Vernon goals earn Shrews a credible draw against the Championship side
Two late goals from substitute Scott Vernon earned Shrewsbury Town a credible draw against Championship side Watford at the Greenhous Meadow on Saturday.
Micky Mellon's side battled bravely throughout but Cristian Battocchio's first-half strike for the visitors, followed by substitute Tommie Hoban's volley at the start of the second, gave the visitors a two-goal lead.
However, after an exquisite chip to halve the deficit with seven minutes left, Vernon grabbed his second and the equaliser with a cooly taken finish in the 90th minute.
Watford showed many glimpes of their quality in the first half. Town goalkeeper Mark Halstead had to get down and hold Lewis McGugan's low drive from the edge of the box in the seventh minute.
At the other end, left-back Micky Demetriou blasted over after good build-up play down the right.
Watford threatend to take the lead when Daniel Tozser's strike rolled narrowly wide from 20 yards out, and they eventually did when Battocchi rifled a low strike from the right of the box into the opposite corner with space to shoot in the 18th minute.
The goal never unsettled Town, though, and they nearly equalised seven minutes later as Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro hit a bending effort just past the right post.
Striker James Collins was also inches away from connecting with Jermaine Grandison's teasing cross into the six-yard box.
At the other end, Ashley Vincent volleyed Clarke's in-swinging cross from the left narrowly over, while Clarke also bent a free-kick past the far post, but Town went in behind at the break.
Following the restart, Hoban volleyed in a cross from close range in the 48th minute to double Watford's lead.
Ashley Vincent then rattled the post with 20 minutes to go with a low strike towards the near corner.
Mellon gave most of his squad a run out and it was substitute Vernon who gave Town hope when he expertly lifted the ball over the oncoming goalkeeper, from the edge of the box, after being picked out by Liam Lawrence.
Vernon was then teed up in the final minute to side-foot past Bond and earn Mellon's side a draw.
TOWN LINE-UP: Halstrad (Burton, 45), Grandison, Demetriou, Woods, Ellis (c) (Gayle), Goldson (Burton, 45), Akpa Akpro, Wesolowski, Collins, Clarke, Vincent (Gayle).
SUBS: Wildig, Burton, Lawrence, Vernon, Knight-Percival, Caton, Robinson, Gayle, Ginnelly, Burton.
GOALS: Vernon (83, 90)
WATFORD LINE-UP: Gomes, Ekstrand, Battocchio, Dyer, Deeney (c), McGugan, Doyley, Cathcart (Tamas, 37), Tozser, Pudil, Vydra.
SUBS: Brown, Doherty, Angella, Hoban, Forestieri, Ranegie, Tamas, Fabbrini, Anya, Bond.
GOALS: Tozser (18), Hoban (48).