Watford's winning run came to an undignified halt with a scrappy 0-0 draw away at Millwall.

There was not a huge amount between the two teams at the Den, who produced a spectacle lacking in both excitement and incident that nevertheless lifted the Hornets unceremoniously into second place with the point they were rewarded for their efforts.

Conditions at the Den were unpleasant to say the least, with the pitch reminiscent of a paddy field and a constant wall of rain only making things worse throughout the contest.

Xisco Munoz sent out an experienced side to cope with the elements, with Andre Gray replacing Joao Pedro in his starting line up, the only change from the team that had beaten Stoke City 2-1 in their last outing.

The Hornets, as they seem intent on doing at the moment, began the match sitting on the back foot, inviting pressure and only really attacking on the counter. The tactic should have paid off shortly after the quarter-of-an-hour mark when Ismaila Sarr cut out a Millwall pass and threaded an intricate delivery into the path of Gray. Troy Deeney was unmarked in the box to his left, but the returning striker misplaced his pass and the hosts were able to scramble the ball the safety.

Wasted though it was, the chance triggered a change in flow for the match, with the Hornets beginning to exert themselves more on their hosts. Will Hughes had the first shot on target, a speculative effort from the corner of the 18-yard-box, that was never likely to cause any problems for Bartosz Bialkowski, even with the pitch cutting up in front of him.

While Hughes’s shot was a sign that Watford were getting back into the match, it was still a close, physical contest, in which tempers flared on a couple of occasions. The scrappiness of the encounter was typified by a dangerous lunge on Nathaniel Chalobah by Maikel Kieftenbeld, for which the Millwall midfielder received a yellow card.

The Lions then fashioned a chance of their own, similar to Hughes’s effort, that Daniel Bachmann had little trouble dealing with, as Jed Wallace tried his luck from a tight angle.

Half an hour had passed at this point, most of it bereft of creative quality, and it was little surprise that the closest Watford came to opening the scoring in the half came from an unsightly penalty area scramble.

Tom Cleverley curled a ball into the Millwall box after Scott Malone had picked up a booking for a foul on Sarr and on the end of it was one of several home players back defending, who turned the ball against his own post. The Hornets recycled possession well in the wake of the opportunity, but Gray was unable to keep his effort down after Deeney had chested it invitingly in front of him.

A couple more penalty area melees came prior to the half-time whistle but it was nothing Millwall weren’t used to dealing with and both times they emerged unscathed.

They still required heroics from Bialkowski before the break however when Deeney found Sarr in behind the Lions’ defence - the keeper kept the ball out with the shot threatening to squirm through his legs.

As the opening 45 minutes entered stoppage time, the hosts almost benefitted from Watford switching off prematurely with defender Jake Cooper twice going close to breaking the deadlock.

First he got on the end of a Ryan Woods cross from open play, but his looping header came back off the foot of the far post. He went one better moments later when he met a Wallace free kick inside the box and powerfully nodded beyond Bachmann into the back of the net, only for the linesman’s flag to deny him the goal.

After the break, Watford looked a bit more alert and should have opened the scoring ten minutes into the second half. Deeney again helped a ball into Gray’s path, but the striker blasted into the side netting after controlling well on his chest.

It was exactly the type of chance neither side could afford to be squandering, with genuine sights of goal few and far between. Malone’s optimistic effort with the outside of his boot was about as much as Millwall were able to create in the opening stages of the second half, while Watford substitute Philip Zinckernagel’s ambitious drive from range was deflected wide of the target, as both teams were reduced to trying their luck.

Chalobah nearly found a way through using such methods, with a swerving shot from 25 yards, but Bialkowski got enough behind it to keep it out before turning away Deeney’s acrobatic effort on the rebound.

A half chance fell Sarr's way as he battled to gain control of the ball at the back post following a Zinckernagel corner, but there was no way through for either side and it finished goalless, to the surprise of absolutely no one who had the misfortune of watching from start to finish.