Resilient Royston Town beaten by Championship Watford in the Herts Senior Cup

Kaan Fehmi

Kaan Fehmi - Credit: Archant

Kaan Fehmi opened the scoring early but The Crows could not hang on as they bowed out of the Herts Senior Cup with a spirited performance against Watford on Tuesday night.

The Hornets boasted one-time Italian international Diego Fabbrini in their starting eleven and it was his two first-half moments of magic that turned the game on it’s head, following Fehmi’s first goal.

Royston clung to the coat-tails of the Championship side for much of the second half before a late suckerpunch from Michael Folivi sealed the victory.

Steve Castle’s men made six changes to the side that beat Potters Bar Town in the league last Saturday but despite their wholesale alterations. they promised a tough time for the Hornets from the get-go.

A drifted cross left experienced keeper Rene Gilmartin flapping, and he was lucky to see the ball hacked clear after letting the ball slip through his hands.

If the early warning had not struck a cord with Watford, the 17th-minute opener surely did.

Jack Bradshaw’s right-hand cross was touched on by Saturday’s hero Reece Dobson and the returning Fehmi, back after four games on the sidelines, stretched to force the ball over the line.

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With the visitors in need of a reply, two terrific efforts from Fabbrini handed Watford the lead.

First, good wingwork from Dennon Lewis teed up the Italian, who placed the ball beyond Crows’ keeper Ron Yates from 18 yards.

Two minutes later, the former Udinese striker punished Royston once more, as his first-time shot flew low into the net.

Fabbrini’s brace gave the away side the advantage at the break but try as they might, they could not shake off a resillient Royston outfit in the second period.

Bradshaw almost capitalised on a goalmouth scramble one minute after the interval but Watford cleared their lines effectively and could have gone further ahead had Folivi not twice been denied by excellent reflexes from Crows’ keeper Yates.

Soon after, it was Gilmartin’s turn to show off his skills as he tipped Dobson’s curler around the post and having rode their luck, Folivi’s 90th-minute strike, supplied by the impressive Fabbrini, ensured Watford’s passage to the next round.