WATFORD IFC recorded a win to mark their first home fixture of the 2022/23 campaign; a comfortable 5-0 success over Abbey United on Parmiter’s School 4G surface.
Teenager Alfie Parkins scored his first two goals for the Hornets; the first less than 90 seconds after half-time to make it 3-0, and the second – pouncing on a rebound from Joe Withey’s shot which hit a post – only 12 minutes later.
It took some time during the first 45 for WIFC to take a grip on the game. A resilient set of Cambridge United fans, playing the game in true IFA spirit throughout, provided doughty opposition and, combined with some lacklustre finishing, it took until 21 minutes into the contest for the deadlock to be broken; an own-goal with Parkins forcing the ball onto a covering defender and in from a low cross.
Cleveland Brandy scooted forward from right-back to drill home low into the far corner with eight minutes left before the interval, with time still for Joe Withey to plant an excellent headed chance just over the crossbar.
Parkins’ double then took the game away from the visitors whose threat to the Watford goal materialised mainly from dead-ball situations. Ben Kelly completed the Hornets’ scoring at the end of a flowing move to seal a 5-0 win on a warm morning for a game expertly refereed by WIFC manager Rich Walker.
It was great to have some support from Messrs Maloney (snr), Sperinck and Parkins (snr) but the last word goes to on-field Man of the Match Paul Withey, for keeping things simple throughout and getting through more minutes than planned because of an early injury suffered by David Sitkowski.
Hornets: Ben Bateman; Cleveland Brandy, Matt Ladell (c), John Sitkowski, David Sitkowski, Lamar St-Cyr, Alby Salvidge, Joe Withey; Paul Withey, Ben Kelly, Alfie Parkins. Subs used: Tyrone Brandy, Sam Elvery.
Goals: OG, Cleveland Brandy, Alfie Parkins x 2, Ben Kelly.