Promotion-chasing Watford had to be content with a point from a goalless draw at home to Hull, who nudged themselves further clear of the relegation places in the Sky Bet Championship.
Slaven Bilic’s side would have gone third had they won but moved fifth instead, while the Tigers leapfrogged Wigan and are now two points clear of third-bottom West Brom.
Both sides had chances to win it but it was certainly no classic at Vicarage Road.
Watford’s Hamza Choudhury and Dimitrios Pelkas of Hull both needed treatment early on after simultaneously tackling each other. Hamza continued with his right knee strapped but Pelkas had to be replaced by Greg Docherty in the 10th minute.
It was clear that Leicester loanee Choudhury was struggling, though, and the midfielder bowed out himself five minutes later, with winger Joseph Hungbo coming on.
Attempts on goal were sporadic, with Hull’s Jacob Greaves sending a header from a corner well wide and Christian Kabasele sliding in to block Tyler Smith’s shot from the right of the Watford box.
The Hornets’ first effort came on the half-hour mark, with Tigers goalkeeper Matt Ingram diving to push away Joao Pedro’s low drive after Jean Michael Seri’s wayward pass had bounced off a home player.
Regan Slater fired a low effort at home goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann before Cyrus Christie was booked for tugging Ken Sema back, but that was about it for an underwhelming first 45 minutes.
Smith livened things up within two minutes of the restart after Docherty had played him in on the right of the box but Bachmann saved well with his legs.
Alfie Jones was booked for an agricultural halting of Sema and moments later Ingram had to dive to paw away a shot on the turn from Pedro that was destined for the corner of the net.
Substitute Docherty had to come off himself before the hour, with Ozan Tufan – booed by home fans because of an underwhelming Watford loan spell last season – replacing him.
Yaser Asprilla came close to firing Watford ahead but Ingram was able to parry and the forward was hurt in a vain attempt to convert the rebound.
Pedro fired another chance over and Tufan should have punished his former club when Christie’s cutback gave him a clear sight of goal but he blasted over.
It was certainly a day for substitutes being substituted as the ineffective Hungbo was replaced by Rey Manaj for the final 20 minutes.
Christie almost won it for Hull 10 minutes from time but Bachmann beat away his rising dive after the defender had danced his way into the box.
Manaj put an even better chance wide from close range at the other end when he connected with Hassane Kamara’s ball across the box from the left. Manaj was also substituted to become the game’s third replacement to fail to complete the game.
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