First Team 23/07/2017

Highlights | SD Eibar 0-1 Watford

Watford completed a successful pre-season training camp in Austria this afternoon, defeating SD Eibar in Kufstein courtesy of an Étienne Capoue goal. 

It was a hard-earned win, as the La Liga side forced Marco Silva's men to soak up sustained periods of pressure, albeit without creating substantial clear-cut chances. 

Stefano Okaka had the Hornets' best early opportunity, as he took down a hooked long ball from Christian Kabasele before powering past three Eibar players, only to be taken down when in on goal. Perhaps the merit of a penalty wasn't entirely clear, but when the referee chose to give a free-kick the other way, Okaka and many watching on were slightly bemused.

Eibar were the next to go close, former Manchester United man Bebe will think he should have done better when the ball came loose on the edge of Watford's box and he belted it a foot the wrong side of the post. 

A quick break just before half-time almost caught the Hornets out, but the well-involved Bebe's ball was eventually cleared after a nervy moment of insecurity within the Watford box.

There were good battles for Jose Holebas and Daryl Janmaat in the full-back positions, Ivan Alejo on the right and Bebe on the left keeping the Watford men busy. 

Chalobah and Capoue embrace after the Frenchman's winner

Three changes came from Silva at the interval, with Nathaniel Chalobah, Jerome Sinclair and Adboulaye Doucouré all getting the nod. 

Sinclair was on the receiving end of a not-so-friendly challenge early in the half, Alejo looking up to a yellow card as he apologised to the Watford winger for a late tackle. The Spaniard could have been off moments later as he tumbled theatrically under Holebas' challenge, but leniency was shown by the referee.

Nano almost notched the opener for the opposition in an almost chanceless second period, finding Alejo's inside ball and poking wide via an outstretched Watford leg. 

And the miss proved costly, as the Hornets took the lead moments later. Positive play on the left from substitute Isaac Success saw the ball set up for Capoue, who swivelled and hit the ball home low through Marko Dmitrovic's fingers.

The Hornets were quickly back on the bus and on their way to the airport, as they make a swift return to the UK to prepare for the trip to Aston Villa next week. 

HORNETS: Gomes (GK) (c) (63, Bachmann); Janmaat, Kabasele, Prödl, Holebas; Watson (HT, Chalobah), Capoue; Berghuis (HT, Sinclair), Hughes (HT, Doucouré), Amrabat; Okaka (Success, 63).

Subs not used: Rowan. 


Match Tickets 2017/18 | First Access Groups Updated




Watford FC wishes to confirm its updated Home & Away Match Ticket Sales policies for the 2017/18 season.

The First Access Groups system used for the purchase of tickets both at Vicarage Road and to watch the Hornets on the road will continue, following positive feedback from supporters throughout last season.

The system is designed to be easily understood and as fair and equitable as possible, rewarding Watford fans with first access based on their ticket purchasing history (against an individual Fan ID record) over three complete seasons since July 2014.

The threshold numbers have moved upward from last year, with 20 games now the lower qualifying figure for Home Group A and 10 games for Away Group A.

The Hornets have encouraged the creation of Fan ID records for many years now, allowing individuals of all ages to build a booking profile for themselves.

In addition, with an eye on encouraging fans of the future, over half of all home Premier League fixtures were allowed to move to ‘General Sale’ status in 2016/17 – thus allowing the creation of new Fan ID records which automatically enter Home Group C status once a single ticket purchase is assigned.

Awayday regulars can also be assured that Watford FC takes its responsibilities seriously in ensuring the most loyal travellers are guaranteed a ticket to each and every away fixture played. In this respect, the temporary creation of Away Group A+ will continue to take place with its number capped at just over 1,000 fans who have 25 or more away ticket purchases against their Fan ID record since July 2014.

Below you’ll find the numbers of fans in each of the purchasing first access groups; also duly referenced in the two policy documents available by clicking HERE FOR HOME and HERE FOR AWAY.

- Home Group A: 3,650 fans
- Home Group B: 3,826 fans
- Home Group C: 32,559 fans

- Away Group A: 3,379 fans
- Away Group B: 733 fans
- Away Group C: 10,506 fans

New for 2017/18, Supporter Liaison & Disability Access Officer Dave Messenger will be seeking to further assist supporters who’d like to attend away fixtures but cannot stand for the duration of the 90 minutes.

Watford FC is aware of the growing trend for fans in away sections to indulge in much longer periods of continual standing than occurs among home fans’ areas of grounds.

In this respect, Dave will work with the Ticket Office team to identify appropriate seats at other Premier League stadia and the Hornets reserve the right to keep back such seats as it sees fit to ensure all Hornets’ fans who are eligible to purchase and wish to travel can enjoy the fixture without the need to stand.

More details on how to take advantage of this new service will be included with the first away match ticket-buying email of 2017/18 – relating to the AFC Bournemouth fixture of August 19.

And we’re off and running very soon; match ticket buyers should expect their first regular email for sales notification before the end of Friday July 21 with relation the Liverpool and Brighton & Hove Albion home fixtures.