Dean Bouzanis: 6
Largely untroubled for the first 70 minutes before making a couple of relatively routine saves and interceptions. May have snuck a 7/10 but he did his best to let Watford back into the game by fumbling what seemed like a routine catch towards the end, that thankfully he got away with.
Kelvin Abrefa: 7
Scored an absolute screamer that was most definitely not meant to be a cross..! Looked extremely lively, perhaps more so in the first half, and could’ve had an assist with Azeez’ goal chalked off for offside.
Abrefa’s certainly more comfortable going forward than defensively so the wing-back role suits him perfectly. I’m not sure when his contract runs out but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Premier League team snap him up on a free a la Tyrell Ashcroft.
Amadou Mbengue: 6
What to make of Mbengue today? He seemed either brilliant or kamikaze. Won the ball back well a number of times and played some clever passes into the midfield, but potentially could’ve given away a penalty for a silly challenge at best, and was booked for an absolutely crushing collision. Not his best day but it would be great to see him sign a long-term deal before Saturday.
Scott Dann: 7
Marshalled the defence well from the centre and was composed on the ball. You felt the only way he could be caught out today was by Watford’s pace going forward, but their lack of quality never really troubled Dann. Great to see we have so many options at centre back now and you wonder if Dann may be one of the starting three on a regular basis, if he stays fit.
Naby Sarr: 5
I expected more from Sarr’s recent return to the team but perhaps he still isn’t fully fit. Almost the opposite of Scott Dann above - he was nearly caught out a couple of times in the first half and luckily Bouzanis just about dealt with a very dodgy back-pass. You feel if he was up against his name sake Ismaila rather than Watford’s kids it could’ve been a very different story today.
Baba Rahman: 6
A quiet game for Baba: solid enough defensively and while he got into some nice positions down the left he struggled to find that final piece of quality. Guinness-Walker should return to the starting XI against QPR for me.
Tom McIntyre: 7
TMac yet again showed his versatility and did not look out of place in the centre of midfield. Broke play up well, linked the defence to the attack, and produced a superb assist for Long’s goal in extra time. One or two nervy moments but overall a very solid performance.
Sam Hutchinson: 5
Hutch was less solid today in fairness. It’s hard to be too harsh given he’s only just back from injury, but he gave the ball away far too cheaply numerous times and picked up a silly yellow card trying to make amends. He’ll look far more comfortable in the weeks to come and it’s great he got 45 minutes under his belt.
Femi Azeez: 7
Nice to see Azeez start and he looked the likeliest to make something happen all game for me. He tested the ‘keeper in the first half and maybe should’ve done better with another shot from the edge of the box. Did well to tap in Abrefa’s cross but was ruled out for offside.
Lucas Joao: 5
Joao’s work rate has definitely increased recently to be fair to him, but he’s just not managed to find that same form from past seasons. Scuffed a decent chance well wide in the first half and should’ve got a shot away from a couple of nice positions in the second. Sadly probably fourth choice striker nowadays.
Shane Long: 6
Probably not Shane’s best game since his return but he never stopped running as always. He wasn’t helped by a lack of service given the seven defenders in the team, but he linked the play up well and looked to provide a threat in behind.
Have to give him real credit for the way he took his goal at the end though - two or three fantastic touches to keep the ball under control and slotted home perfectly.
Mamadou Loum: 6
Came on a half time and had a relatively quiet half. The majority of his passes were sidewards but it’s not his job to do too much else. Would really benefit from a box-to-box midfielder alongside him.
Andy Carroll: 5
The BFG struggled to make an impact in the 20 minutes he was on the pitch and didn’t give the Watford defenders too much to worry about. Possibly due to the fact Reading were under the cosh far more than they needed to be in the final 15.
Michael Craig: 6
Only had 11 minutes to get into the game. Looked clever on the ball though and not out of place.
Nesta Guinness-Walker: N/A
Came on with only five minutes left but still nearly managed one clever attacking run.
Who was your man of the match against Watford? Vote below or through this link.