Walter Mazzarri’s Watford continued their pre-season preperations with a comfortable win at Stevenage on Thursday evening. Second half goals from Etienne Capoue and new signing Jerome Sinclair secured the win for the Hornets at Broadhall Way
It was an accomplished performance from Mazzarri’s team who could have easily had a greater winning margin over their league 2 opposition. Odion Ighalo provided a sign of things to come when he poked a shot passed the advancing Jamie Jones in the home goal only to see his effort agonisingly cleared off the line
Capoue was then wasteful with two very presentable opportunities in quick succession. He picked up the ball on the edge of the Stevenage area but he didn’t manage to catch his strike and he dragged it wide of the post without troubling the goalkeeper. Eight minutes later skipper Troy Deeney, who was making his first appearance of pre-season, held the ball up well. Capoue came onto the ball but his strike was always rising harmlessly over the bar.
Ighalo was looking increasingly sharp up top for Watford and he showed great movement to receive the ball before rounding Jones once again. He cut inside looking to shoot into the bottom corner but another brilliant last ditch clearance saved the day for the hosts.
On the stroke of half time the prolific Nigerian international forward was denied once again. He worked his way into a great shooting position inside the area but he was thwarted by another brilliant tackle from the Stevenage defence.
Whatever Walter Mazzarri said to his charges at the break it had an almost instant impact. Etienne Capoue had missed a couple of long range efforts in the opening period but he made up for his previous inaccuracy in the second. He picked up the ball on the edge of the box and thundered a powerful drive into the top corner after 50 minutes.
As Watford maintained control Ighalo’s luck in front of goal showed no sign of changing. He turned brilliantly in the box before firing in a shot that rattled the crossbar.
Jose Holebas was withdrawn on 63 minutes with a knock along with Ighalo who was replaced by Jerome Sinclair. Sinclair immediately produced a lovely little flick which Troy Deeney latched onto and cracked a shot off the post.
Adeline Guedioura will also be a slight worry for Mazzarri as he limped off with 15 minutes remaining. Sinclair and Deeney linked up again before Deeney shot straight at the keeper.
Sinclair capped off a fine cameo appearance in the final minute after he nodded in a pin-point Almen Abdi cross from close range.
Overall, Mazzarri will be very pleased with the professionalism of his side in particular the number of chances created.