Report: Watford 3-0 Bolton
Bolton Wanderers opened 2014/15 campaign with defeat against Watford at Vicarage Road.
Strike pair Troy Deeney and Matej Vydra were on target inside the opening half before sub Fernando Forestieri added a third.
The Trotters did manufacture a number of chances of their own, particularly when chasing the game in the second period.
Lee Chung-Yong and subs Jermaine Beckford and Liam Feeney all went close on what was an ultimately frustrating opening day.
Dean Moxey was given the nod to start his first competitive game in a Bolton shirt, whilst the returning Neil Danns and Kevin McNaughton were also in from the off.
Craig Davies started the game upfront, with Jermaine Beckford and youngster Conor Wilkinson on the bench.
On a glorious day in Herfordshire the opening chance of the contest came inside the opening 60 seconds.
Watford skipper Deeney stole in behind the Bolton back line following a defensive mix-up and lashed wide of the near post.
Wanderers gathered themselves and for the ensuing 15 or so minutes penned the hosts inside of their own half for large periods.
However on 18 minutes Watford broke the deadlock.
Left wing-back Daniel Pudil clipped a ball into the left channel, with Deeney racing in-between two defenders before clipping a neat finish over the onrushing Andrew Lonergan.
And moments later the hosts had a second.
Vydra latched onto a ball over the top, before cutting back infield from the right byline and firing a low left-footed shot under the body of Lonergan.
Medo Kamara responded for Bolton with a shot in anger from 30 yards that whistled over Heurelho Gomes’ crossbar.
After a decision went against him, Medo was then involved in a brief scuffle in the middle of the park with a series of Watford players as frustrations began to boil over.
Bolton did stem the Watford attacks, as the remainder of the half fizzled out.
Feeney was introduced at the interval in place of Darren Pratley, as the second period started in a lively fashion.
Juan Carlos Paredes crashed an effort off the underside of the crossbar from 25 yards before from a similar distance up the other end Jay Spearing saw a shot deflect narrowly wide of Gomes’ left post.
Lonergan then had to be alert to twice keep out Almen Abdi from close range.
On the hour mark Feeney then forced Gomes into a smart save after letting fly from 25 yards, as Wanderers began to make inroads into the hosts’ three central defenders.
Lee then almost conjured up a moment of brilliance. Spotting Gomes off his line, the South Korean clipped a shot goalwards from 30 yards with the Watford stopper backpedalling to tip over the bar.
Beckford was thrown on in an attempt to reduce arrears and almost had an immediate impact.
Assuming possession on the edge of the area, Beckford threw a couple of defenders with a clever dummy before dragging an effort into the side netted.
But instead Watford extended their advantage.
Sub Forestieri escaped the attentions of the Bolton back line before finishing neatly when in the clear.
Bolton continued to plug away, with Lee and sub Dorian Dervite both unlucky not to find the net with headers late on.