MX23RW : Friday, October 30 16:15:03| >> :600:86918:86918:

Result: Joao Pedro hits winner as Watford overcome Luton Town

Result: Joao Pedro hits winner as Watford overcome Luton Town
© Reuters
It was the first time the rivals had met since 2006.

Joao Pedro celebrated his 19th birthday with the winning goal in a 1-0 win for Watford over Luton in a game they should have won more comfortably.

The fixture between keen rivals had not been played since April 2006 but although the match was played behind closed doors, police still insisted on a 12.30 kick-off.

As a result there was little resembling a derby atmosphere in a cold-biting wind and Luton, in particular, struggled to raise their game against a Watford side whose recent Premier League pedigree gave them a decided edge.

Watford remain unbeaten with two victories and a draw from their three matches so far but they will be wondering how they did not win this game by a larger margin.

Luton manager Nathan Jones was an agitated figure on the touchline but could not get a response for his team, who went down tamely to their first league defeat of the season.

Luton goalkeeper Simon Sluga did well to prevent Watford taking the lead after 12 minutes, diving to his right to parry a low shot from Pedro after Luton left back Rhys Norrington-Davies had lost possession to Hornets captain Tom Cleverley.

The home side were having plenty of the ball, and Ismaila Sarr constantly drifted away from his markers into dangerous positions. Cleverley and Jeremy Ngakia had shots blocked and it seemed only a matter of time before Watford took the lead.

Instead it was Luton who should have broken the deadlock after 33 minutes as Harry Cornick got free down the right and crossed low. James Collins met the ball first time but got underneath his shot and the ball cannoned back off the crossbar.

Almost immediately Watford were ahead.  Ken Sema made headway down the left and Matty Pearson was unable to cut out his low pass. Pedro had lost his marker and  prodded home from six yards with the help of a deflection off a defender.

It should have been 2-0 early in the second half but Nathaniel Chalobah failed to make proper contact with a header from a 55th-minute corner by James Garner. And then Matty Pearson blocked a shot from Pedro after Garner's low shot had come back off Sluga.

Luton manager Nathan Jones tried to change things but Watford continued to dominate and Sluga came to his side's rescue once again, plunging to his left to palm away a deflected shot from Watford substitute Tom Dele-Bashiru.

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Millwall manager Gary Rowett pictured in July 2020
Read Next:
Saturday's Championship predictions including Millwall vs. Brentford
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
3Swansea CitySwansea8431105515
5Bristol City8422117414
6Norwich CityNorwich842297214
8Luton TownLuton841377013
10Stoke CityStoke833299012
12Blackburn RoversBlackburn83141811710
13Preston North EndPreston83141010010
14Cardiff CityCardiff824277010
15Birmingham CityBirmingham824255010
16Huddersfield TownHuddersfield8314710-310
17Rotherham UnitedRotherham823389-19
19Queens Park RangersQPR8143610-47
20Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest8134510-56
21Derby CountyDerby8125412-85
22Coventry CityCoventry8125616-105
23Wycombe WanderersWycombe8017316-131
24Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds822459-4-4

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!