Ten-man Watford conceded two late goals as they drew 2-2 with Shrewsbury Town.

The Hornets took the lead midway through the first half thanks to Cristian Battocchio’s goal and doubled their advantage early into the second period through Tommie Hoban.

But Fernando Forestieri’s injury with ten minutes remaining left them a man down and Scott Vernon added two goals, the second coming with one of the final kicks of the game, to end the contest 2-2.

The Hornets started in a 4-3-3 formation for their first UK-based pre-season game of the summer.

There were five new signings in the starting line-up, although three of those were familiar faces.

Heurelho Gomes, who joined Watford from Tottenham Hotspur, was in goal, ex-loanee Craig Cathcart was at centre half, Daniel Tozser was in front of the back four, with Lloyd Dyer wide right and Matej Vydra on the left of Troy Deeney leading the line.

Battocchio and Lewis McGugan were the centre midfield pairing in front of Tozser and Joel Ekstrand started alongside Cathcart, with Daniel Pudil and Lloyd Doyley at full back.

Almen Abdi missed out due to illness and Sean Murray is currently injured, after being forced off during their final match in Austria.

The first chance of the game went to the visitors in the seventh minute when Deeney knocked down a diagonal ball and McGugan’s first-time effort was held by Mark Halstrad.

McGugan was also involved in his side’s second attempt when his good play resulted in Tozser sending a low shot from distance wide of the post.

Watford were unable to build attacks for large periods as they often struggled to link the play between midfield and attack.

Often the Golden Boys opted for diagonal balls and Shrewsbury’s defence were not put under a lot of pressure for much of the first half.

Vydra and Dyer switched flanks early into the contest but the Czech Republic international didn’t touch the ball until the 17th minute when he was briefly put into the middle, with Deeney moving to the left.

And it produced an immediate result as Vydra created an opening, Deeney laid the ball off to Battocchio and his low strike from 15 yards found the far, bottom corner.

League Two Shrewsbury enjoyed a spell of pressure prior to the goal but apart from a wayward shot from distance and a last-ditch interception by Ekstrand, the Hornets’ defenders were relatively comfortable in the opening quarter.

But then a nice move from the home team ended with late replacement Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro going close from 20 yards out.

Vydra offered little defensively and that was shown when the Shrews’ right back Jermaine Grandison bombed forward and sent over a dangerous low cross which had Gomes scampering across his goal.

The goalkeeper, who looked composed for large parts, also flapped at a cross during the period of Shrewsbury pressure.

McGugan was one of his team’s better players in the attacking third and some lovely skill allowed him to drive into the area and hit the side netting.

Shrewsbury almost equalised just before the break when Ekstrand was almost punished for some very poor defending when he allowed a delivery to run across his body on the six-yard box and Ashley Vincent was able to shoot. Fortunately for the visitors, his effort went over the bar.

Watford made eight changes at half-time, with Tozser, Battocchio and Gabriel Tamas – who came on for the injured Cathcart on 36 minutes - the only survivors.

Reece Brown was played at left back and Hoban was on the right as Sannino retained the 4-3-3 formation.

Diego Fabbrini was in centre midfield with Fernando Forestieri right forward and Ikechi Anya on the right. Mathias Ranegie was the centre forward.

The lead was extended early into the second half when Tozser’s free-kick reached the far post and Hoban struck a half-volley into the roof of the net from eight yards out.

A counter-attack minutes later led to another chance but Ranegie was unable to capitalise on Anya’s neat flick as he shot over the bar from the edge of the area.

Watford carried a much greater threat at the start of the second period and Anya forced substitute goalkeeper Callum Burton into a save following Forestieri’s pull-back.

Shrewsbury’s first opportunity of the half came when the unmarked Mark Ellis headed over from a corner.

The pace of the half slowed down slightly as there was another round of changes from the home team but then Ashley Vincent almost pulled a goal back in explosive fashion as his powerful shot struck the base of the post.

Watford went down a man down with ten minutes remaining when Forestieri was stretchered off.

Sannino wanted to bring Brown, who had been substituted midway through the half, back on but the fourth official told him that was not allowed so Watford went to a 4-4-1 formation, with Fabbrini on the right.

Three minutes later Shrewsbury pulled a goal back when Watford attempted an offside trap and Vernon was left free to lift the ball over the on-rushing Jonathan Bond.

Little happened heading into the final minutes but then the Shrews nicked an equaliser with one of the final kicks of the game.

The Hornets’ centre backs appeared to be pulled out of position and it was too easy as Vernon was able to score at the near post from close range.

Watford: Gomes (Bond HT); Doyley (Hoban HT), Ekstrand (Angella HT), Cathcart (Tamas 36), Pudil (Brown HT, Doherty 76); Battocchio, Tozser, McGugan (Fabbrini HT); Vydra (Anya HT), Deeney (Ranegie HT), Dyer (Forestieri HT).

Shrewsbury: Halstrad (C Burton HT); Grandison, Ellis (Ginnelly 74), Goldson (Knight-Percival HT), Demetriou (B Burton 82); Vincent (Gayle 74), Woods (Wildig 62), Wesolowski (Lawrence 62), Akpa-Akpro; Collins (Vernon 62), Clarke (Robinson HT).

Attendance: 1,893.

There will not be post-match quotes from Beppe Sannino as he was unavailable after the match.