Report: Watford 2 Albion 0Goals in each half saw Albion end their hat-trick of away fixtures with a 2-0 defeat at Vicarage Road.
Both sides had opportunities but it was Watford who found the all-important finishing touches in front of goal to send the Seagulls home empty handed.
Jake Forster-Caskey’s ball over the top almost set Leo Ulloa through on goal early on but Watford keeper Manuel Almunia’s swift reaction off his line quelled the attack, and straight from the Frenchman’s clearance the hosts had their opening chance. Fernando Forestieri tested Tomasz Kuszczak from distance although he could not find a way past Albion’s keeper, but the Hornets did beat the Pole in their very next attack.
Ikechi Anya was slipped in and his controlled low drive across the goal put Watford ahead with 13 minutes on the clock.
The goal lifted the home side who once again came close as Anya tried to double his account, only for Kuszczak to comfortably save.
A quick break from the Seagulls almost fashioned an equaliser on 25 minutes as David Lopez’s low cross was turned goalwards by Andrea Orlandi, but Watford managed to block the Italian’s effort.
There were chances for both sides as Forestieri spurned a golden opportunity to extend the hosts’ lead as his tepid shot from Marco Cassetti’s cross was easily gathered by Kuszczak, while David shot wide for the Seagulls up the other end.
Forster-Caskey’s afternoon ended prematurely due to injury and his replacement, Kazenga LuaLua, almost made an immediate impact as his left footed strike cannoned off the crossbar with Almunia beaten. David rippled the side netting just seconds later as Oscar’s men went in behind at the break.
Dale Stephens, making his Albion debut, dragged wide early in the second half but Albion’s woes soon worsened. A loose back-pass by Gordon Greer was pounced on by Forestieri who made no mistake in rounding Kuszczak and rolling into the empty net.
New signing David Rodriguez was sent on in place of Orlandi as Oscar looked to rescue something from the game, and Albion soon had the ball in the net through Ulloa; however the Argentinian’s joy was short lived as his header was scratched off for offside.
The Seagulls tried in vain to become the third side in succession to overturn a two-goal lead by Watford but the hosts were not to suffer a similar fate again.