Watford’s Troy Deeney scored the match winner just seconds after coming on as a second half substitute, as Brighton’s winless run was extended to nine games.
The goal was perhaps fortunate, but Sean Dyche won’t worry one bit as his Watford side won back-to-back matches for the first time this season in extending their cushion above the drop zone to four points.
Brighton never really found their passing game, something iconic in a Gus Poyet side, and the Uruguayan was very critical of his side afterwards claiming “We were poor. I don’t remember the last time we were so poor.”
A confident Watford, on the back of a vital three points against Peterborough on Saturday, came out of the traps the quickest and their man in form Marvin Sordell wasted two good early opportunities; seeing one shot blocked and the other comfortably saved by Steve Harper.
A dominant Watford again nearly opened the scoring as the stand in captain Adrian Mariappa headed against a post from another high quality delivery from Lee Hodson, who was a consistent threat down the Watford right.
Brighton rarely threatened in the first half; however their one source of quality came through Craig Noone who looked lively. Noone in fact was the closest to a Brighton goal in an otherwise disappointing first half for the South coast side, after his long range effort had Scott Loach worried.
After the break however, Poyet’s side were the better, and despite failing to trouble Loach in the Watford goal, were dominating possession for the first time in the match.
Poyet gambled by bringing on a third striker as Ashley Barnes was introduced in place of Ryan Harley, however it was a Dyche change that had the most affect as Deeney came on for the quiet Craig Forsyth.
Immediately after the former Walsall man opened the scoring. Chris Iwelumo did brilliantly to engineer a chance for the sub as his knock down feel perfectly for Deeney. The forward’s first shot was blocked, however Greer’s attempted clearance rebounded of the fortunate Deeney and went in.
Barnes wasted Brighton’s best chance at getting back into the match as he woefully put fellow sub Kazenga Lua Lua’s cross wide.
Brighton failed to create any chances late on as Watford held on for a vital three points.