Report - Wealdstone 4 - 0 Watford U23s
Updated: Jul 21, 2019
Wealdstone humbled the Watford Under-23s on Saturday afternoon with a comfortable victory at The Vale, a fortnight before the first league game of the season.
First half goals from Danny Green and Dejon Noel-Williams, accompanied by Jacob Mendy and Dennon Lewis’ second half strikes, was enough to by-pass the young Hornets.
The first five minutes of this friendly were largely dominated by the home side, the Stones started with quick pace and intensity.
No significant chances were created for the Stones and Watford gained more possession as the game progressed but the away side were unable to create any clear opportunities.
Wealdstone’s first clear-cut chance came in the 26th minute when Billy Clifford capitalised on a mix-up in the Watford defence, Clifford steamed away on the left and forced a good save from Watford’s Adam Parkes.
Not even a minute later from the resulting corner, Connor Smith received the ball and found Green just inside the penalty area. Green comfortably slotted the ball first-time into the bottom corner.
The Stones gained confidence from taking the lead and swiftly doubled their advantage seven minutes later, a typical Green corner from the right found Noel-Williams at the back-post who firmed headed past Parkes.
Watford were desperate to respond after going two-goals behind and they almost did three minutes before the break when Alex Jakubiak twisted-and-turned in the penalty area before his left-footed strike flew off target.
At the half-time interval, Wealdstone were two goals ahead and looked comfortable. Watford lacked pace and power up-front and it was relatively easy for the Stones defence to deal with any potential danger.
Clifford was instrumental as the second half began, his hard work and vision almost allowed Reece Richards to open his Wealdstone account in the 52nd minute but Watford’s Mason Barrett diverted Richards’ shot wide on the goal-line.
Two minutes later Clifford was again involved, good link-up play in the 18-yard box with Green allowed the latter to open-up and curl an effort just wide of the far-post.
Wealdstone found themselves three goals to the good just before the hour-mark when another Hornets defensive error gave Mendy the opportunity to chip the ball from the left, over Watford’s second ‘keeper James Hoskins, onto the back-post and in.
The home side really dominated proceedings and almost found a fourth goal 15 minutes from time when Sanchez Watt set Richards away down the middle but a save from Hoskins and good covering by Barrett denied Richards again.
The ascendency was certainly with the Stones with such a comfortable lead late-on in the game as the young Hornets lacked pedigree from the front-line, not helped by punished defensive errors.
Lewis threatened to score against his old side five minutes from full-time when Michee Efete squared the ball to him from the right into the box.
Hoskins forced a great stop from Lewis’ goal-bound effort and Richards latched onto the follow-up but still could not convert.
However, Lewis was rewarded for his persistence in the 88th minute when Jacob Cook’s lofted through ball allowed Lewis to sprint away and slot Wealdstone’s fourth goal past Hoskins.
Dean Brennan’s Stones gave a reassured performance in-front of home support, expressing the philosophy of the new management team with attacking, dynamic and creative football.
The Stones return to The Vale for our penultimate pre-season friendly against Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday 23rd July, kick-off will be 7:30 pm.
Wealdstone: Richardson, Arnold (Efete, 78), Sellers, Clifford (Sheppard, 61), Stevens, Okimo (Coker, 78), Trialist (Lewis, 61), Smith (Cook, 78), Noel-Williams (Richards, 45), Green (Saunders, 89), Mendy (Watt, 61). Subs not used: Paterson, Ringer.
Report by Dec O'Reilly
Match Photos by Dan Finill are available HERE
Post-match thoughts from Dean Brennan: "Our players have been working hard on what we have been installing into the team and we saw glimpses of that philosophy today.
"We scored some very good goals and we created plenty of chances which is always positive. It's also good that we scored from a corner routine and we kept a clean sheet.
"We move onto week five of pre-season and we will continue to look to improve."