Report | Watford 1 Swansea City 2

5th October 2022
First team
Watford away Olivier Ntcham Matty Sorinola

Ben Cabango’s injury time winner secured a fourth win in five for Swansea City as they took all three points at Watford.

Despite dominating the majority of the play, the Swans had to come from behind as the Hornets led at half-time courtesy of Ismaila Sarr’s finish from close range.

But Russell Martin’s side turned things around in the second period.

Olivier Ntcham’s second goal in two games brought the visitors level shortly after the break before Cabango headed home a winner in the 10th minute of 17 added on.  The long additional time due to a faulty microphone for one of the officials which caused the game to stop.

Martin made two changes with both Ntcham and Michael Obafemi named among the starting XI after making impacts off the bench in the win over West Bromwich Albion last time out. Ollie Cooper and Luke Cundle dropped to the bench.

The Swans dominated the opening 15 minutes but were unable to make their strong start count.

Crosses from Ntcham and Ryan Manning both found Obafemi – but the Swans front man had strayed offside on both occasions, while Ntcham got down the left well before his cross was deflected into the hands of goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann.

The closest the Swans came in this period was a Manning right-footed effort which flew narrowly wide of the post – however, there’s some doubt over whether it would have stood as the assistant raised his flag.

Watford’s first chance came shortly before the 20-minute mark as Ken Sema glanced a weak header from a Hamza Choudhury cross goalward, but Matty Sorinola got across and had plenty of time to clear the danger.

The game evened up a little after that with both sides exchanging half chances. Cabango did well to keep Manning’s deep corner delivery alive, but Jay Fulton’s acrobatic attempt to send the ball on target saw him penalised for a high foot. At the other end, an excellent challenge by Matt Grimes denied Hassane Kamara.

Despite having the best of the early play, it was the Swans keeper Steven Benda who was forced into the first save of the evening, doing really well to stick out his left hand and deny Keinan Davis from a tight angle.

And minutes later, Watford did take the lead. Sarr turning the ball in from close range after Davis and Sema linked up well down the left.

Obafemi thought he’d evened things up shortly before the break when a set-piece led to a shot from outside the box by Grimes which was parried by Bachmann, but once again the forward was offside.

In fact it was Watford who came closest to a second. Yaser Asprilla picking the pocket of Kyle Naughton and taking the ball around Benda before being denied by Nathan Wood who had retreated to the line and cleared the danger.

Like the first half, Swans started the second half on the front foot, but unlike the first half they were rewarded for their efforts.

Ntcham was picked out by Grimes and – like in the West Brom game days earlier – was afforded time and space by the home side and took full advantage, firing a right-footed effort on target. It took a bit of a deflection on the way through, but there was no stopping the strike from the Cameroon international.

Two substitutions for Watford either side of a long injury took a bit of the flow out of the Swans’ game around the hour mark, and it was the hosts who had the next half-chance with Choudhury dragging a left-footed strike wide of the far post from distance.

At the other end, Manning flashed an effort wide after shrugging off a challenge and latching onto a long forward ball from a goal kick.

Benda was called upon again. Wood’s clearing header fell at the feet of Kamara, but the German shot-stopper got across and made himself big to deny what had looked a certain goal.

A couple of half chances fell Davis’ way. He headed some way off target before having a chance completely crowded out moments later. That was the Hornets striker's final action of the game as he was one of a series of substitutions for both sides which disrupted the second half.

But the half was truly disrupted a few minutes later, when the game was paused when one of the officials' microphones stopped working leading to 17 minutes of added time.

Joel Piroe was the first to have a chance in added time when he sent a first time effort on target after being picked out following more good work by Manning, but the Dutchman didn’t get any real power on the effort and it was a straight-forward stop for Bachmann.

With 10 minutes of injury time remaining, Swans won another free kick outside the box with Manning brought down again, and this time they were able to make it count.

Manning’s left-footed delivery found the run of Cabango completely unmarked and he headed down into the bottom corner to give Swansea the lead.

There was still time for more drama as Watford appealed in vain for a last-gasp penalty, but the Swans were not to be denied.

Watford: Daniel Bachmann, Mario Gaspar (James Morris 59), Hamza Choudhury, Keinan Davies (Vakoun Bayo 78), Ken Sema, Hassane Kamara, Yaser Asprilla (Imran Louza 56), Ismaila Sarr, Christian Kabasele (captain), Francisco Sierralta (Mattie Pollock 78), Edo Kayemebe.

Substitutes: Maduka Okoye, Dan Gosling, Joe Hungbo.

Swansea City: Steven Benda; Nathan Wood, Kyle Naughton (Harry Darling (90+10), Ben Cabango; Matty Sorinola (Joel Latibeaudiere 78), Jay Fulton, Matt Grimes (captain), Ryan Manning; Olivier Ntcham (Ollie Cooper 71), Joel Piroe, Michael Obafemi.

Substitutes: Andy Fisher, Luke Cundle, Armstrong Oko-Flex, Fin Stevens.