Watford Drops 3rd Round Replays Against Tranmere
The Hornets were lucky enough to force extra time, but the team ultimately fell short as the third round replays ended with the Tranmere Rovers walking off the field with a 2-1 victory.
It was one of those big nights where the Hornets would easily dominate against an opponent on the field. They started off strong as they fought the Rovers to a critical battle. The third round replays would have not been necessary if Watford did not choke a 3-0 lead back in the first game, where it ended in a 3-3 draw.
Tranmere drew first blood as they took a 1-0 lead going into the half thanks to a 36th-minute goal by defender Manny Monthe, who came up with a goal. He had an open chance after a ball scuffle that landed the ball in his hands.
Watford’s Tom Dele-Bashiru sat out for striker Kaylen Hinds in the 46th minute to begin the second half. Hinds would then find his way into the goal in the 68th minute. He took a strong header into the goal that sent the team into a frenzy as they have finally tied the game.
No team was able to drain a goal after that, and it prompted the umpires to call in extra time in the match.
Both teams battled furiously in hopes of sinking a goal. Tranmere, however, got free on a two-on-one break as they landed a goal thanks to Paul Mullin’s long kick. The striker took a side cross from midfielder Harvey Gilmour and came up with the dagger for the Rovers in the 104th minute.
Watford’s young players shined in those 120 minutes of action.
‘You’ve got to earn the right to play in every game and I think we saw a big improvement in the second half. We knew the pitch was going to be difficult’, said Watford boss Nigel Pearson. ‘It’s been a very valuable experience for us as coaching staff to have a look at some of the players who we didn’t know all that much about’.
Pearson noted that the Premier League remains as the team’s top priority.
‘For people who thought we weren’t too interested in it (the FA Cup match), we were, but what we couldn’t do was risk too many first-team players’, Pearson added. ‘Our selection reflects the situation we’re in, and that’s that the Premier League is the most important thing’.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores