First Team 27/08/2018

Kabasele: “You Need That Little Bit Of Luck”

Watch Christian Kabasele's post-match interview above, or read on below.


By Jonathan Nagioff

Hornets defender Christian Kabasele has praised the performance of goalkeeper Ben Foster in the 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace.

Foster made two crucial first half saves, denying Christian Benteke and James McArthur to keep the scores level heading into the interval.

The Golden Boys stepped up a gear in the second half and were clinical in front of goal, with Roberto Pereyra and José Holebas sealing the three points, despite a late Wilfried Zaha consolation.

Kabasele - named Man of the Match after the final whistle - was excellent in the heart of the Hornets defence alongside Craig Cathcart and believes the result might have been different without Foster between the sticks.

Kabasele told after the game: “It’s incredible as it was our most difficult game from the start, but we had a little bit of luck as well with the goal from José. 

“It’s okay when you win and when it was difficult - that means we did a really good job.

“I think first of all Palace did well. They created a lot of chances and if we didn’t have Ben in the goal today maybe we are 2-0 down in the first half, so as I said you need that little bit of luck today.”

Kabasele has already focused his attention onto next week’s clash with Tottenham and wants to see a repeat display against Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

 “I try like every game to help the team not to concede but everyone was fantastic today,” said the defender. “We didn’t play so good in the first half but when you see the spirit in the second half, as last week in Burnley, it was incredible - and we need to build on this to try to cause some trouble to Tottenham next week.”

Holebas scored the all-important second goal, but despite a sublime curling finish Kabasele is convinced that his team mate did not mean to shoot.

“Everybody knows it was a cross!” said the Belgian. “Sometimes when you have a very good left foot, but you don’t have a right foot, and today it was a very good goal and he helped us a lot this season. 

“Against Brighton he was amazing, last week as well, and today he scored so he did a good job. He’s 33 and when you see how fit he is, it’s good for the team.”

The Hornets are next in action against Reading in the Second Round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.

Ladies 27/08/2018

Ladies: Watford FC 1-3 Loughborough Foxes Women

Watford FC Ladies suffered a disappointing defeat as Loughborough Foxes triumphed 3-1 at Kings Langley on Sunday afternoon (August 26).

The Golden Girls had chances throughout the game, but the visitors were clinical in the first half and led at the break thanks to goals from Rebecca Knight and Kate Lowder.

It looked to be a grandstand finish when Leanne Bell got one back with just under 15 to go, however the away side responded and replied almost immediately as substitute Charlotte Cooper got the final goal of the game to harshly make it 3-1.

There were four changes to the team that defeated Cardiff City the previous weekend. 17-year-old Amy Martin came in for her debut in goal.

Katie O’Leary and Andrea Carid made their first starts for the club, while Samantha Hallsworth returned in the centre of defence.

It was a miserable afternoon in the rain at Kings Langley

Both sides had opportunities in the very opening stages of the game, Rebecca McGrother sliced an effort of wide for Loughborough while Helen Ward had a shot saved by Amy Burle.

The opposition keeper was then in action again as she saved from Carid who had been picked out by O’Leary.

It was the visitors who got the opening goal and it came from a set-piece. Laura Steele’s free-kick was delivered into a good area and Knight headed home past Martin.

That lead would be doubled six minutes later. Eva Rogers showed some good work down the right-hand side, she picked out Lowder who finished from just inside the area, after evading a Watford challenge.

Kavaja’s side looked to respond to the set-back but were again thwarted by Burle, who this time produced a good save to deny Ward for a second time.

Watford were really starting to exert pressure before the break as they looked to get a goal back. Carid’s great pass picked out Bell but her shot was off target.

Carid was involved again shortly after as her cross was agonisingly beyond the outstretched boot of Ward. The Watford captain had another opening in first-half stoppage time but her strike went just wide of the right-hand post.

Helen Ward is just unable to get onto the end of a ball into the box

Martin was called into action twice in the early stages of the half. First, she dealt with a difficult effort with McGrother following in, and then she held Rogers’ strike.

Cooper then tested her again with just over twenty to play but she was equal to the powerful near post strike.

When the Watford goalkeeper was beaten the crossbar came to the rescue as Rogers’ great effort cannoned back off it.

In the 77th minute, the Hornets got the game back to within one. A teasing cross was headed on and fell to Bell at the far post, she took a touch with her chest and then fired it into the bottom corner, for her first senior Watford goal.

Leanne Bell scores her first senior Watford goal

Frustratingly for Watford, the two-goal lead was restored not long after. Rogers had been influential throughout and her pass found Cooper who gave Martin no chance with a composed finish.

Ward had been a source of worry for the Loughborough defence and she nearly capitalised on an opening as she chipped the onrushing Burle but it went narrowly wide.

The Golden Girls had one final chance in stoppage time. O’Leary put a wonderful cross in, but Laura Baker couldn’t keep a difficult chance down.

Laura Baker sees an effort go over as the Hornets are defeated

It’s a result that saw the away side keep their spot at the top of the table after two games. Attention for both teams will turn to the cup next week. Watford will travel to fourth tier outfit Poole Town in the determining round of the FA WNL Cup.

Watford FC XI: Martin; Peck, Hallsworth, O’Halloran, Huggins (Baker, 70); Stojko-Down, Scanlon; Bell, Carid, Ward (c); O’Leary.

Subs not used: Bolland, Currivan, Re.

Goal: Bell (77).

Yellow Card: Carid (90+2).

Loughborough Foxes XI: Burle, Eastham (Cassidy, 55), Brackenbury, Bartle, Matlock, Steele, Hicks, Rogers, McGrother, Lowder (Young, 72), Knight (Cooper, 55).

Sub not used: Perry.

Goals: Knight (22), Lowder (28), Cooper (79).