Under-23's 6 days ago

Under-23: Crewe Alexandra 1-4 Watford

By Kevin Affleck

Hayden Mullins knows a thing or two about the art of midfield play so it's worth listening to him when he talks about the role Henry Wise played in the 4-1 Professional Development League win over Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road.

The midfielder played a lovely side-rule pass for the first goal, produced a deft touch for the second and then swung over an in-swinging corner for the fourth. Less eye-catching but equally as important was the goal-line clearance he made one minute before joining the counter-attack the next, and then the recovery tackle he made on the Crewe left-back deep in his own half near the end.

"There were some very, very good performances out there today and Henry was one of them," said Mullins of the former Derby midfielder. "He has shown a lot of improvement, he sees a lot of the ball and he likes to pass forward, which is a good attribute. He can play in a pair with him and Callum [Whelan] and then Kaylen [Hinds] as the 10 and then in a three like he did today where he has a bit more license. He can do both and is a good all-round midfielder."

Joseph Hungbo added the garnish at the other end with a crisp finish for the first and then a howitzer for the third. He now has seven for the season ahead of a return to Crystal Palace on Monday.

"He's doing really well and I'm pleased for him as he works really hard," said Mullins of the explosive winger. "His goals and his performances have come through his hard work and it's a good sign for the rest of the team that hard work pays off. We are getting into their head about working hard for the team and that's where a lot of his goals have come from."

Sam Dalby got the second and fourth goals, the first a well-hit one with his left foot that went through the 'keeper's legs and the second a header from a corner. They were the former Leeds man's first goals in a month.

"I'm very pleased for Sam," said Mullins. "He gives us a real different option up there. We can go into him and he is a good team player. I'm glad the big lad is now chipping in with goals as all No. 9s want to score goals. He got two goals but, more importantly, he worked really well for the side."

The goals were just what Mullins was after following the hatful of missed chances at Plymouth in the Premier League Cup last week.

"We were clinical today," said the former Crystal Palace, West Ham and Portsmouth midfielder. "After Plymouth we spoke about being confident and expressing ourselves in the final third and we did that well today. It was a very good, mature performance. To score four goals is good for us. It keeps our run going this year. I've been quite pleased with the boys as they are developing a willingness to learn from what we do in training. We are really trying to push them. The goal we conceded was a negative for us. It was a slip from one of the players, which was a shame, as we would love to have got the clean sheet."

HORNETS: Parkes; Maclean (Spencer-Adams 71), Barrett, Balogun, Zeegelaar; Wise, Whelan (Forster 63), Adebiyi; Bennetts (Hinds 63), Hungbo, Dalby.

Subs not used: White, Conteh.

Ladies 6 days ago

Ladies: MK Dons Preview

Following a win against Oxford just three days ago, the Golden Girls are back at Kings Langley tonight (October 9) as Clinton Lancaster’s side host MK Dons Women.

It’s a good week at Kings Langley as the ladies will be at home again on Sunday (October 13) against Kent United in the FAWNL Plate.

The Hornets are on a good run and are looking to make it five games unbeaten tonight, and a good result could move Watford up to second spot in the league table.

Views from the Head Coach

Following a recent weekend game, this match is a quick turnaround for the ladies and, playing a game just a few days later, their focus and fitness needs to be retained.

“It’s never easy going into a midweek game, we have to juggle training and manage the players workload. In particular managing the girls day-to-day life, some are coming straight from work,” Lancaster told watfordfc.com.

However, this doesn’t shadow the Head Coach’s confidence ahead of the game.

“We’re familiar with it, we came away with a good win in our last mid-week game and we can manage it,” he said. “Anything can happen in these games and we need to ensure we are switched on and up for the game.”

Last season saw the Golden Girls lose to MK dons at home in a frustrating 3-0 defeat but the team then managed to beat MK at their ground a few months later.

“They are a tough side, with some good players,” said Lancaster. “They have some good experience and we know they can put up a good fight.

“We are on a good run and the momentum is really going to push the girls. All the players and staff believe in the squad and what we are trying to achieve.”

“We need to make sure we take every game as they come, focus in training on what is coming up and most importantly go into the game with the passion and confidence the girls show us.”

Flashback

MK Dons v Watford (March 21, 2017)

Watford FC showed their expertise late on this game, as the Golden Girls won 2-1 away at Milton Keynes Dons Ladies.The match was still scoreless as it entered the final ten, but that changed in a hurry. Helen Ward opened the scoring and the lead was doubled not long after by Adekite Fatuga-Dada.

It was the 19th and 20th time that Watford had netted from the 75th minute onwards in games this campaign, which accounted for more than 40 per cent of goals scored.

Milton Keynes made it a slightly nervy finish when Alice Hughes pulled a goal back, but Watford held on for an important three points.

GOLDEN GIRLS | Levett, Fatuga-Dada, Kettle, Edwards, Huggins, Kikomeko, Stojko-Down, Bell (Hallsworth, 62), Carid (Peck, 86), Ward ©, O’Leary (Harney, 84)

Visitors

After going close to earning promotion from step four on numerous occasions, Milton Keynes finally got the job done two seasons ago and are now in their second season here, and have had a bumpy ride.

Milton Keynes started the season with impressive wins at Chichester City (3-0) and Keynsham Town (2-1), as well as beating Swindon Town (4-0) in the League Cup.

However, since then, they have been struggling to come away with points. The first run of defeat was a 4-2 loss at Gillingham, followed by a draw with Hounslow before going down narrowly last week 1-0 at Cardiff City. They seemed to hold on well but Cardiff narrowly managed to secure the three points. MK dons started to show some threatening form, but lost most recently at home 5-1 to Plymouth.

MK Dons have some familiar faces to Watford in their squad, including last season's U23s captain Rebecca McShane and an ex-Watford FC player in Kim Farrow.

Last time out

Watford 5-2 Oxford United

GOLDEN GIRLS | Wilson, Meiwald, Beckett, Hill (C), Rolandsen, Chandler, Stojko-Down, Vyse (Richards, 80), Fatuga-Dada, O’Leary (Scanlon, 80), Bell (Carid, 62)

Goals | O’Leary (34), Fatuga-Dada (45+3, 85), Bell (52), Beckett (59)

MK Dons 1–5 Plymouth Argyle

Team: Kirby, Boote, Bell, Newsome, Neal, Bright, Gooderham, Lemon, Naylor, Farrow, Mcshane, Littlechildm Driscoll, Lemon, Chiarizia, Netschova

Information

Watford FC Ladies v MK Dons Women
FA WNL
Wednesday 9th October
7.45pm
Kings Langley FC
WD4 8BS

Ticket Prices

Adults £6
Concessions £3
U18s £1
50 per cent off all admission prices for Watford FC Season Ticket Holders