Watford Ease To Comfortable Opening Day Victory
Sat 09th Aug - 3:00pm
Watford enjoyed a perfect start to their 2014/15 campaign with a comfortable 3-0 victory at home to Bolton Wanderes. First half goals from Troy Deeney and Matej Vydra put Watford 2-0 up at half time before Fernando Forestieri added a third late on.
Despite trialling a new 4-3-3 system for most of pre-season Beppe Sannino reverted to the 3-5-2 for the Hornets opening league game of the season. Three new signings were included in the team, Heurelho Gomes in goal, Gabriel Tamas on the right of the three centre-backs and Juan Carlos Paredes at right-wing back. Returning Matej Vydra was also in the starting line-up playing upfront alongside Troy Deeney.
Bolton opted for a more cautious 4-5-1 formation meaning their was no place for Jermaine Beckford in the starting line-up with Craig Davies the preferred striker. Injury doubt Mark Davies did not make the squad with Jay Spearing, Medo Kamara and Darren Pratley given the central midfield positions.
Watford started the game very brightly and almost took advantage of a Bolton mistake inside the first minute. A mix up in the Bolton defence saw Deeney presented with the ball after only 20 seconds but he fired the ball into the side netting.
Watford continued to exert plenty of early pressure. Daniel Pudil fired wide from the edge of the box. Almen Abdi also had an effort on goal after good build up play but he was denied by Andy Lonergan.
The Hornets took the lead after just 17 minutes after a brilliant team move was finished off by Deeney. Gabriel Tamas blocked a cross on the edge of the Hornets box. The ball was then moved quickly from the back into the midfield area where Gabriele Angella picked up the ball and played a delightful pass forward to Deeney who ran onto the ball and lobbed over Lonergan to open the scoring.
The lead was doubled just six minutes later as Vydra announced his return to Vicarage Road with a goal. Daniel Tozser played a long ball behind the Bolton defence which Vydra ran on to cutting back inside the box and finishing low into the bottom corner.
Watford kept the pressure on Bolton throughout the first half with Tamas delivering a cross that just evaded Deeney and Abdi hitting a long range effort just over the bar.
Bolton offered very little going forward in the first period. Heurelho Gomes had to be alert to deny Matt Mills when he met a corner and Medo Kamara fired wildly over the bar when he found space on the edge of the box.
Full Time: 2-0
Watford started the second half in the same vein as they ended the first and came very close to making it three straight after the restart. Bolton tried to clear the ball following a Watford attack but it only went as far as Juan Carlos Paredes who unleashed a shot from 20 yards which came back off the underside of the bar.
Bolton looked more of an attacking threat after the break and Jay Spearing came close to pulling a goal back when he struck a shot from 25 yards but it was deflected behind by Tozser.
Almen Abdi should have made the game safe for Watford on two occasions early in the second half. Vydra did well down the right and broke into the box before squaring to Abdi but his shot was blocked away on the line. Abdi should have scored minutes later when McGugan found him inside the box but he shot straight at Lonergan.
The visitors continued to look dangerous sporadically and Gomes made a brilliant save to deny Craig Davies when he found himself in space in the box and headed powerfully towards goal from close range. Tim Ream also headed wastefully over when he found himself free at a corner.
Watford added a third goal with ten minutes to go through substitute Fernando Forestieri just one minute after coming off the bench. Pudil won the ball back just inside the Watford half before Angella played a lofted ball over the Bolton defence which Forestieri ran onto before finishing cooly under Lonergan to put the gloss on an excellent first day performance.
Full Time: 3-0
Watford: Gomes, Tamas, Ekstrand, Angella, Paredes, Tozser, Abdi, McGugan (Munari), Pudil (Dyer), Vydra (Forestieri), Deeney
Subs Not Used: Bond (GK), Doyley, Hoban, Ranegie
Bolton Wanderes: Lonergan, McNaughton, Ream, Mills, Moxey (Dervite), Lee, Pratley (Feeney), Spearing, Kamara, Danns (Beckford), Davies
Subs Not Used: Bogdan (GK), Wheater, Trotter, Wilkinson
Ref: Carl Boyeson