A late Michael Dawson own-goal gifted Watford a 1-0 win over Hull City at Vicarage Road on Saturday and extended the visitors’ losing streak to six Premier League games.
Hull had held out for more than 80 minutes with a resolute defensive display, before Dawson miscued a clearance into his own net following a Nordin Amrabat cross.
The Tigers had looked like winning a rare and valuable point after surviving an early Watford onslaught, which saw Younes Kaboul and Roberto Pereyra rattle the woodwork inside the opening 10 minutes.
But Hull came through that tricky period and grew into the contest, with their new 3-5-2 shape denying the hosts space before Dawson’s late unfortunate intervention.
They had few chances of their own, though Abel Hernandez could have done better when released in the area early in the second half.
It is now just one defeat in seven and three consecutive clean sheets for Walter Mazzarri’s men, who continue their impressive start to the season ahead of a tricky trip to Anfield in their next Premier League outing.
Watford began the game at breathtaking speed, eager to take advantage of a porous Hull defence which had conceded 11 times in the last two league matches.
The hosts’ first opening came within 10 seconds, but Troy Deeney could not quite reach Amrabat’s inswinging cross.
They continued to surge forward and Kaboul’s third-minute header cannoned off the bar before Pereyra clipped the post with a curling strike from distance.
Hull settled into the game and had their first shot after 20 minutes, but Heurelho Gomes was equal to a low drive from Ryan Mason.
Chances dried up for Watford as the half progressed, though they missed a glorious opportunity to take the lead just before the interval when Deeney and strike partner Odion Ighalo got in each other’s way attempting to convert a miscued Amrabat shot which had bounced over Hull goalkeeper David Marshall.
Hull finally got a proper sight of goal just after the break as Hernandez raced on to a forward ball into the box, but his shot was too close to Gomes.
The Vicarage Road faithful began to voice their disapproval at their team’s slow tempo as they struggled to break down a resolute away defence, typified by a fantastic block from three players in the area that prevented Deeney grabbing his 100th goal for Watford.
Etienne Capoue fired just over from 25 yards on the hour as the home side desperately tried to find a way past their visitors, before Kaboul tried a wildly ambitious effort from 30 yards, which flew over the top much to his supporters’ ire.
Watford finally broke the deadlock after 82 minutes and it came in cruel fashion as Dawson diverted an Amrabat cross from the right into his own net as a deflection slightly altered the path of the ball.
Ighalo wriggled free in the area and fired just wide as Watford pressed for a decisive second, but one goal proved to be enough to condemn Hull to the late defeat.