Under-23 Report | Watford 2-0 Leeds United
Watford Under-23s secured a dogged 2-0 win over Leeds United this afternoon (Tuesday April 4), with the goals coming courtesy of striking duo Alex Jakubiak and Michael Folivi.
Both teams struggled to stamp their authority on a scrappy opening 45 minutes, with both goals coming in the second period.
It was the Hornets who came closet to grabbing an early break-through though, with Jakubiak dragging an effort just wide before a low Folivi free-kick somehow evaded everyone in the Leeds area.
However, it took a remarkable goal-line clearance from Brandon Mason to keep the Hornets level after 25 minutes. Leeds wide-man Lewis Knight made good progress down the left before cutting the ball back to a Leeds Trialist. His low effort beat ‘keeper Nathan Gartside but Mason recovered superbly to clear off the line.
As the visitors began to grown into the game, the Hornets’ next chance came from a swift counter-attack. A long-ball forward was collected by Jakubiak before he slipped a clever ball through to the Watford Trialist. He took one touch, before drilling a left-footed effort narrowly wide of the far post.
The second period began in much the same fashion, with neither team really able to assert any real dominance on proceedings.
However, the first passage of play containing real quality in the second-half saw the Hornets open the scoring. Jakubiak picked up a loose ball 40-yards out before driving at the Leeds defence and slipping a fine through-ball towards Folivi. He took one touch before curling an excellent finish into the far corner of the net, leaving visiting ‘keeper Harrison Male with no chance.
This goal tipped the momentum the way of the home side, and Folivi nearly doubled his and Watford’s tally minutes later, but this time Male was able to tip his powerful strike over the cross-bar.
As the visitors went in search of an equaliser, the Golden Boys made the most of the gaps left behind in emphatic style. A superb long ball from Rhyle Ovenden set Jakubiak free and the forward made no mistake, slotting low underneath Male to seal all three points for the Hornets.
HORNETS | Gartside (GK); Eleftheriou (c), Ryan, Mukena, Mason (Obi, 85)8Changing positon; Pereira (Sesay, 80), Trialist, Ovenden, Trialist (Lewis, 70); Jakubiak, Folivi
Subs not used | Bannister (GK), Huja.