Watford reached the third round of the Carabao Cup for the first time since 2014 after goals Isaac Success and Domingos Quina saw them beat Reading 2-0.

The match saw Javi Gracia make 11 changes to his starting XI and was rewarded with a host of impressive displays from Watford’s second string.

Debutants Ben Wilmot and Quina caught the eye, while there were also strong showings from the fit-again Nathaniel Chalobah and Success.

Here’s how we rated the Hornets in cup action.

Heurelho Gomes – 6

Watford Observer:

A relatively quiet return to action for the Watford keeper as Reading produced precious little to worry him.

Coped comfortably with everything the hosts did manage to muster, with his handling and control of his area on point throughout.

Caught out late on when he came from his line and was lobbed, but thankfully Adrian Mariappa got back well to cover him.

Marc Navarro – 6.5

Looked too eager to impress early on in his debut as he took aim with two pot shots from range which never looked like troubling the Reading goal.

Got forward well when invited to and was close to finding the net when forcing a good save in the second half as he grew into the game.

Sebastian Prodl – 6

Was well short of pace at points in the first half and struggled more than the rest of the Watford defence to contain the Royals attack.

Of all of the Hornets current fit centre-back options, Prodl is the one who needs to make the biggest improvement if he is to make an impression on the first choice XI.

Adam Masina – 7

Patience has had to be a virtue for the summer signing due to Jose Holebas’ flying start to the season and he took his chance to impress in the cup.

An attacking threat throughout the night and played a perfectly weighted cross for Success to net the opener in the first half.

Kiko Femenia – 6.5

Another player who many expected to be a first choice this term, Femenia played in a right-wing role which allowed him to make an impact in attack.

Linked up well with Navarro on the right hand side and put in a number of dangerous crosses.

Nathaniel Chalobah – 7

Watford Observer:

So good to see the midfielder back in the fold after almost a year without a start for the Hornets as he came through 86 minutes unscathed.

Showed his class with a precise pass in the build up to the Watford opener and kept up with the pace of the game well.

Ben Wilmot – 8

An excellent debut for the former Stevenage man who made fitting in in midfield look straightforward and he will surely have taken great confidence from his showing.

Tidy on the ball and dropped into a deep lying quarter-back role to support the defence when needed and was combative at set-pieces.

Domingos Quina – 7.5

His stunning strike was the standout moment of a hugely commanding Watford performance and the 18-year-old is undoubtedly a raw talent.

Held onto the ball too long at times, which is often a flaw of young players, but used possession well to link play between attack and defence.

Ken Sema – 6

Has looked bright in cameo outings from the bench this season but struggled to build on those displays when given a start.

The least effective of Watford’s attacking players but did see a couple of shots well charged down.

Isaac Success – 7.5

Watford Observer:

Took his goal, which was his first since October 2016, superbly as he rounded the Reading keeper and to finish smartly.

Had chances to score beforehand and also saw a couple of second half headers narrowly miss the target.


Stefano Okaka – 6

Offered a physical presence at the point of Watford’s attack when called upon and made sure to keep the Reading defence occupied late in the game.

Abdoulaye Doucoure – N/A

His eight minute cameo was not enough time to impress.

Will Hughes – N/A

Played only a matter of minutes after replacing Chalobah late on.