September 17, 2021

Etebo opens Watford goal account as Dennis limps off in victory over Doncaster Rovers

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The 25-year-old was among the goals as the Hornets intensified preparations for the 2021-22 season with a comfortable win on Wednesday

Oghenekaro Etebo opened his Watford goal account with a powerful shot as they cruised to a 4-0 win over League One club Doncaster Rovers in Wednesday’s pre-season friendly outing.

The Super Eagles midfielder, who moved to Vicarage Road on a season-long loan from Stoke City last month, broke the deadlock at St George’s Park within the first five minutes of the encounter.

After collecting the ball from outside the penalty area, Etebo drove forward a bit before firing his right-footed shot to the back of the net.

It did not take long for the Hornets to double their lead through captain Troy Deeney’s header in the 15th minute, and then Dan Gosling capped the dominant first-half performance with their third goal.

Etebo started alongside his compatriot William Troost-Ekong and Morocco’s Adam Masina, but the trio, as well as seven other players, were replaced at the break, leaving only goalkeeper Ben Foster unchanged.

Nigeria youth star Tom Dele-Bashiru and Super Eagles forward Emmanuel Dennis were thrown into the fray as Xisco Munoz opted for fresh legs to execute the second 45 minutes.

However, new signing Dennis suffered an injury in the 57th minute and he was immediately replaced by a trialist.

Some minutes later, Ashley Fletcher made it 4-0 for Watford with his strike from the penalty spot after the trialist was brought down.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Isaac Success was not listed for the clash.

Wednesday’s encounter was Dele-Bashiru’s first game with the Hornets after he underwent surgery to treat an anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered during a Championship match against Reading in October.

Watford will aim to conclude their preparations for the 2021-22 season when they face Crystal Palace for their last friendly match at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

They are scheduled to host Aston Villa at Vicarage Road for their Premier League opening fixture on August 14.