Watford 4-1 Hartlepool United
WITH EVERYTHING stacked against them, Watford still managed to extend their winning run to six league and cup games as they eased Hartlepool United aside to move earn a place into the F.A Cup 4th round.
Decimated by injuries; missing the influential Taylor and Mutch, now back at their parent clubs, Watford put in a commanding second-half display after a sluggish first 45.
Piero Mingoia, the latest of the Hornet's illustrious academy production line made his full debut for the Goldenboys. Matty Whichelow started up top with Marvin Sordell after grabbing the winner against Scunthorpe whilst Troy Deeney dropped into midfield.
Rene Gilmartin started between the sticks for his third cup appearance of the season.
The Hornet's only carved out two real chances in the first half; the first sending Troy Deeney racing in one-on-one only too see his low effort blocked by a defender.
Deeney again wasted a good chance when volleying well wide from close range later on.
The Pools took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Anthony Sweeney tucked a shot past Gilmartin having been released by a through ball.
Watford burst out the blocks in the second half and from a short corner, Piero Mingoia grabbed the leveller.
Cutting inside from the left Mingoia curled a right-footed effort past young goalkeeper Jake Kean.
Just two minutes after Mingoia's equaliser Marvin Sordell handed the Hornet's the lead when he curled a low effort past Kean from just inside the area.
Sordell grabbed his second of the day and 11th of season when he ran onto a loose ball to poke a scrappy effort past Kean.
Substitute Danny Graham grabbed the fourth on 90, just a few minutes after coming off the bench when he skipped past several Pools defenders and lashed home from the edge of the penalty area.
A less than convincing, at times poor first-half display was eradicated from the memory by a flurry of goals and chances in a far more impressive second-half display.
Watford: Gilmartin; Mariappa (c), Bennett, Taylor, Doyley; Jenkins; Buckley (Graham), Mingoia, Whichelow; Sordell (Massey) and Deeney (McGinn).
Subs not used: Loach (gk); Thompson, Murray and Oshodi.
Hartlepool United: Kean; Austin (c), Horwood, Hartley, Sweeney; Murray (Yantarno), Monkhouse, Liddle, Humphreys (Brown); Gamble and McSweeney (Larkin).
Referee: Mr Russell Booth