The Sky Blues hit Watford for five as they continue their recent winning streak in style...
Nicky Eaden’s Under-23 side consolidated their position at the top of the Development League South with an impressive victory against Watford at the Alan Higgs Centre.
Devon Kelly-Evans scored his sixth of the season to put the Sky Blues ahead, while Jack Finch, Callum Maycock, Kyle Spence and Jack McBean added goals to give the U23s their sixth consecutive win.
In blustery conditions, both sides struggled to create anything of note early on. The first half-chance of the game fell to the Sky Blues and American striker McBean. Maycock picked up the ball 30 yards from goal and lofted a pass into the back post, but McBean couldn’t direct his header from a tight angle goalwards.
The home side took the lead shortly after through a fantastic finish from captain Dev. Kelly-Evans. Spence whipped a ball low into the box for McBean, but when his shot was blocked the rebound fell to Kelly-Evans and the midfielder made no mistake, smashing it home from 18-yards.
Firmly on top, City looked to extend their advantage with the very next attack. Spence drove at the Watford backline, firing a shot from all of 25 yards, only to see the Watford ‘keeper divert it over the crossbar.
The Sky Blues continued to create chances as George Thomas, returning from international duty with the Welsh Under-21 side, got on the end of a Dev. Kelly-Evans cross but failed to make enough contact to trouble the Watford ‘keeper.
The City dominance soon told as they doubled their advantage. Spence’s out-swinging corner was met by the head of centre-half Finch, who cleverly steered his effort in to the far corner to claim his first goal of the season.
Two goals soon became three as Maycock added to the scoreline just after the half hour mark. The midfielder attempted to pick out a clever last man run from Thomas’, but with no touch from the forward, the ball went through a number of bodies and into the far corner.
Firmly against the run of play, Watford had a route back into the game. A mix-up in the City defence allowed the visitors’ number nine the easiest of finishes from all of a yard to reduce the deficit before the break.
City started the brighter after the restart as the returning Andy Rose went close. In his first game since an injury suffered against Bury, Rose played a nice one-two with Spence before curling just wide of the far post.
As the game was becoming more open, it was Watford who carved an opening. The Hornet’s number nine demonstrated some fantastic pace and power to run around the outside of the City defence, and when his low cross was diverted goalwards, Darragh Leahy was on hand to superbly block the effort on the line.
On the hour mark, City restored their three-goal advantage as McBean scored his sixth of the season. A poor clearance fell to the striker, and when he was brought down cynically outside the area, the striker punished the foul with a wonderfully hit free-kick that nestled in the top corner.
McBean nearly helped himself to another stunner just moments later, as from 35-yards he hit an audacious dipping volley that beat the Watford ‘keeper but came thundering back off the crossbar.
The Sky Blues made sure of the victory as Spence made it five different goal scorers on the day for the home side. Dev. Kelly-Evans released Thomas, and the forward drove at the defence before whipping a low ball across the box for Spence to tap in.
Just as it looked to be a routine victory for City, Watford scored two quick-fire goals to make it tense finish. An inswinging free kick, aided by the wind, went over ‘keeper Addai and into the net before an overload on the right handed the away side their third goal of the afternoon.
Coventry City U23: Addai (GK), Whitmore, Di. Kelly-Evans, Finch, Leahy, Rose, Maycock (Shipley 78'), Dev. Kelly-Evans, Thomas, Spence (Sayoud 85'), McBean.
Subs: Scuza (GK), Ponticelli, Finn.
Watford U23: Ohayon (GK): Eleftheriou, Sesay, Stewart (C), Rowan, Stevens, Obi, Ovenden, Adeyemo, Folivi, Mason.
Subs: Bannister (GK), Stray, Huja, Pereira, Empson.