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.