Andre Gray took his pre-season tally to four goals with a second-half brace as Watford came from behind to beat Real Sociedad 2-1 to triumph on the third annual Graham Taylor Matchday.

A sluggish and disjointed opening period saw the Hornets trail at the break to a Martin Oyarzabal penalty following a Ken Sema at the break.

But the hosts were to be level within three minutes of the restart after Gray finished off some fine work by Will Hughes.

Javi Gracia’s men improved thereafter and were to win it with three minutes remaining when the striker again finished well from an Etienne Capoue pass.

The Hornets boss was able to include Jose Holebas and Abdoulaye Doucoure after they missed last week’s win at Queens Park Rangers as a precautionary measure, but Gerard Deulofeu and Nathaniel Chalobah remained on the sidelines as only six substitutes were named by the hosts.

The La Liga outfit were quickly out of the blocks and would have taken the lead inside two minutes but for a superb reaction save from Ben Foster when he kept out a Willian Jose header from six yards out after Martin Odegaard had stood up a cross from close to the byline.

Sociedad posed problems in the early stages with their fluidity in attack and they were in again when a pass put Oyarzabal through on goal on the edge of the 18-yard box, he flicked the ball wide of the stranded Foster but – thankfully from Watford’s perspective – it rolled narrowly wide of the keeper’s right-hand post.

The Hornets were struggling to build any attacks of note and after Mikel Merino fired narrowly wide from 25 yards they were handed the opportunity to take the lead when Sema clumsily brought down Joseba Zaldua on the right edge of the area and, after consulting with his assistant, referee Craig Pawson pointed to the spot.

Oyarzabal made no mistake from 12 yards, sending Foster the wrong way as he converted down the middle of the goal to give Sociedad a deserved 1-0 lead.

It almost got worse for the Hornets with the last action of the half when, from a corner from the right, Merino got across the front of the defence and saw his glancing header rebound off the far post.

The hosts went into the break knowing an improvement was needed and within three minutes of the restart they were level, thanks in no small part to a fine contribution from Hughes.

The former Derby County man drove positively forward off the right before slipping a fine pass into Gray, who held off his man to fire past Alex Remiro.

Helped by getting back on terms so quickly, the Hornets improved their levels and it took a sliding block from Robin Le Normand to prevent Doucoure from having a clear strike on goal.

The Hornets were playing with greater urgency and cohesiveness but they survived a let off when Holebas did well to get back and clear off the line from substitute Aleksander Isak after he had led an initial counter-attack downfield.

The visitors changed their entire outfield team in the second half and they were to have the better of the opportunities in the closing stages as Foster twice did well to deny Isak and then substitute David Zurutuza.

But it was to be the Hornets who were to complete the turnaround with three minutes remaining thanks to that many Gray again.

Capoue was the provider with a lofted ball down the right channel which the striker took in his stride and finished with a confident low finish across Remiro to cap an improved second-half display.

Watford: Foster; Femenia, Dawson, Cathcart, Holebas (Janmaat 84); Hughes, Capoue, Doucoure, Sema (Cleverley 76); Gray, Deeney. Subs not used: Gomes, Mariappa, Success, Kabasele.

Real Sociedad starting XI: Remiro; Zaldua, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Munoz; Illarramendi; Portu, Odegaard, Merino, Oyarzabal; Jose. Subs used: Llorente, Sagnan, Januzaj, Zurutuza, Gorosabel, Isak, Rodrigues, Navas, Sangalli, Guevara. Not used: Moya, Pardo, Djouahra.