Under-23 Report | Watford 2-0 Bristol City
Watford Under-23s moved up to fifth in the Professional Development League South with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Bristol City this afternoon.
Hayden Mullins’ side put in a solid display against the Robins, claiming back-to-back home wins for the first time this season.
An own-goal by Robins defender Cameron Pring and an excellent solo effort from Randell Williams were the difference between the two sides at London Colney.
Goalkeeper Nathan Gartside impressed throughout and made some excellent saves to earn a deserved clean sheet for the Hornets.
It was a quiet opening 15 minutes with neither side able to get into a strong rhythm. The hosts moved the ball around nicely in the opening stages, trying to use the width of their wing-backs to their advantage.
However, the first chance after 14 minutes went Bristol City’s way, Connor Lemonheigh-Evans' free-kick smartly tipped over by Watford stopper Gartside.
There was another impressive save from Gartside midway through the first-half as Rory Holden found his way onto the end of a long ball, and the Northern Irishman was out quickly to keep the game level.
The hosts took the lead just before the half-hour mark after some brilliant play by Dion Pereira down the right-hand side. He beat his man and his low cross was turned into his own net by Pring, with Michael Folivi waiting to pounce.
Watford nearly doubled their advantage 10 minutes later, a lovely run and clever through ball by Joy Mukena put Williams through on goal, but the front-man's effort was saved by Bristol City keeper Jojo Wollacott down low to his right.
The Hornets continued to cause Bristol City problems as half-time approached. Centre-forward Folivi created some space for himself on the edge of the Robins' box but his low drive was saved by Wollacott.
Watford continued to push forward in the early stages of the second-half and Andrew Eleftheriou rattled the post from a tight angle after a scramble inside the box. However, only moments later the impressive Gartside was called upon again for the hosts as he stopped Jake Andrews' powerful effort at his near post.
Williams doubled the Hornets' lead just before the hour-mark as he grabbed his first goal of the season. He showed blistering pace down the right-hand side before cutting inside and firing past Wollacott at the near post.
Alex Jakubiak made his return from injury after just over an hour. The 21-year-old forward saw a late effort sail wide of the target as the minutes ticked on to the final whistle.
HORNETS | Gartside (GK); Stevens, Rowan, Mukena; Eleftheriou (C), Charles, Stewart (Ryan, 72), Mason (Rogers, 80); Pereira; Folivi (Jakubiak, 62), Williams.
Subs not used | Hoskins (GK), Sesay.