Two Watford goals in this five goal thriller were strongly contested by Stoke players, but to no avail.
After Steven Fletcher flicked in a surprise goal on 2 minutes, Watford equalised on the half-hour with one of the most controversial goals in recent times.
New Stoke keeper Angus Gunn tipped a Cleverley shot on to the underside of the bar, and after it had bounced down – still in play – Gunn grabbed the ball before being bundled to the floor by Watford’s Pedro. Despite being 30 yards away, the referee declared that the ball had been over the line at some time during the incident!
Watford then took the lead as Batth’s error resulted in Gunn bringing down Sarr for a penalty, converted by de Jesus.
Nick Powell then scored a scorcher into the corner on 81 minutes, set up by Vokes and Campbell, but Stoke conceded the winner in time-added after Sema beat Jacob Brown to cross for Sarr to slot home. However, Stoke had claimed an obvious handball just seconds before the incident, ignored by the ref.
Fireworks burst noisily around Vicarage Road all through the game. If the Stoke fans had been in (instead of watching on streams), the explosions would have singularly failed to have drowned out their baying anger! They will just have to save their ire till next time they cross the path of referee Andy Davies.