THE name may not be as famous as Inter Milan but Watford completed the second part of their Italian double-header by deservedly beating Serie A outfit Chievo 2-1 on Sunday, August 13 to complete an undefeated pre-season and put themselves in good shape for next week's Premiership opener at Everton.

Goals from Ashley Young and Matt Spring - after a Young penalty had been saved - were good reward for a game in which Watford were on top for long periods and were able to run out fairly comfortable victors after Chievo's captain Salvatore Lanna was sent off after being adjudged to have stamped on Albert Jarrett in a second-half memorable for the almost incessant torrential rain in which it was played.

Aidy Boothroyd gave a further clue as to his possible thinking for next week's trip to Goodison Park by making just two changes to the team the starting XI that helped hold Inter to a 1-1 draw. Fresh from returning for a second season from Manchester United, and a day before joining up with the England squad, Ben Foster replaced Richard Lee in goal while Adrian Mariappa was given a chance to stake a claim for a starting berth with Jay DeMerit injured.

Chievo arrived at Vicarage Road just 24 hours after drawing 0-0 with Middlesbrough and before they seek to turn over a 2-0 first leg deficit against Levski Sofia and qualify for the Champions League proper.

It was the visitors who had the first attempt in the fourth minute following a corner when the ball broke for Andrea Zanchetta in the area but his shot was blocked. That set-piece arrived after a lovely cross-field ball from the left winger to Franco Semioli on the opposite flank and a similar ball soon after resulted in another corner which Amavri headed wide at the near post.

Watford had their first decent sight of goal after ten minutes when Mariappa stabbed the ball towards the target following a Young free-kick but it was cleared behind for a corner.

But the Hornets began to turn the screw as the 20 minute-mark approached. First Semioli felt the full force of a King shot on the turn following a free-kick and then keeper Vincenzo Sicignano tipped a Darius Henderson header behind. From the resulting corner the stopper, who couldn't have seen the ball until it was almost upon him, got down well to push away a goal-bound Dan Shittu header.

Watford went close again following another corner when a full-length Henderson sent a diving header back across the face of goal and narrowly wide.

Perhaps it was not surprising that when the Hornets did make the breakthrough after 29 minutes the goal arrived from a corner. But this time the set-piece was rolled short to Young, who cut in from the right to the edge of the area before striking a fine left-footed drive across and beyond Sicignano.

But only Amauri will know how he failed to equalise two minutes later. The tricky Semioli again did well down the right before sending over a perfect cross towards the unmarked striker who did what it says in the coaching manual and headed the ball down, only to watch it bounce back up and over the bar from barely three yards out.

A clearly frustrated Amauri, who had already been spoken to on a couple of occasions by Uriah Rennie, was booked in the 37th minute for kicking the ball away. Young was unlucky not to score a second soon after when he attacked the back post looking to get on the end of a King centre after the striker had done well to nick the ball off a defender and accelerate clear down the right flank, but Marco Malago did just enough to put the Watford winger off.

Instead of being two down though, Chievo levelled in fine fashion five minutes before the interval. Some neat inter-play looked to have been ended by a Shittu clearing header but the ball only went as far as Amauri, 20 yards out, who connected superbly with a hooked right-footed volley that gave Foster little chance as it looped over and beyond him.

Boothroyd rang the changes at half-time, making seven in total as thunder began to echo around Vicarage Road, and one of the substitutes, Jarrett, almost made an instant impact, getting free on the right side of the area before lashing a right-footed shot over the target.

But the start of the second-half was mainly dominated by a heavy downpour and a flurry of free-kicks, although the Hornets were the more positive of the two teams. And that endeavour was almost rewarded after 55 minutes when Young sliced an attempted volley up in the air which spun in the direction of Tamas Priskin, but the Hungarian replacement couldn't get enough on his header to beat the diving Sicignano.

After 57 minutes though, Watford were given the perfect situation to move in front for the second time when Mariappa's long throw from the right was headed down by Malky Mackay and Jarrett was clearly tripped as he tried to get a shot away. However, Young spurned the opportunity to double his account by seeing Sicignano dive to his right to save the spot-kick but Spring quickly followed up to send a rising left-footed drive inside the keeper's near post to make it 2-1.

Jarrett was the next to try his luck, hitting a left-footed effort narrowly wide of the near post, although the Hornets were then nearly opened up when Marco Malago burst into the right side of the area but his attempted cross was cut out. However, Watford were soon back on the front foot with Spring seeing a potent effort blocked.

Young's involvement in the contest was ended after 71 minutes when he was replaced by Hameur Bouazza, but four minutes later the game took a controversial twist when a good Jarrett run was unceremoniously ended by a crude challenge by Lanna. The foul was certainly worthy of a yellow card but Rennie surprised most inside the ground by showing a straight red, justifying this by indicating he had seen a stamp.

Watford should have made it 3-1 with nine minutes remaining when a powerful Shittu header ran through for Bouazza but, despite having two bites when challenged by Sicignano, he never quite had the ball under control nor was able to apply sufficient power to force the opportunities home.

Tempers threatened to boil over again with two minutes remaining when Marco took exception to a challenge by Priskin and responded by pushing him in the face but this time Rennie was content to just book both players.

But with Vicarage Road in danger of being washed away by the latest torrential downpour in the second-half, Rennie settled for just the one extra minute which Watford safely negotiated to deservedly defeat a side who could yet be playing in the group stages of the Champions League.

Watford: Foster; Doyley, Mariappa, Shittu, Powell; Chambers, Francis, Mahon, Young; King, Henderson. Substitutes: Mackay, Stewart, Bangura, Spring, Jarrett, Priskin and McNamee for Doyley, Powell, Mahon, Francis, Chambers, King and Henderson after 45 mins; Bouazza for Young after 71 mins; Blizzard and Lee not used.

Chievo: Sicignano; Malago, Moro, Guiseppe A, Lanna; Semioli, Brighi, Marcolini, Zanchetta; Amauri, Obinna. Substitutes: Rickler for Obinna after 76 mins; Antonelli for Marcolini after 78 mins; Garzon and Silva Reis for Brighi and Amauri after 86 mins; Squizzi, Passarini, Emanuele P, Bruno and Marco T not used.

Bookings: Amauri for dissent after 37 mins; Lanna sent off for stamping on Jarrett after 78 mins; Priskin for a foul on Marco after 88 mins; Malago for reaction to Priskin's challenge after 88 mins.

Attendance: 5,465.

Referee: Uriah Rennie (Sheffield).