Tommie Hoban and Joel Ekstrand continued their recoveries from long-term injuries by featuring in Watford Under-21s’ 3-2 friendly victory over Reading yesterday.

Hoban has been sidelined for five months with hip and groin injuries but completed 30 minutes of yesterday’s contest before being replaced by Jorell Johnson.

Ekstand, who made his return in the Under-21s’ draw with Brentford last week, played an hour of the friendly and was replaced by Matt Hall.

There were also starts for summer signing Steven Berghuis and Sean Murray, whose unsuccessful loan spell at Wigan Athletic expired last week.

The Hornets took the lead in the 20th minute through an unnamed trialist before Berghuis doubled their advantage shortly before the interval.

Reading reduced the deficit in the second period but Mahlondo Martin restored Watford’s two goal advantage when his shot from outside of the box found the net.

Reading struck a second goal late on but the Hornets were able to see out the game and complete a victory.

Watford Under-21s: Simpson (Trialist, HT); Young (Eleftheriou, 85), Ekstrand (Hall, 60), Hoban (Johnson, 30), Mason; Berghuis (Carvalho, 76), Murray, Charles (Ovenden, 65), Smith, Mensah; Trialist (Martin, 57).