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Match report as a young Hornets side draw in Surrey

Pre-Season | Woking 1-1 Watford Development XI

A first-half Alex Jakubiak goal helped a Watford Development XI to a 1-1 draw during their first pre-season friendly at Woking this afternoon.

Jakubiak converted Brandon Mason’s cross to hand the Hornets the lead, but their National League opponents pulled level just moments later through ex-Watford Academy winger Bobson Bawling.

Led by Academy coaches David Horseman and Hayden Mullins, it was a youthful Watford line-up, although six of the starting XI – Andrew Eleftheriou, Mason, Carl Stewart, Dion Pereira, Jakubiak and Michael Folivi – could boast first-team experience for the Hornets.

The trialist on the Hornets’ left-flank forced Woking keeper Nathan Baxter to tip a low effort wide during the early stages, then at the opposite end new Watford stopper Sam Howes denied Joey Jones’ long-range shot.

It was a quiet opening half-hour, but the game sparked into life on 36 minutes, Jakubiak slotting home from close-range after an overlapping run and left-flank cross by Mason, following good work in the middle of the park by Folivi.

But Watford’s lead lasted just a minute. Bawling found the net with a clever chest and volley to equalise on his first appearance since joining Woking from Crawley.

Jakubiak nearly added a second shortly after half-time, but the striker’s shot was saved by Baxter and Nathan Ralph was on-hand to clear off the line.

Woking sub Fabio Saraiva was an inch away from handing the hosts the lead, but his close-range header rebounded off the crossbar and to safety.

Ivan Nsimbi might have bagged a late winner for the hosts, but the substitute lashed wide after Watford defender Marian Huja blocked two efforts during the build-up. 

HORNETS: Howe (GK) (Gartside (GK), HT); Eleftheriou (c) (Rogers, 64), Rowan (Huja, 55), Mukena, Mason; Stewart (Charles, HT), Ryan (Stray, 68); Pereira, Folivi (Adedeji, 64), Trialist (Sesay, HT); Jakubiak (Cruz Cabrera, 68).

WOKING: Baxter (GK), Hatton (Thompson, 88), Ralph, Wynter (Isaac, HT), Jones (Appau, 79), Orlu (c), Bawling (Philpots, HT), Ferdinand (Staunton, HT), Effiong (Nsimbi, 66), Carter (Saraiva, HT), Ward.
Subs not used: Mason (GK).

Attendance: 1,227

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