogo Obi but was twice denied by Addai before the same man crashed a free-kick against the cross-bar in the final minute with Connor Stevens heading the rebound into the empty net.
However, Watford celebrations were short-lived with the linesman signalling for off-side, meaning Kewell’s side had to settle for a well earned point.
HORNETS: Thomas (GK); Empson, Stevens, Ryan, Rogers; Ovenden (Charles, 80), Roe, Stewart (c) (Obi, 73); Pereira, Folivi (Adeyemo, 62), Jakubiak
Subs not used: Huija, Lacy (GK).
COVENTRY: Addai (GK); Whitmore, Ford, Thompson, Camwell; Finn, Maycock, Shipley, Sayoud; Kelly-Evans (c), Ponticelli.
Subs: Smith, Skuza (GK), Hickman, Stedman, Bayliss.
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