Boreham Wood 1-1 Watford
WATFORD BEGAN life under Gianfranco Zola this evening with a 1-1 draw at local non-league outfit, Boreham Wood.
A Piero Mingoia goal put the Hornet's ahead early on at a sunny Meadow Park before five minutes later David Hutton levelled for the hosts with an opportunistic strike.
Watford started with a mix-and-match XI, leaving Scott Loach, Lloyd Doyley and Sean Murray out of the squad. An entirely different XI took the field for the second half, including Granada trialist Daniel Pudil and Udinese trialist, Almen Abdi.
After Mingoia tapped in from close-range after seven minutes, Hutton was able to level when he coolly finished from distance after Jonathan Bond misplaced a pass out on the right-hand side of the pitch.
Set-up in a 4-3-3/4-1-4-1, Watford were unable to break down Borehamwood and went into half-time level.
The second period saw the introduction of the two trialists and bizarrely, Adam Thompson at right-midfield.
Against a tiring Wood, Watford played with more zip and panache, keeping the ball a lot better for long periods.
However, despite Joe Garner winning a penalty with an appalling dive, the former Forest forward was unable to convert the spot-kick, blasting down the middle for the home 'keeper to save.
Mark Yeates wasted a couple of good free-kick opportunities, coming a lot closer with a second effort which deflected narrowly wide from 20 yards.
Abdi and Pudil were both impressive, Pudil in particular; quick and aggressive, as well as being comfortable going forward and defensively.
First-half XI: Bond; Hodson, Mirfin, Nosworthy, Dickinson; Mingoia, Eustace, Buaben, Forsyth; Iwelumo & Massey.
Second-half XI: Bonham; Bennett, Taylor, Hoban, Pudil; Thompson, Abdi, Hogg, Yeates; Garner, Whichelow.
Next up: Wealdstone (A) on Saturday, Vital Watford will be there so make sure to follow @VitalWatford for updates.