U23 Report | Coventry 2-1 Watford

Michael Folivi scored on his return to Coventry this afternoon but Watford’s Under-23 side conceded two second-half goals to crash to a disappointing Premier Development League defeat in the Midlands.
Folivi would have been keen to make his mark at a place where he spent time on loan last season and he did just that after 15 minutes, cutting inside from the left, before steadying himself to fire past Sam Naylor in the Coventry goal. It was his third goal in as many games.
Hayden Mullins’ team had only lost once when Folivi had scored in the league this season, so the omens looked good, especially when the Hornets got to the break in front and in control. Nathan Gartside’s goal was rarely threatened and when it was, Andrew Eleftheriou and Max Ryan threw themselves bravely in front of shots.
So it therefore came as a bolt from the blue when, seven minutes after the restart, Kyle Finn glanced in a header from a Jak Hickman free-kick. It was now game on.
The pace of Randell Williams, Dion Pereira and Folivi meant Watford were always a threat in behind, a fact not lost on Coventry who picked up bookings in quick succession for fouls on Williams and Pereira, halting promising moves by the visitors.
Pereira did manage to wriggle free of his marker just past the hour, swivelling like Will Hughes did against West Ham to produce a snapshot that was bound for the roof of the net until Naylor stuck out a big left-hand and deflect the ball wide for a corner. Pereira couldn’t believe he hadn’t scored.
It proved to be the decisive moment of the game as ten minutes later, Coventry got their noses in front and that is where they stayed, Jack Burroughs shooting under the body of Gartside. The Hornets were lucky it wasn’t 3-1 in the end, Joy Mukena heading away from under his own crossbar to prevent Hickman scoring a header at the far post.
It was an ending that would have been scarcely believable at half-time when the Hornets had an iron grip on proceedings. Mullins will be wondering for some time how his side managed to lose this one.
HORNETS | Gartside (GK); Ryan, Stevens, Mukena; Eleftheriou, Stewart, Dja Djedje, Mason; Pereira; Williams, Folivi. Subs not used: Rodgers, Charles, Bradbury, Sesay, Huja.  


Silva | “Another Good Performance Of Attitude & Character”

Marco Silva felt he oversaw Watford's most complete home performance of the season yesterday afternoon, a display bristling with energy and enterprise which carried the Golden Boys to their fifth league win of the campaign.

The Hornets have, by and large, been better value on the road than they have been at home this season but they redressed the balance with some style under the lights at Vicarage Road, sweeping aside West Ham United on the back of goals from Will Hughes and, yet again, Richarlison.

The team won with something to spare in the end.

"We performed really well," said the Head Coach.

"I don't know if it was the best [of the season] as we played well for 60-70 minutes away at Chelsea against a huge team. But maybe it was our best match at home. It was very good for the confidence of our team. We were very focused as well."

The performance was a further example of how the players, amid a difficult week of speculation, continue to buy-in to the ideas and philosophy of the Head Coach. They are all, it would seem, right behind him.  

"My players did a very good answer to everyone talking about commitment. It is not fair to doubt commitment. It was a very good answer today. I never had doubts about the commitment," said Silva, whose name was chanted from the stands during the second-half.

"It's good when our fans enjoy what we are doing. They enjoyed another good performance of attitude and character in our team."

It was even more encouraging when you consider the Hornets had Troy Deeney suspended, Younès Kaboul, Isaac Success and Nathaniel Chalobah out injured and Roberto Pereyra, Sebastian Prödi and Andrè Carrillo only fit enough to take a place on the bench. 

"It was a very good performance," said Silva.

"We performed very well and we deserved the three points. The three defeats didn't reflect what we did. We continued in the same way and we performed well. I think we controlled the match more or less. It was an important result for us and this is our way."