Michael Folivi provided a rare moment of positivity for Watford's Under-23s as they went down to a 3-1 defeat against Birmingham City in their opening game of the season.

The result looked unlikely when Watford eased into a lead they would take into the break in the 39th minute.

However, the half-time interval appeared to galvanise the home side and they went on to dominate the second period at St Andrew's.

Josh Andrews, Odin Bailey and Kyle McFarlane were the players to get the goals for City as they hit three without reply to bounce back on a disappointing day away from home for the Golden Boys.

The one true moment of quality Hayden Mullins' young charges did manage to produce yielded the opener as they launched a fine counter-attack.

The team move saw the Hornets sweep from one end of the pitch to the other at breakneck speed.

Joy Mukena started the attack on the edge of the box as he won possession and immediately worked the ball into the path of Dion Pereira.

He then looked out wide to Harry Foster and a clever flick into Folivi released the forward.

Folivi drove forward, exchanged passes with strike partner Ryan Cassidy and converted with composure at the near post.

That was as good as it got for Watford and Birmingham turned on the class to pull away in the second half.

Their leveller came via 16-year-old Andrews as he calmly converted to make it 1-1.

The game would ultimately be decided in the final 20 minutes which was thanks in no small part to substitute Olly McCory.

Firstly the wide man got away down the flank to cross for McFarlane to score and then repeated the trick for Bailey's nerve settler.

The Hornets looked to find a way back into the game but were unable to force any real openings against the Blues.

Watford will hope to move on from the opening day defeat when they take on Sheffield Wednesday at home on Friday.

Watford XI: Howes (GK); Eleftheriou, Tricker, Mukena, Hudson (Leighton, 78); Forster, Charles (c), Pereira, Hutchinson (Kaikay, 70); Cassidy, Folivi.

Substitutes not used: Baptiste (GK), Bennetts.