Under-18's 24/09/2018

U18 Report: Watford 3-3 QPR

By Danny Varsalona 

A dramatic late goal rescued a point for Watford in a 3-3 thriller at the Watford Training Ground - despite the home side racing into a 2-0 lead after just 20 minutes.

A first-half brace from Ryan Cassidy put the home side 2-0 up, but three second-half goals from Queens Park Rangers and a late Jack Burchell strike meant both sides had to settle for a point. 

Watford shot out of the blocks and were ahead after just two minutes – with Cassidy coolly slotting his penalty down the middle after QPR were penalised for a push in the box. 

The Hornets continued to press forward and made it count, doubling their lead after 20 minutes with a fantastic goal. 

A long ball forward was flicked into the path of Dominic Hutchinson on the right wing, who cleverly squared the ball for Cassidy to grab his second of the game with a smart first-time finish. 

The Hornets could have added to their lead with a flurry of chances – the best falling to Reece Miller who could only volley over. 

The visitors ended the half on a high and nearly grabbed a goal back – but the Watford defence stood strong after a frantic goal line scramble. 

The Hornets started the second half much like the first and were only denied a third by a fantastic double-save from Harvey White in the R’s goal, parrying from both Jayden Bennetts and Kai Sanders. 

It proved an important moment in the match as QPR grabbed two goals in four minutes to stun the Hornets. Rangers captain Joseph Gubbins smashed home a spot-kick before Jahiem Rose finished off a neat move from the away side. 

With 15 minutes left to play both sides battled hard for the next goal and it was QPR who got it, tapping in on the rebound after a superb reaction save from Dante Baptiste. 

But there was still a sting left in the tail of the young Hornets and deep into injury time, they equalised in dramatic fashion. 

Bennetts won the ball deep inside the Watford half before playing a cute ball over the QPR defence. Burchell raced towards it and knocked the ball past the on-rushing ‘keeper before chipping the ball into the far corner, with a little help from the woodwork. 

It was a nerve-wracking end to a thrilling second half of football, but a game that Watford will feel slightly aggrieved they didn’t win after spurning numerous chances throughout the match.

HORNETS | Baptiste (GK), Matthews, Rashan, Burchell, Langstone, Tricker (Trialist, 59’), Hutchinson, Maclean, Cassidy (Sanders, 65’), Miller (Bennetts, 45’), Sankoh.

Subs not used | Horsewood, Khaira.

First Team 24/09/2018

Deeney: “We Needed To Kill The Game”

Watford skipper Troy Deeney felt like the Hornets lost two points after Fulham recovered from an early Andre Gray goal, equalising in the second half to give both sides a point apiece at Craven Cottage.

Speaking to match broadcaster Sky Sports after the game, Deeney rued a first-half performance that, while dominant, lacked the final finish.

“I'd definitely say we dropped two points,” said the striker. “We moved away from what we do well.

“We made poor decisions and we should have killed them off before they scored.

“We've been playing well all season, mixing it up, and in the first half me and Andre battered them. In the second half we were a bit iffy and we went away from what we do well.”

A studs-up challenge from Timothy Fosu-Mensah in the first half that was high on Deeney's shin was punished by a yellow card, but the forward thought it could have been a dismissal for the Fulham full-back.

“I'm not one to lie on the ground,” said Deeney. “Maybe I have to roll around. But it's a tackle isn't it, you get on with it.

“It was a tough game, and I had a word with the ref. Martin (Atkinson) is a good ref but maybe it could have been a red.”

Ultimately though, the Hornets' captain admitted that Watford had only themselves to blame for letting the hosts get back into the game.

“We bossed them, we created a lot of chances and maybe we needed that second goal to kill the game.

“We allowed them to feel they could have a good spell and they took it.

“But, we are assured and we are confident. We have bumps and bruises but we go again.”