Team: Smithies, Bidwell (Petrasso), Hall (Lynch), Caulker, Onuoha, Cousins (Henry), Gladwin (Perch), Luongo, Chery, Shodipo (El Khayati), Polter (Washington)
Subs Not Used: Ingram, Kpekawa, Doughty
Attendance: 4,926 (including 1,310 away fans)
Polter was superb, (Bill Elkins said that I could see something in him!). Perhaps the thought that we are looking at other options upfront is spurring him on?
He was out on his feet when he was subbed. By solely due to the fact that he had done 90 minutes worth of running and fighting in the first hour alone, and in a friendly too! But what impressed me as well was that it rubbed off on those around him.
In the second-half everyone was pressing and fighting for the ball. Chery was going into tackles, and even a lightweight like El Khayati went full pelt into a tussle for the ball, earning a hi-five from Polter when he won the throw-in.
Christ, we even started to knock the ball about in crisp little one-touch moves! Karl Henry did it as well when he came on.
A couple of days ago I said ‘Dare to Dream’, play like this again please, and it might not be a dream. Okay we don’t know how poor a Premier side Watford are going to be and I suspect that they may struggle. But I took a lot of hope for the future
George Benwell was down from Bury St Edmunds and by coincidence we ended up sitting next to each other in the Lower Loft.
In the 4th minute, Alex Smithies spotted Olamide Shodipo unmarked around the half-way line area. So he threw the ball upfield and the young Rangers winger then shot off. His superb cross into the box found Seb Polter who headed the ball against the crossbar.
Thirteen minutes later, Polter set up Tjaronn Chery who really should have done better from ten yards.
Polter worked tirelessly as he does and he was shaking off challenges even when impeded. I can remember remarking a year or so ago that he was too lightweight and easily knocked off the ball!
There was one occasion when he was forced down and the referee wasn’t sure whether to blow for a foul or wave play on? But Polter was back on his feet again and heading upfield! Absolutely superb!
It had to be Seb Polter to break the deadlock and what a goal it was when he hammered the ball into the top corner from just inside the box!
Watford nearly equalised when a ball was played towards the near post, which was then hit first time from close range but directed wide of the goal.
Around the half-hour mark, Shodipo fed Chery, who in turn set-up Ben Gladwin and his shot across the face of the goal went just wide of the far post.
Three minutes later, the Hornets almost scored after the ball had rebounded off two R’s players and the final shot just evaded the post. This was soon followed by a free header, which cleared the bar.
Ben Gladwin was rounded close to the bye-line, which led to Alex Smithies making an amazing stop with his legs from point-blank range! Half-time: 1-0.
Rangers continued with their high-pressing game and both sides created a number of good chances.
Conor Washington replaced Seb Polter after 82 minutes, who then got off the mark with a header from close range with his first touch, following Nasser El Khayati’s corner.
What an important goal that was for him, but you do wonder how much game time is he going to get this season?
Minutes before the final whistle, Alex Smithies made a superb save from Adlene Guedioura and he then successfully clasped Troy Deeney’s follow-up header.
A good all-round team performance and what an inspiration Sebastian Polter was. He was magnificent.