Watford ended their pre-season campaign with a drab showing at Vicarage Road on Saturday. There were very few chances for either side, with Stefano Okaka’s ruled out header the only genuine goal mouth action in the whole 90 minutes.
However, the day will not be remembered for the football. The game marked Watford’s Graham Taylor Tribute Match day as the hornets paid tribute to their most successful manager of all time, who sadly passed away earlier this year.
Marco Silva’s men dominated the early stages and enjoyed comfortable possession in relatively un-threatening areas. New signing Nathaniel Chalobah got himself into the area after a neat one two with Jose Holebas, but failed to get a shot away.
The Spanish visitors first effort of note came midway through the first half as forward Kevin Rodriguez tested Heurelho Gomes in the Watford goal from distance. The Brazilian stopper did well to tip his curling effort over the bar.
That was the end of any goalmouth action in the first period, as both sides were clearly not committing too much to the game, with next week’s season openers in mind. The second half began with a host of substitutions from both sides and admittedly the action did pick up.
Raising the Tempo
Watford thought they had the lead when substitute Okaka rose to meet a cross from the right and found the net, only for the linesman to rule it out for offside. Watford then enjoyed a good spell of possession which led to chances for Chalobah and Abdoulaye Doucoure but neither could convert their respective opportunities.
Just a few minutes before the end, substitute and new signing Kiko Femenia showed an exceptional burst of pace to leave the Sociedad full-back in the dust and produced a beautiful cross for Okaka, who could only guide his effort over the bar in what was the last sniff of goal for either side.