A delighted Malky Mackay praised Danny Graham and Will Buckley after the forwards’ partnership guided Watford to a 5-0 victory over Boreham Wood.

The first-half strike force were the difference at Meadow Park as Buckley’s hat-trick and goals from Graham and Stephen McGinn saw the Hornets go into half-time five goals ahead.

The pair were replaced at the break by Liam Henderson and first-year scholar Gavin Massey and the visitors struggled to break down the Boreham Wood defence in the second half, despite a few decent through-balls by Massey for the impressive first-year pro Matthew Whichelow.

Mackay said: “I am very pleased with Will. I am delighted that he got on the scoresheet and with the work he did with Danny Graham in the first half.

“Danny worked so hard in the first half and was incredibly unselfish to allow Will to get in those positions and Will showed positivity to get in those positions as well.”

Watford selected two separate sides for each half, with only Lee Hodson playing the full 90 minutes due to Tom Aldred’s late withdrawal and referee Steve Cook’s desire to stick to the letter of the law.

Mackay said: “Everyone played 45 minutes bar one so that being the case, we had to make sure we did things properly but make sure we got the fitness work in as well and give them their first touch of the ball in a competitive game.

“They have worked really well for ten days so it was a good opening. Boreham Wood are always helpful to us and the pitch is always in good nick at this time of year and it is always a competitive game against their teams.

“So I am delighted with how the whole day went and it was a nice little turnout for Danny [Hunter, Boreham Wood chairman] as well.”

Mackay and his assistant Sean Dyche were still heard bellowing at their players despite it being a pre-season friendly and whilst the Hornets boss was pleased with his side’s display, he stated progress would be a “gradual thing.”

Mackay said: “You are looking for a bit of everything. You are looking for the judgement call of the players, the fitness work but you also want it done properly.

“Boreham Wood were promoted last year and they always give us a game here so you have to make sure the players are starting to find their shape and link up with other players, but it is a gradual thing.”