Bristol Rovers 1 - 3 Watford Match Report.
Watford defeated League 2 Side Bristol Rovers in the Capital One Cup first round last night and progressed to the second round of the competition. Goals from Sean Murray (X2) and a first goal in a Watford shirt for Gabriele Angella secured the victory for the hornets. Gianfranco Zola made nine changes to the side that faced Birmingham City on Saturday. Manuel Almunia, Fernando Forestieri, Lloyd Doyley, Almen Abdi, Marco Cassetti were all on the bench whilst Troy Deeney, Lewis McGugan, Iriney and Ikechi Anya were not included in the squad with Zola obviously looking ahead to this weekends match against Bournemouth. In came Jonathan Bond, Diego Fabbrini, Reece Brown, Cristian Battochio, Joel Ekstrand, Javier Acuna, Sean Murray, Connor Smith and Daniel Pudil. First year proffesionals Bernard Mensah and Luke O'Nien were on the bench. Joel Ekstrand captained the Hornets. For Bristol Rovers, John Ward only made one change. Mitch Harding dropped to the bench and Tom Lockyer took his place. Rovers could only name six substitutes due to numerous injuries in the squad. Bristol Rovers started well with the Hornets being sluggish on the ball during the early minutes. They were on top for the early stages but Watford looked more of a threat going forward and this was proved on the ten minute mark. Debutant Javier Acuna was 35 yards from goal and he hit a first time shot which Rovers goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall tipped over the bar. Mildenhall made a good save again a few minutes later from Fabbrini. However, Bristol Rovers were a wisker away from taking the lead in the 17th minute. David Clarkson's deflected shot hit the post with Jonathan Bond stranded in the Hornets goal. But little over a minute later and the Hornets broke the deadlock. Sean Murray pressurised Rovers Lee Brown and nicked the ball away from him before striding into the box before slotting past Steve Mildenhall in the Bristol Rovers goal. This was Murray's first goal of the season. On the half hour mark it was 2-0 to the Hornets. Murray took an inswinging corner and new signing Gabriele Angella powerfully headered home from six yards to score his first goal in a Watford shirt. Five minutes later and it was three in a devastating 30 minute period for the Hornets. Javier Acuna chased down a long ball from Daniel Pudil before playing the ball back to Murray who hammered the ball home for his second goal of the night. This was Murrays second goal of the game and the season and he has now surpassed the amount of goals he scored last season which was one. However the Hornets didnt always have it their own way and Bristol Rovers came back at them during the final ten minutes. 4 minutes from Half time and they pulled a goal back. Mark McChrystal headered a corner down to Elliot Richards who swiveled before sweeeping the ball home. Then into added time, Jonathan Bond had to save from a long range shot from ex hornet John Joe O'Toole. Just before half time, Diego Fabbrini was booked.
Half Time - 1-3
Lloyd Doyley came on for Gabriele Angella at Half time meaning skipper Joel Ekstrand moved into the centre of defence.The second half was slow with the Hornets allowing the tempo to drop and sometimes gave possesion away too easily in areas of little danger. Rovers again started the brightest with Richards and Harrison having chances for Rovers. Marco Cassetti then came on for Marco Davide Faraoni in the 54th minute. Chances were few and far between in the second half with the Hornets content to stay in possesion and play out for the win. Almen Abdi came on for Cristian Battochio in the 75th minute in Watfords final change of the evening. In the final ten minutes, Rovers keeper Steve Mildenhall had to save well from Diego Fabbrini and Javier Acuna who would have made the lead bigger. But in the end the Hornets just played out for the win and the match winning 3-1 with the Hornets now involved in the second round draw which happens tommorow at 12:30 on Sky Sports.
Full Time - 1-3
Bristol Rovers - Mildenhall (GK), Smith, Parkes (C), McChrstal, Brown, Lockyer (Harding 74), Norburn, O'Toole, Harrison, Clarkson (Santos 70), Ricahrds (Hunter 80).
Subs Not Used - Gough (GK), Keary, Southway.
Goals - Richards (40)
Yellow Cards - None
Watford - Bond (GK), Brown, Angella (Doyley H/T), Ekstrand (C), Faraoni (Cassetti 54), Smith, Battochio (Abdi 74) , Murray, Pudil, Acuna, Fabbrini.
Subs Not Used - Almunia (GK), Forestieri, Mensah, O'Nien.
Goals - Murray (19,35) Angella (30)
Booked - Fabbrini, Pudil
Possesion - 47% Bristol Rovers - 53% Watford.
Attendance - 4,875 (679 Watford Fans)
Referee Darren Sheldrake.