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Match Reports


27 March 2024

Match Reports


27 March 2024

Our U21s suffered a 2-1 defeat against Watford on Tuesday afternoon despite a beauty of a goal from Harrison Nejman.

Hamzat Balogun put the Hornets in front within five minutes, before the visitors doubled their advantage just minutes into the second half via Emmanuel Adeyemo. Nejman’s wonder strike proved to be nothing more than a consolation for Tom Harban’s Reds, despite numerous chances to equalise.

Watford began the game on the front foot and soon found themselves ahead after Michael Adu-Poku’s deflected effort fell perfectly in front of Balogun, who opened his body up to curl the ball into the bottom right corner.

A tough start, but not an impossible deficit to return from, and we soon had two great chances to get ourselves on the scoresheet just moments later. First, Emmaisa Nzondo squared the ball across the box to Aiden Marsh, who seemingly only had to tap the ball into an empty net. However, his effort was thwarted by goalkeeper Alfie Marriot who made a very impressive save to keep him at bay.

Next, Nzondo had an opportunity of his own after a through ball by Nejman put the forward in a brilliant position, but his right-footed shot was the wrong side of the post.

HALF-TIME: Barnsley 0-1 Watford

The young Reds made the worst possible scenario after the restart as Adeyemo fired home from just inside the box. After a promising end to the first half, suddenly there was a mountain to climb.

Watford almost had a third shortly after when Adu-Poku’s close-range effort forced a sharp save from Rogan Ravenhill to keep the deficit at a reasonable distance.

We looked lacklustre for large spells during the second half, and there was a flurry of substitutions to try and turn the game around as the likes of Rafael Monteiro, Luke Alker, and Bayley McCann were all introduced within five minutes of each other.

Alker almost scored immediately after getting in behind two Watford defenders on the halfway line, but they scrambled back into position and were able to swiftly deal with his shot.

These changes appeared to ignite a spark in the young Reds, particularly Nejman, who on the 75 minute mark, unleashed a venomous first time volley with the outside of his boot from 25-yards out.

We pushed forward in search of that elusive equaliser and had one last glorious chance as the ball fell to Monteiro in the box, but his poked effort was straight at Marriot.

It was a disappointing defeat for the young Reds, who must now regroup for the visit of Burnley on 5 April.

FULL-TIME: Barnsley 1-2 Watford


REDS XI: Ravenhill (GK), Nejman, Pickard, James, Joof (McCann, 55), Hickingbottom, Chapman (Monteiro, 60), Makiessi, Marsh, Atkinson, Nzondo (Alker, 55).

Not used: Warburton, Trialist.

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