Will Hoskins and Jordan Parkes marked their return to the Watford line-up with two goals apiece as the Hornets over came their neighbours St Albans City 4-1.

Hoskins, who has been out injured for most of pre-season, put Watford two up early in the second half.

Then substitute Jordan Parkes, who has been on trial at Gillingham for the past two weeks, marked his return with two goals of his own, before Danny Green grabbed a consolation strike for St Albans late on.

The first chance of the game fell to Mat Sadler, who was on the left wing, but the former Birmingham man couldn't keep his volley down.

Sadler then had a good chance to cause some problems with a free kick on the corner of the box, after Lewis Young was brought down, but the ball went comfortably over.

St Albans first chance came when they won a corner after Rob Kiernan was caught in possession and although Julio Barnes rose highest, his header dribbled wide.

The home side were on top for a while and had a number of opportunities in quick succession.

Jonathan O'Donnell volleyed over from 12 yards and Eddie Oshodi almost scored a bizarre own goal after a teasing cross from Hassan Sulaiman.

But the best chance fell to Paul Hakim after the move of the half. Some steady build-up and a quick one-two split the Watford defence and it needed a combined effort of Kiernan and North to block Hakim's shot from close range.

Watford had a good chance to score when a Hoskins' through ball put Young in one-on-one but Jake Palmer made a good save.

The Hornets had a scare when North came out of his box and sliced a clearance to Ricky Miller but nothing came of the error.

It was Miller who had the next chance when he shot with the outside of his boot from 12 yards, which North matched.

Young had a golden chance to make it 1-0 when Henderson served him the ball up on a plate eight yards out but the winger unbelievably missed the ball.

Both Young and Brooks then sent in inviting crosses but each time Henderson couldn't quite reach it.

When Henderson was left with a chance to shot on goal from close range, after good work from Sadler, he scooped his shot wide of the near post.

The half ended with Brooks and Hakim both having goal-bound shots blocked.

Surprisingly the first chance of the second half fell to right back Lee Hodson, whose shot hit the side netting.

A minute later though Watford took the lead through Hoskins. Sadler dinked a ball over the top of the defenders and the striker beat Palmer to the ball, lobbed him and then walked the ball into the goal.

Hoskins had his second four minutes later when Young went too wide when rounding the keeper so he crossed for Hoskins to tap in from close range.

Young had a chance to redeem himself when he rounded Palmer once more but the winger took too long to put the ball in the back of net and the defender recovered to make the tackle.

Henderson and substitute Jordan Parkes then both tested Palmer from distance.

It was 3-0 on 73 minutes when again Parkes, who has just returned from a trial with Gillingham, picked the ball up from 25 yards and this time cut in on his left foot and fired in a shot into the bottom corner.

As the rain thundered down, Parkes made it four with seven minutes to go. Substitute Billy Gibson drove to the byline and pulled it back to Parkes, who guided the ball into the bottom corner.

St Albans almost grabbed a consolation strike when Danny Green, similar to Parkes, cut onto his left and smashed a shot towards the corner. The difference being North was able to make a double save.

City did well to deny another when they got enough bodies in the way of first Oshodi's header at a corner and then Kiernan's follow up from four yards.

Piero Mingoia had a shot saved and then set up Marvin Sordell, who drove his shot wide of the far post, but it was St Albans who snatched the final goal.

Green once more cut on to his left and this time his shot deflected over North to make it 4-1.

St Albans: Palmer; Sulaiman (Pocu 60), Barnes (Lamonaca 45), Peters (Eames 61), Baker (Kane 56); Maxwell, Mortimer (Quinton 45), O'Donnell (Green 81); Miller (Magwood 56), Hakim, Roberts (Effiong 64).

Subs: Soulard.

Watford: North; Hodson, Oshodi, Kiernan, Travner (Parkes 65); Young (Whichelow 75), Brooks, O'Toole (Mingoia 65), Sadler; Henderson (Gibson 76), Hoskins (Sordell 65).

Subs: Bonham, Bennett.