Under-23 | Wealdstone 1-0 Watford
Watford's Under-23 side continued their pre-season preparations with a narrow defeat at Wealdstone on Saturday (July 17).
A fairly even match where Watford dominated possession saw an 86th-minute winner from Abobaker Eisa settle the tie and bring an end to an entertaining match-up at the Vale.
The game started with the Hornets producing the better of the chances. Alex Jakubiak was arguably the spark that kept Watford in the game, and he let loose a swerving shot in the 11th minute that was only just turned over by ex-Hornet Jonathan North.
Wealdstone were struggling to break down the Hornets’ strong line of defence, and going into the second-half it was the away side who looked favourites to return home with the victory.
Possession began to even out in the third quarter, and as the game continued it was Jakubiak who appeared to be Watford's strongest threat, the striker sending a glancing header just over the bar.
With 10 minutes to play Jakubiak picked up the ball on the edge of the box and after outmuscling an opponent he cut out wide and blasted a shot into the side-netting.
But it was Wealdstone's Eisa who broke the deadlock with four minutes to go. After beating his man, the winger released a vicious attempt that flew past Watford's substitute goalkeeper Sam Howes at his far post.
No longer than a minute later the same man came inches away from repeating his heroics, as another rocket from even further out slammed off the outside of the post.
As the whistle blew it was the Wealdstone players who left the pitch smiling, a magical piece of play from Eisa ensuring the tie finished 1-0 to the Stones.
HORNETS: Gartside (GK) (Howes, HT); Sesay, Huja, Rogers (Trialist, 53), Eleftheriou; Ryan, Stewart; Trialist (Mukena, HT), Charles (Trialist, HT), Pereira (Bradbury, 64); Jakubiak.
Report by Rory Hemmings / Photos by Sam Lomas