Watford Under-18s ended a three-game losing run with a 2-1 win against Portsmouth on Saturday and youth team coach Dave Hughes praised his players’ adaptability after the victory.

The Hornets went into the contest on the back of defeats to MK Dons, Colchester and Leyton Orient but they went in front late in the first half after Il Myeong Choi found the net.

Portsmouth managed to pull a goal back before the interval but Watford secured the win in the second period after Josh Doherty finished off a counter attack.

Due to injuries, Watford changed from a 3-5-2 shape to a less familiar 4-2-3-1 formation and Hughes was pleased with how his side coped with the tactical switch.

“The lads had a different challenge thrown at them but they responded really well,” he told the club website.

“It was a test for them. We worked on it Thursday and Friday to try and give them as much preparation as we could and they adapted well." 

He added:“If we could have been better at anything, we could have perhaps been a bit more ruthless, in that we missed or the keeper saved four one-on-ones.

"But overall the lads were excellent in a team which mainly consisted of first-years and Under-16s, against a good Portsmouth team.”

Watford: Rowley; Eletheriou, Johnson, Young, Doherty; Stewart, Rosenthal; Otudeko (Armenakas 65), Choi (Makaka 70), Folivi; Lewis.