Stevenage took Hertfordshire neighbours Watford to penalties - and then dumped them out of the Carabao Cup.

Vakoun Bayo had fired the Hornets into the lead after just six minutes but Josh March levelled on 43 for what was a deserved equaliser.

Both had chances after the break, Krisztian Hegyi making notable saves for Stevenage, but it finished 1-1, setting up the shoot-out drama.

Jamie Reid missed with Boro's first attempt, after Wesley Hoedt had scored for the Hornets.

Francisco Sierralta made it 2-0 but then a miss and a save by Hegyi left Boro in command.

It fell to Nathan Thompson, captain on the night, and he blasted Boro into round two.

Steve Evans, as he did often last year, switched things up for the League Cup, making six changes from the 1-0 League One success at Northampton on Saturday.

Hegyi, Alex MacDonald, Jake Forster-Caskey, Nick Freeman, Kane Smith and March were the men to come in with Taye Ashby-Hammond, Jordan Roberts, Reid and Louis and Ben Thompson all stepping down to the bench.

Skipper Carl Piergianni missed out altogether with a tightness felt during Monday's training.

It also meant just five players on the bench with Elliott List and the injured cohort still missing.

Watford surprisingly only made the one change from their opening day win over QPR and they found themselves in front after six minutes.

Forster-Caskey have been booked for a foul over on the far side and that punishment was doubled as the ball floated right across the box, Bayo tapping in at the far post.

The visitors then enjoyed 10 minutes of possession without worrying Hegyi but also without being worried themselves.

But yet slowly Stevenage roused themselves with a couple of forays forward and once they decided to pressure Ben Hamer when he had the ball at his feet, it turned the game.

The keeper kept the Hornets in with a fine double save, first denying Forster-Caskey with a reflex save and then catching a March effort that was flicked straight into his arms after Butler had put the ball back into the six-yard box.

And it was March with time in the six-yard box that brought the equaliser.

Forster-Caskey's corner from the right wing was played deep and headed down by Aaron Pressley to March.

Somehow nobody went near him and he had time to take a touch and flick it over his head and into the net.

And after a not excessive six-added minutes in the first half, Boro picked up exactly where they left off in the second period.

But they did it with a fresh body on the park, Louis Thompson coming on for Finley Burns and changing the back three into a back four.

MacDonald fired a low free-kick just past the post and then Freeman and Forster-Caskey were inches away from getting on the end of another Pressley knock-down.

And the longer the game went on, the more the tension and the atmosphere crept up and up.

Forster-Caskey saw an effort blocked behind for Stevenage before Hegyi produced a stunning point-blank save to deflect an effort from an unmarked Bayo over the top.

Another good Hegyi stop, this time from a Rhys Healey header, kept Boro in the game but penalties seemed the likely outcome for most of the final minutes.

That was something Boro weren't bothered about.


Match details

Stevenage: Hegyi, James-Wildin, Butler, N.Thompson, MacDonald, Forster-Caskey, Freeman (B.Thompson 70), Smith, Burns (L.Thompson 46), March (Reid 82), Pressley (J.Roberts 70).

Sub (not used): Ashby-Hammond.

Goal: March 43

Booked: Forster-Caskey 5, Pressley 60, Freeman 65


Watford: Hamer, Ngakia (Andrews 34), Sierralta, Hoedt, Porteous, Louza (Healey 79), Sema (Kone 61), Bayo, Dele-Bashiru (Livermore 61), Martins (Kayembe 79), Morris.

Subs (not used): M.Roberts, Pollock, Asprilla, Forde.

Goal: Bayo 6

Booked: Sierralta 47, Hoedt 60, Kone 67, Livermore 81


HT: Stevenage 1 Watford 1

Added time: 15

Referee: Charles Breakspear (Walton-on-Thames)

Attendance: 4,495 (1,373 from Watford)