London – Second half goals from Odion Ighalo and Craig Cathcart got Watford back to winning ways with a 2-1 success at home to injury-hit Newcastle on Saturday.
Ighalo claimed his seventh goal in seven league games at Vicarage Road just after the break with the Nigerian striker setting up Northern Ireland defender Cathcart for the second ten minutes later.
Magpies’ defender Jamaal Lascelles reduced the deficit with his 71st-minute header following a Jonjo Shelvey cross.
But the hosts held on to end their four-game losing streak and complete an unprecedented top-flight double against Newcastle.
It lifted Quique Sanchez Flores’s side to their first win in six league games to sit tenth with 32 points, while Newcastle are stuck in the relegation zone on 21 points.
Manager Steve McClaren had to scramble together a makeshift defence as Newcastle struggled with injuries.
Lascelles was brought in with Senegalese international midfielder Henri Saivet handed his full debut, and Rolando Aarons, operating as a left wing-back, making his first league start of the season.
New Watford attacking midfielder Nordin Amrabat, who signed from Malaga this week, started on the bench, making his debut late in the game.
Aarons, 20, had the first chance of the game, but his half volley went just wide of Heurelho Gomes’s left post.
There were few chances for either side in the first half with Cathcart failing to open the scoring after six minutes when he picked up a Ben Watson cross only to head wide.
Rob Elliot kept out a Troy Deeney shot after 15 minutes, with the Newcastle goalie also clearing an Etienne Capoue goal-bound effort a minute later.
But it was after the break that the match came to life, and within the first minute Capoue sent the ball over the Newcastle defence for Ighalo to beat the offside trap with only Elliot in his way, before firing into an empty net for his 14th goal this season.
Watford took control with Ighalo, 26, setting up Cathcart for the second on 58 minutes.
Newcastle substitute Ayoze Perez then came on and looked set to score, but his effort from a Moussa Sissoko cross went high and wide.
But Lascelles headed home Shelvey’s corner with Newcastle pressing for the equaliser, but Watford held on to claim their third victory over the Magpies this season following an FA Cup success earlier this month.
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