Date: 9th August 2006 at 2:03pm
Written by:

Aidy Boothroyd`s side continued their Premiership preparations by extending their pre-season unbeaten run to five matches after holding Italian giants Inter Milan to a draw.

New £1.6 million man Dan Shittu made his Hornets debut starting at centre half alongside Jay DeMerit. Chris Powell started ahead of Jordan Stewart at left back and Damien Francis lined up alongside skipper Gavin Mahon.

For Inter, Brazilian striker Adriano started alongside Nigerian youngster Obafemi Martins, whilst Argentine duo Javier Zanetti and Walter Samuel started at the back their compatriot Esteban Cambiasso was left on the bench.

Watford created the games first goal scoring opportunity of the game after six minutes when Ashley Young`s curling twenty-yard free kick was tipped round the post by Inter`s second-choice ‘keeper Julio Cesar.

With Watford having so nearly taken the lead it was Inter`s turn to crank up the pressure and a fine ball over the top found Brazilian international Adriano, who was closely guarded by Lloyd Doyley, however, the former Parma hitman could not get his effort on target, instead it sailed over the bar.

Watford did finally take the lead – or so they thought – when Ashley Young tapped the ball home from a yard, however, the goal was disallowed, as new-boy Dan Shittu`s challenge on Julio Cesar was deemed unlawful.

Inter came closest in the first half when Richard Lee lost a bouncing ball only for Adriano to fire a snapshot over the bar with Lee stranded.

Former Real Madrid man Santiago Solari flashed the only other Inter chance over the bar from a wide position whilst attempting to cross the ball.

After forty-five minutes of the match Watford were deservedly level. Three half-time substitutions from Inter saw the arrivals of Cesar, Cambiasso and Toldo, replacing Adriano, Dacourt and Julio Cesar.

For Watford half time also saw the withdrawal of new-boy Danny Shittu, who was suffering from cramp towards the end of the first half, thus prompting the arrival of Adrian Mariappa.

Fifteen minutes into the second half and The King of Vicarage Road struck to send Watford fans into raptures, despite the fact the match was only a ‘friendly`.

Sent clear by a perfect through-ball Marlon King raced forward and placed the ball and the bottom right-hand corner beyond Francesco Toldo to put Watford one up against the Italian Champions.

However, Watford`s joy was to be short-lived, Inter sub Marco Andreolli bundling the ball home after seventy-five minutes following a frantic scramble inside the area.

Watford came the closest to winning it late on, when Marlon King`s shot was well saved at the near-post by Francesco Toldo.

Watford: Lee; Doyley, Shittu (Mariappa), DeMerit, Powell; Chambers (McNamee), Mahon (c), Francis, Young; King & Henderson (Bangura).

Inter Milan: Cesar (Toldo); Maicon (Bonucci), Samuel (Marino), Cordoba (Andreolli), Zanetti (c) (Fautario); Pizarro (Belaid), Stankovic, Dacourt (Cambiasso), Solari (Choutos); Adriano (Cesar) & Martins (Slavkovski).