Under-18: Watford 3-1 Burnley
By Hamish Rogers
The Under-18s were back to winning ways on Saturday (September 14), coming from behind to beat Burnley 3-1 at London Colney thanks to goals from Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, Bosun Lawal and skipper Dom Hutchinson.
A frantic finish saw all goals scored in the final half hour and the Young Hornets retained their spot at the top of the U18 Professional Development League South, which impressed Lead Coach Simon Clark.
“Overall, I’m absolutely delighted with their perseverance, their energy and their work rate,” said Clark. “We’re delighted with the result. To go down 1-0, I would say against the run of play, to come back and win the game 3-1 is really, really pleasing.”
Arguably the best chance of the first half fell to the away side early on, but Burnley’s number 10 rifled the ball over the bar from close range after some impressive wing play.
The Hornets could have opened the scoring on the stroke of half time though, as Hutchinson broke free of his man and burst into the 18-yard box but could only drag his shot wide of the left post.
“When we got in really good situations, we’re still not clinical enough,” said Clark. “That changes the momentum in games.”
Watford got the second half underway with a much higher tempo and energy but, despite controlling most of the ball and having the better of the chances, found themselves behind just after the hour mark.
Burnley’s right-winger was again making a nuisance of himself, and his cross was volleyed home by the away team’s number 10.
But the Young Hornets were quick to respond and the team’s pressure was rewarded in the 71st minute as, after multiple efforts and pinball around the box, Spencer Keller cushioned the ball to the feet of Lo-Everton who coolly side-footed it into the bottom corner.
It was backs to the wall for Burnley in the final 15 minutes as Watford pushed on seeking a winner, and they got just that. A floated free-kick to the back post was beautifully cushioned on the volley by Jack Burchell, putting it on a plate for Lawal to slot home from close range in the 77th minute.
Burnley were then chasing an equalizer and won a corner in injury time, with everyone in claret and blue, including the goalkeeper, flooding the Watford box.
But the Hornets cleared the ball into the box and broke on the counter-attack. Substitute McKiernan’s effort fell just short of the open goal line and Hutchinson was able to chase down and slot home to secure the 3-1 win.
HORNETS: Baptiste (GK), Conteh, Maclean, Lawal, Matthews (Bloome, 64), Burchell, Harrison (McKiernan, 53), Keller (Campbell, 70), Hutchinson, Lo Everton, Sankoh
Subs not used: White, Manning