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Report: City U23s 1-6 Watford U23s

Bristol City Under-23s fell to a 6-1 defeat to Professional Development League 2 leaders Watford at a rainy Failand.

Sam Dalby hit a hat-trick, with further strikes from Harry Forster, Jayden Bennetts, and Trialist completing the scoring.

Ryley Towler netted for the Robins, firing home spectacularly in the second half. City remain 7th in the league table.

Watford had a chance to take the lead in the second minute, with Joseph Hungbo’s close range shot being smothered by Robins keeper Harvey Wiles-Richards.

Hungbo then scored the opener in the 20th minute, tapping home after Wiles-Richards had saved a long range effort.

The young Robins nearly found an instant leveller, as Zac Smith unleashed a powerful effort from range which was tipped over by Hornets keeper Adam Parkes.

However, Dalby then added a second on 26 minutes for the visiting Hornets, tapping home Kaylen Hinds’ teasing low cross at the front post.

As conditions worsened, Watford made it three from the spot, with Dalby stroking down the middle after Harry Forster had been fouled by Vince Harper.

A Trialist scored a fourth just before half-time, sliding home Callum Whelan’s clever delivery following a quick free-kick routine.

City started the second half brightly, with Freddie Hinds lashing wide at the near post from the edge of the box though Robins keeper Wiles-Richards was then forced into action, tipping over Dalby’s audacious chip.

City finally got the goal they deserved in the 66th minute when Towler’s superb curling effort nestled into the top corner from the edge of the area.

Sam Bell came close to adding a second City goal moments later, firing wide at the near post as the home side pushed to get back into the game

But top of the table Watford then added a fifth goal, after a header from a corner was neatly swivelled from close range by substitute Jayden Bennett

Five minutes later Dalby completed his hat-trick, converting his second penalty of the day after Harper was penalised for handball.

Next up for the City youngsters is a home fixture versus Millwall in Weston-Super-Mare on Monday (January 13th, 1pm KO).