Performances and results are not crucial at this stage of pre-season but it is understandable to have some sympathy for the Watford fans who travelled to Austria this weekend as they return home having not seen a goal in the two friendlies in recent days.
Some Hornets fans were fortunate enough to witness the seven goals scored again SV Feldkirchen on Tuesday but more appear to have opted for the double header this weekend.
However, the Golden Boys followed up yesterday’s 0-0 draw with Rubin Kazan with another goalless game against Chemnitzer FC in Bad Bleiberg.
There was a slow start to the match and Chemnitzer FC’s free kick which went narrowly wide of the post was the only decent chance in the opening quarter of an hour.
The best opportunity for the Hertfordshire side in the first half went to Ikechi Anya when Daniel Tozser’s long, diagonal ball picked out the Scotland winger and his shot from a tight angle hit the far post and Mathias Ranegie was unable to gather the rebound.
The German third division outfit controlled possession and created more chances for large parts of the opening half.
Chemnitzer’s full back forced Bond into a decent stop, their striker headed over and a jinking run ended with a stab at goal all in quick succession.
The Hornets, who lined up in a 3-5-2 formation in the first half, were under pressure for a considerable spell and there were several last-ditch interventions from the Watford defenders which led to corners. One of the set pieces ended with a volley going over the bar.
For Watford, captain for the afternoon, Sean Murray, had a shot from outside the area blocked and good play from Diego Fabbrini almost released Mathias Ranegie before the break.
The Golden Boys made six changes to their side for the second half and also opted for a 4-3-3 formation. Tommie Hoban, Joel Ekstrand, Anya, Lewis McGugan, Josh Doherty and Fabbrini all made way, with Lloyd Doyley, Gabriele Angella, Daniel Pudil, Cristian Battocchio, Lloyd Dyer and Matej Vydra all coming on.
Vydra had the first effort of the second half when he had a shot blocked following Tozser’s diagonal and moments later the German side sent a volley wide of the far post.
The game stopped for a few minutes when Murray went down injured and he was seen walking on crutches shortly after he was replaced by Luke O’Nien. Fernando Forestieri also came on for Ranegie soon after.
The Hornets were much more solid defensively in the second half and controlled more of the possession but chances were harder to come by for both teams.
Watford did have a glorious opportunity to win in with six minutes remaining but substitute Alex Jakubiak was denied when one-on-one following Battocchio’s through ball.
Chemnitzer also had a good chance in injury-time when Bond saved a header following an in-swinging cross.
Watford’s first half XI (3-5-2): Bond; Cathcart, Hoban, Ekstrand; Anya, McGugan, Tozser, Murray, Doherty; Ranegie, Fabbrini.
Watford’s second half XI (4-3-3): Bond; Doyley (Johnson 87), Cathcart (Ekstrand 75), Angella, Pudil; Battocchio, Tozser (Jakubiak 80), Murray (O’Nien); Vydra, Ranegie (Forestieri 56), Dyer.