A much-changed Watford side threw away a three-goal lead in the FA Cup Third Round against League One side Tranmere Rovers this afternoon (Saturday, January 4) with the match ending 3-3.
Hornets boss Nigel Pearson made nine changes to the side that beat Wolves in midweek, handing debuts to starters ‘keeper Daniel Bachmann and defender Spencer-Adams – he later brought on fellow debutants João Pedro, Callum Whelan and Mason Barrett.
The Hornets got off to a blistering start at Vicarage Road, with youngster Tom Dele-Bashiru opening the scoring 11 minutes into his full Watford debut before centre-midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah got his first goal in five years just two minutes later.
It was a phenomenal opening goal from Dele-Bashiru, who received the ball on the edge of the box and took a quick touch before unleashing a quality strike into the top corner.
For the second goal, the hard work was done by Isaac Success who powered his way into the Tranmere box before laying the ball onto Chalobah, who slotted home with his left foot.
Watford’s third goal in the 34th minute came from one of Watford’s more experienced players; Roberto Pereyra. The winger was found by Andre Gray in the box and he bent the ball into the far corner.
Watford were cruising at half time, but in a questionable move, Pearson decided to replace defensive midfielder Chalobah with young winger João Pedro.
The 18-year-old was quickly involved as Success found him in space on the left flank ten minutes into the first half. The Brazilian youngster cut back and drilled an effort just wide of the mark.
The visitors clinched back their first goal in the 66th minute through a Jennings header – VAR had a lengthy check for offside before awarding it. 3-1.
Nerves rose when Emmanuel Monthe tapped the ball in from close range to put Tranmere back within a goal of Watford with 12 minutes left to play.
Defender Mason Barrett, who was introduced a minute before Tranmere’s second goal, had a torrid debut as he brought down Blackett-Taylor in Watford’s box with four minutes of the match left – Mullins converted the penalty to make it 3-3.
To add insult to injury, Pereyra was sent off just two minutes later.
The result means Watford will have to beat stubborn Tranmere at Prenton Park to progress to the Fourth Round.
Picture courtesy of Watford FC