Watford Reserves secured the East Division title with three games of the season left to play after a convincing 5-2 win over Southend United.

The Hornets, who included Everton duo Moses Barnett and John Nolan in their starting line-up, were 5-1 up by half time thanks to goals from Billy Gibson, Gavin Massey, Matthew Whichelow, Jordan Parkes and an own goal.

England Under-18 international Barnett played 90 minutes at left back but his Everton team mate Nolan had to be replaced after 15 minutes.

Both players are to be released in the summer and have been on trial with the Hornets for the past week.

Gibson opened the scoring inside the first five minutes after good work from Whichelow and first-year scholar Massey made it 2-0 soon after when he capitalised on a defensive mistake.

Stuart O'Keefe pulled one back from the spot but two goals in as many minutes all but secured the league title for the Hornets.

Gibson set up the third as Whichelow finished in style and then full back Scott Malone scored in his own net.

Parkes made it five from the spot after Whichelow had been brought down in the box.

Julian Okai made it 5-2 in the second half but saves from Jonathan North helped retain the Hornets lead and secure the title.

Watford: North; Angus, Fenwick, Parkes (Deer 81), Barnett; Young (c), Yiadom, Nolan (Murray 15) (Assombalonga 45), Gibson; Massey, Whichelow. Subs not used: Bond (gk), Rosier.

Southend United; Jack; Nesbitt, Malone, James-Lewis, Sankofa, Reynolds, Milner, O'Keefe, Paterson, Crawford, Okai (Ikim 81). Subs not used: Bentley (gk), O'Archie, G Smith, Woodyard.