Three successive home matches offered Aidy Boothroyd’s side a genuine opportunity to close the gap on the teams immediately above them. But the failure to overcome 10-man Wigan in midweek, followed by this setback, suggests the chance has been lost. Although there is still Charlton to come next Saturday, Watford have that sinking feeling.
Boothroyd must already be examining Plan B – the one to take Watford back up next season. Goals will come easier in the Championship. Some will surely fall to the Hungarian forward Tamas Priskin, the second-half substitute who deserved one for effort alone after a shot and two headers in the space of five minutes.