U21 Professional Development League 2
Team: Hudnott, Butler, Traore, Wise, Kpekawa, Robinson (Hamalainen), Manning, Diakite, N’Guessan, Grego-Cox (Shodipo), Prohouly (Bancessi)
Sub Not Used: Brzozowski
I was really pleased to see Jack Robinson’s name amongst an interesting starting line-up that also included Armand Traore and Samba Diakite.
Six minutes in, Rangers had two efforts on target in quick succession. Firstly, when Axel Prohouly’s shot was tamely directed at Luke Simpson. Then, Reece Grego-Cox’s low strike forced down the Watford custodian and the ball went out for a corner.
A wonderful long pass by Ryan Manning found Reece Grego-Cox who the lobbed Luke Simpson and the ball closely evaded the far post.
Conor Hudnott went down to smother a long-range shot from the visitors, which hit his chest but he managed to successfully gather the ball. The R’s keeper then made an outstanding save, tipping the ball over the crossbar. He made another very good save soon after, when he went down low to deny the Hornets.
However, Hudnott was beaten after 34 minutes following a scramble in front of him. The ball was initially blocked, then headed against the crossbar and Sean Murray made no mistake with the follow-up.
Samba Diakite went off on a great run resulting in the ball being flicked in the box and going out for a corner. Then Axel Prohouly got into a good position, but belted the ball from close range straight at the Watford keeper. Half-time: 0-1.
Reece Grego-Cox had looked dangerous as an out-and-out centre-forward, but he eventually drifted out wide for the remainder of the half and Paul Hall replaced him at the break with Olamide Shodipo.
The visitors almost scored a second goal, but they were denied by Conor Hudnott who managed to get his fingers to a powerful strike, sending it onto the bar and out for a corner.
The Hornets were awarded a free kick from at least 25 yards and Murray curled the ball around the wall, which looked as if it was going to creep in. But the R’s keeper saw it late and he managed to push the ball round for a corner.
Olamide Shodipo was making an impact with his pace down the right-wing as the R’s went looking for an equaliser. Ryan Manning’s free kick from over 25 yards bounced off the post with their keeper at full stretch.
Joseph N’Guessan blazed the ball over the bar from close range, which was followed by the withdrawal of a very comfortable looking Jack Robinson after 65 minutes, with Niko Hamalainen joining the fray.
Watford broke away down the right, the player then cut in and his shot flew just over the bar.
Eusebio Bancessi was introduced at the expense of Axel Prohouly after 72 minutes and what a change it proved to be! The 20-year-old trialist soon made his mark when he scored within six minutes with a splendid finish.
A minute or so later, he scored his second following a great ball in from Olamide Shodipo, which Joseph N’Guessan had nicely dummied.
At the other end, Conor Hudnott came out of his area to head a ball from danger and as he did so he was kicked in the chest! Mr Bailey didn’t even award a free kick!
So many positives from last Friday including; Jack Robinson completing 65 competent minutes, Conor Hudnott’s performance in goal and the impact that Olamide Shodipo and Eusebio Bancessi had on the game in the second-half.