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Our reserves improved as the weather deteriorated but they couldn't find a way past Watford in Monday night's 1-0 reverse at Stevenage.

Our reserves improved as the weather deteriorated but they couldn't find a way past Watford in Monday night's 1-0 reverse at Stevenage.

After a disappointing first half, the lads found their feet after the break as heavy rain joined the wind swirling around Broadhall Way.

Emil Hallfredsson and Charlie Lee had headers cleared off the line within a matter of seconds by Alhassan Bangura but that one clear-cut chance proved elusive as Douglas Rinaldi's goal in the 38th minute won it for the visitors.

Watford lined-up with eight players who have appeared in first team action this season including the experience of Chris Powell and striker Steve Kabba.

Due to a striker shortage - Lee Barnard, Simon Dawkins and Tomas Pekhart all sidelined - Clive Allen set out his team with Andy Barcham spearheading the attack, flanked by Takura Mtandari and Emil Hallfresson in wide positions, with Jamie O'Hara pushing up to support more centrally. There was plenty of snap deeper in the middle with the combative Kieran McKenna and Charlie Lee.

The first half was almost totally uneventful in terms of penalty area action, with the game being fought out in the middle of the pitch and neither team establishing a foothold.

There was a change on 16 minutes when Leigh Mills suffered a head injury and was replaced by Joe Martin, who slotted in at centre half and competed well against Kabba and Will Hoskins.

The boys fell behind to what turned out to be the winner on 38 minutes when Lee Williamson was played in down the right flank by Kabba and cut in a low cross that was converted inside the near post by Rinaldi.

It could have been two a couple of minutes later when an Anthony McNamee cross was met by the head of Hoskins and Tommy Forecast was forced into a scrambling save down to his left.

The rain really started to lash down as the second half kicked-off and Forecast was there again after 53 minutes, out quickly to block with his legs as Rinaldi sniffed out a second goal 16 yards out.

Hallfredsson came closest yet to finding the target when Bangura was forced into two goalline clearances in a matter of seconds just after the hour, the first to volley out Hallfredsson’s header from Jamie O’Hara’s corner, the second when Lee headed the first clearance back towards goal, Bangura this time hacking well away. Troy Archibald-Henville then stopped Williamson in his tracks with a key tackle in the box as Watford broke quickly.

O’Hara’s quality from the dead ball created another chance with 72 minutes on the clock, his whipped free-kick from the right glanced just wide by substitute Daniel Hutchins.

Rinaldi squirmed a good chance wide from close range after 82 minutes before the final of the half-chances, another O'Hara free-kick this time met by Archibald-Henville, who headed wide.

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