Under-23 Report | Hull City 0-6 Watford
By Jack Shreeves
Watford’s Under-23s made it two wins from their opening two games with a stunning 6-0 victory over Hull City this evening.
It was a night to remember for the young Hornets, with Alex Jakubiak, Michael Folivi (2), Ashley Charles, Dion Pereira and David Sesay all finding the net, securing a second consecutive win and clean sheet following last week’s 2-0 victory at home to Leeds.
It was an unchanged starting XI at the EON Visual Media Stadium, but the hosts started the brighter, boxing the Golden Boys in, and within the first minute Keane Lewis-Potter’s shot from five yards was fired above the cross-bar.
Moments later, after numerous surges into the Tigers’ half, Sesay produced a darting run down the left-wing to the byline before squaring to Folivi, whose shot dragged wide of the post.
Pereira then picked up the ball in the centre circle, drifting wide left and continuing his run inside the box, where his shot flew across the goal-line.
Watford continued to counter-attack, with Folivi bursting through the hosts’ lines to deliver a cute chip into the box to meet Pereira, whose header was easily stopped by opposition ‘keeper Harrison Foulkes.
Following a poor pass out by Foulkes, Jakubiak pounced on the loose ball to round the ‘keeper and slot home the opening goal after a quarter-of-an-hour played.
Pereira showed brilliant skill to make room and cross on the left-wing. The ball was met by Jakubiak, who powerfully headed just over the cross-bar.
Growing in confidence after his first goal of the season, Jakubiak stormed past the left full-back and darted inside before playing in Folivi, whose shot was saved at the front post.
Watford begin to dominate, playing out from the back to create numerous chances through both Pereira and Folivi.
Carl Stewart then cut the Hull defence apart with a through-ball between both centre-backs to play through Folivi, who calmly slotted home on the half-hour mark.
The Hornets were two-up at the break after an end-to-end first-half.
Just after the second-half kicked off, the Golden Boys won a free-kick 25 yards out. Charles’ attempt flew through the wall and although Foulkes got a hand to it, he was not able to stop the dipping effort.
Jakubiak broke through the right-hand side after a tenacious run and found his strike partner Folivi, who finished with ease at the front post to make it 4-0 with his second goal of the game. This turned out to be the striker’s last action as he made way for substitute Harvey Bradbury.
After long periods of pressure applied to Hull’s defence, a clever short corner routine led to Pereira having a low, curling shot saved at the near post.
Bradbury hit the ground running as two efforts in quick succession were matched by the opposition ‘keeper, the first a glancing header from a corner, and then soon after the striker’s near-post effort was cut out.
Stewart’s brilliant through ball found Pereira one-on-one, and the winger promptly rounded the ‘keeper to score the Hornets’ fifth of the night.
And there was still time for one more. Sesay continued to bomb forward, finding space on the edge of the area and shooting from 20 yards. His shot got a slight nick, guiding it nicely into the top right corner.
Two identical last-minute chances for Hull saw Elliot Holmes fire across goal, with the second effort inches away from the woodwork after a sweet half-volley.
The full-time whistle blew at the EON Visual Media Stadium, with the young Hornets capping off a sensational performance at both ends of the pitch.
HORNETS | Gartside (GK), Eleftheriou (C), Sesay, Ryan, Rowan, Mukena, Pereira, Charles, Folivi, Jakubiak, Stewart.
Subs | Hoskins (GK), Rogers, Huja, Bradbury.
TIGERS | Foulkes (GK), Nicholls, Jacob, Sheaf, Thocker, Greaves, Lewis-Potter, Chadwick, Wilson-Rhiney, Holmey (C), Salam.
Subs | Andrew (GK), Dunterley, Hawkins, Taylor, Smith.