Watford 2-2 Sunderland: Watford pegged back twice by Sunderland

Sunderland came back twice to take a point back to the north-east as Watford's mixed start to the season continues.

Watford had twice taken the lead through Keinan Davis and a Luke O'Nien own goal before conceding late in both halves to share the points with Sunderland. 

The Hornets started on the front foot and took the lead through a well-worked team goal which ended with Davis tapping home from close range. Despite chances to further their lead they went into half-time all square after goal line technology had adjudged Aji Alese's shot to have crossed the line. 

The second half followed a similar trajectory as Watford regained the lead when O'Nien headed into the wrong net, but a last minute effort from Jewison Bennette sent the away fans into raptures. 

Rob Edwards made five changes from the side which lost 2-0 at Ewood Park on Tuesday evening. Keinan Davis made his first start since joining on loan from Aston Villa in the summer whilst Yáser Asprilla came in for the injured Ismaïla Sarr. 

The visitors have been in fine form since securing their promotion back to The Championship last season. Despite losing their manager, Alex Neil, to Stoke City after just five games, they have continued to impress and travelled down to Hertfordshire off the back of a comfortable 3-0 victory against Reading on Wednesday. 

Edwards had called for his side to make a better start to the game having gone behind first in the previous four matches, and the hosts did indeed begin on the front foot. João Pedro and Ken Sema were looking particularly dangerous and their link-up with Davis was starting to threaten Tony Mowbray's men. 

Despite dominating possession in the opening stages there wasn't much to come by in the way of clear-cut chances. In fact, it was the away side who went closest when Lynden Gooch cut in on his left foot and curled his effort just wide of Daniel Bachmann's post. 

With ten minutes left of the first half, however, the deadlock was finally broken. Asprilla picked out Hassane Kamara on the left hand side with a delicious ball and Davis was on hand to tap in the Ivorian's cross after it was palmed into his path by goalkeeper Anthony Patterson. 

The Black Cats started to grow into the game following the opening goal and they equalised on the brink of half time. Alex Pritchard picked out the lively Jack Clarke at the back post and after a scramble the ball was fired goalwards by Aji Alese. It appeared that Hamza Choudhury had done enough on the line to keep it out but the referee signalled that goal-line technology had informed him that the ball had indeed crossed the line. 

Conceding in such fashion after dominating much of the first half would have undoubtedly frustrated Edwards and his team came out firing after the break.  

Everything was going through the immensely impressive João Pedro and he was proving too much for the Sunderland defence. His link up play with Ken Sema set up a chance for Asprilla and Davis had a chance for a second when his touch around Patterson was too heavy which allowed Danny Batth to put in a last ditch challenge. 

The Hornets finally did retake the lead through more great work by the Brazilian Pedro. His silky feet won a free kick in a dangerous area and his inswinging delivery was headed across the face of goal by William Troost-Ekong. His header was met by ex-Watford academy product Luke O'Nien who unfortunately for his side headed the ball into his own net to give Watford their lead back. 

Despite Edo Kayembe nearly adding a third for Edwards' men from range, the last twenty minutes belonged to Sunderland. Clarke had the ball in Bachmann's net but the linesman had raised his flag, and Troost-Ekong gifted a superb chance to substitute Leon Dajaku. After missing his clearance Dajaku was put through on goal but his effort drifted agonisingly wide of the goal. 

After hefty pressure on the Watford goal the visitors finally did equalise again. With three minutes to go Patrick Roberts' cross found its way to substitute Bennette at the far post who smashed the ball home. 

Watford's mixed start to the season continues and the fans showed their discontent at the full-time whistle with a chorus of boos. 

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