Fulham slip to defeat at in-form Watford

Watford 1 Fulham 0

An early Troy Deeney goal condemned Fulham to another away defeat despite a battling display at Vicarage Road.

Deeney struck in the ninth minute, reacting quickest to the rebound after Marcus Bettinelli had pushed away Craig Cathcart’s flick.

Matej Vydra hit the bar for Watford in the first half but Fulham mounted some pressure after the break, with Heurelho Gomes in good form in the home goal.

The ex-Tottenham keeper twice denied Ross McCormack late in the game, including in injury time, as Watford held out for a win that keeps them firmly in the promotion hunt.

Fulham were brilliant in beating Derby on Saturday but have struggled away from Craven Cottage, and have now taken just one point from their last seven on the road.

Their struggles continued after Deeney’s early goal but they refused to be cowed, as McCormack brought a good save from Gomes a few minutes later.

Watford are among the Championship’s leading scorers and twice went close to doubling their lead, but Almen Abdi’s well-struck shot flew past the post and Vydra’s dipping effort clipped the crossbar.

On the hour mark, Cauley Woodrow sent a close range header over the bar and in the final 15 minutes Kit Symons sent on Matt Smith – back after his prolific loan spell with Bristol City – and Alex Kacaniklic in an attempt to find an equaliser.

Smith laid on a pass for McCormack, who was denied by Gomes, and the returning forward almost nodded over late on.

There was also time for McCormack to have one last crack at goal from distance but once again Gomes kept it out, as Fulham continue to look over their shoulder at the scrap going on seven points behind them.

Fulham (4-1-2-1-2): Bettinelli; Richards, Bodurov, Hutchinson, Stafylidis; Tunnicliffe; Fofana, Kavanagh (Kacaniklic 76); Ruiz (Smith 76); Woodrow (Rodallega 66), McCormack
Subs not used: Kiraly, Hoogland, Amorebieta, Dembele.

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