The long-journey again to the north-east might, and may, have felt a lot much less arduous for these of a Newcastle United persuasion. But Sean Longstaff’s first-half strike – which was backed up by an lively away efficiency – was cancelled out by Ismaila Sarr’s second-half header in a high-octane affair at Vicarage Road.
It meant Steve Bruce’s aspect shared the spoils with Watford and remain winless. It threatened to be a lot worse, solely for Josh King’s late effort to be appropriately adjudged offside. That would have been merciless on the guests, who might have gained it themselves had Jacob Murphy not fluffed his strains having been despatched racing clear in injury-time.
Jarred Gillet was making historical past as the primary abroad referee to supervise a Premier League conflict, and he was initiated with a hearty cry of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ simply 20 minutes in. He was later booed off by the house followers. On paper a delicate introduction, however in apply it was a tempestuous affair, each groups all too conscious that come the ultimate reckoning factors earned right here might rely double.
It was Watford who began brightest, Emmanuel Dennis forcing a wise double save from Karl Darlow inside 90 seconds. That set the tempo, Sarr having fun with himself in opposition to Matt Ritchie early on. But Newcastle grew in stature, the power of Longstaff, Isaac Hayden and Joe Willock – a shock inclusion 24 hours after Bruce had dominated him out – an excessive amount of for the hosts.
They deservedly took the lead when Allan Saint-Maximin fed Longstaff who completed from the left-edge of the field. It was not fairly top-corner certain, and Ben Foster might be dissatisfied. Longstaff had twice already gone shut twice from related positions, Watford responsible of giving him ample time to set himself.
“Sean Longstaff, he’s one of our own” cried the visiting followers, who have been loved a efficiency akin people who noticed the midfielder thrust into first-team motion by Rafael Benitez and awarded a big-money contract to chase away curiosity from elsewhere. That contract, by the best way, expires subsequent June.