Middlesbrough 1-0 Watford
A SOLITARY offside Scott McDonald strike did for the Hornets in Teeside as they went down limply on Sky.
McDonald grabbed the game's only goal four minutes before half-time with a contentious strike.
Watford made just the one change from Tuesday with Troy Deeney coming in at left-midfield to replace Craig Forsyth.
'Boro were without Justin Hoyte so Tony McMahon started whilst Merouane Zemmama came into midfield.
The hosts started the brightest controlling the ball and possession better and came close through McDonald and skipper Barry Robson
Sean Dyche's side on the other hand looked dangerous on the counter and from set-plays and created their best opportunities from corners.
Chris Iwelumo flicked into the path of Adrian Mariappa for once such chance but Marvin Sordell was unable to get out te way quickly enough.
From a deep Mark Yeates' free-kick, Deeney was able to rescue a seemingly lost cause and hook back across but nobody was on hand to bury.
Iwelumo himself came close when he strode forward on the break before unleashing a powerful effort which Jason Steele palmed away.
However, the sucker-punch to the Watford pressure came in the 41st minute when the 'Orns were appealing a ball that looked to have gone out on the left-hand side.
Middlesbrough played on switching the ball to McDonald who saw his effort wriggle under Loach at the second attempt from an offside position.
The second period petered out somewhat with the hosts happy to dictate the tempo and play whilst Watford were left to scrap for bits and pieces without troubling Steele again.
A bad end to what had been a good week for Dyche's charges and not ideal heading into the next international break either.
Middlesbrough: Steele; McMahon, McManus, Bates (c), Bennett; Zemmama (Haroun), Bailey, Williams, Robson; McDonald (Ogbeche) & Emnes.
Subs not used: Arca, Martin & Smallwood.
Watford: Loach; Hodson (Forsyth), Mariappa (c), Nosworthy, Dickinson; Yeates, Hogg, Buaben (Jenkins), Deeney; Iwelumo (Beattie) & Sordell.
Subs not used: Gilmartin & Mirfin.
Attendance: 14 336
Referee: Mr J Waugh