The last time the two clubs met at Vicarage Road was on New Years Eve 2011 when Rovers occupied the next to bottom place and Watford were 11th in the Championship.
Pascal Chimbonda returned from injury to replace James O’Connor and Herold Goulon came in for the suspended Brian Stock. El Hadji Diouf took over as captain.
The home team went straight on the attack, with Marvin Sordell getting in a strike at goal which Gary Woods saved. After some general midfield play Troy Deeney, for the home team, shot well wide from distance and then, from a corner Nyron Nosworthy’s header landed on the top of the net.
Rovers were struggling to get a foothold in the game when, in the 25th minute, Chimbonda was substituted for O’Connor due to injury.
The first half degenerated into a scrappy affair but in the 36th minute James Coppinger put a half volley wide and before Billy Sharp, minutes later, put an effort just over the bar.
Rovers were enjoying their best period of the game but in the 44th minute, Lee Hodson cleared the ball out of the Watford defence to Sordell on the halfway line. Getting the better of Habib Beye, he ran on and rifled the ball past Woods in the Rovers goal.
Rovers started the second half on the attack and were rewarded in the 47th minute when Diouf crossed from the left byline for Sharp to head into the net.
Rovers were having the better of the contest at this stage but the 63rd minute brought calamity upon them when Goulon was booked for the second time in the game and consequently shown the way to the dressing room. The home team took immediate advantage of their numerical advantage as the Rovers tried to adjust to the new situation. Pushing forward Sordell glanced a header into the net from a cross by Mark Yeates.
The home team gave the Rovers no rest as they surged forward with attack after attack. Deeney headed wide from a good position and Sordell hammered in a shot that hit Woods in the chest.
Then, in the 84th minute, John Eustace, with his first touch picked up a loose ball and fired a low shot into the Rovers net.
In the third minute of added time Michael Kightly received the ball ten yards into his own half from a clearance out of the Rovers defence, took it on unchallenged before slamming past Woods for a fourth and final goal.
Goulon’s dismissal completely changed the game with Watford dominating thereafter. This defeat put the Rovers in the bottom position with Coventry City leapfrogging them.
Result - Watford 4 Rovers 1
Teams - Watford - Scott Loach; Lee Hodson, Adrian Mariappa ©, Nyron Nosworthy, Carl Dickinson; Mark Yeates, Jonathan Hogg, Prince Buaben, Michael Kightly; Marvin Sordell, Troy Deeney
Subs used - John Eustace for Buaben 83 mins; Chris Iwelumo for Deeney 86 mins; Joe Garner for Sordell 87 mins;
Caution – Kightly 90+3 mins;
ROVERS - Gary Woods; Pascal Chimbonda, Sam Hird, Habib Beye, Herita Ilunga; James Coppinger, Simon Gillett, Herold Goulon, Giles Barnes; El Hadji Diouf ©, Billy Sharp
Subs used - James O'Connor for Chimbonda 25 mins; Kyle Bennett for Barnes 83 mins; James Hayter for Diouf 87 mins;
Subs not used - Goulon 63 mins, 2 cautions;Sent Off - Goulon; Beye; Goulon 63 mins; Diouf 64 mins; Cautions
- George Friend, Jonathan Maxted gk