Report: Watford Under-23s 4-1 Blues Under-23s

Report: Watford Under-23s 4-1 Blues Under-23s

Blues Under-23s were beaten by Watford in the Premier League Cup on Tuesday night.

The group stage fixture went the way of the Hornets at St. Albans City's Clarence Park despite the visitors taking an early lead in Hertfordshire.

Kyle Hurst burst through the home side's backline and was felled inside the area, before dusting himself off and converting from 12 yards.

However, the hosts set about responding and soon cancelled out the early goal through a JJ McKiernan strike. Captain James Morris then laid on an opportunity for Maurizio Pochettino to put them in front and Jimiel Chikukwa added goal number three ahead of the interval.

Pochettino rounded off the scoring with his second and Watford's fourth of the match 20 minutes from full-time.

Speaking to in the aftermath, Steve Spooner gave his reaction to the game.

He said: "First-half we had bits of play but very sporadic and too passive with our pressing and competing. Second-half we were far more aggressive and nullified them playing out. Our general pressing was so much better as well. We created several opportunities to score but didn't take them. It reminded me very much of the Newcastle game.

"We have had a chance blocked on the line and then second-half we missed numerous opportunities to get level. Then they scored right near the end. The scoreline flatters Watford in the second-half. I felt we could have at least got a draw out of it in the end but again we have given goals away through sloppy passes and not being detailed enough with our work."

A number of Blues' Under-18s and Under-17s players were involved during the game, with Spooner explaining how they coped and what they need to learn from the experience for their development.

The Head Coach said: "They are getting exposure to Under-23s football. But at half-time we told the players that they need to be more aggressive with their pressing, use your body more and they took that on board and applied that. They have to compete physically as well as on the ball."

Watford: Vincent Angelini, Ryan Andrews (George Abbott 83), James Morris (captain), Kamil Conteh, Derek Agyakwa (Josh O’brien 83), Andi Janjeva, Maurizio Pochettino, Henry Wise, Ryan Cassidy, JJ Mckiernan, Jimiel Chikukwa (Adrian Blake 86).

Substitutes not used: Josh O’brien, Myles Roberts.

Blues: Oliver Basey, Connor Barrett, Renedi Masampu, Caolan Boyd-Munce (captain), Rico Browne, Tommy Fogarty, Keke Simmonds, Josh Home, Kieran Wakefield, Rico Patterson (Brandon Khela 75), Kyle Hurst

Substitutes not used: Archie Matthews, Harry Manton, Yohan Zahore, Cianole Nguepissi.

Goalscorer: Kyle Hurst 10.