Watford were forced to settle for a point away at Middlesbrough in a dull fixture at the Riverside that finished 1-1.

Ismaila Sarr deflected the ball into the Boro net with what was the only real moment of note from an unattractive first half.

However, Yannick Bolasie headed in an equaliser with little more than ten minutes remaining of an equally drab second, ending the visitors' winning streak.

Watford arrived knowing another win would not only equal the club record of seven consecutive league victories, but would also take them 12 points clear of both Brentford and Swansea City, with the latter kicking off later and the former playing tomorrow.

The hosts meanwhile went into the match off the back of an inconsistent three wins and three defeats from their last six games.

Xisco Munoz was handed an injury boost ahead of kick off, with Joao Pedro ruled fit enough to start, despite being substituted with an injury in the 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday on Good Friday.

Ken Sema returned to the starting XI after he was rested against the Owls, replacing Isaac Success, a move that saw Pedro start in the centre of the three-man attack.

The north east provided an uncomfortably chilly afternoon for the match and as such, it took a bit of time for things to warm up on the pitch.

Sema sweeping wide from a Kiko Femenia cross in the 13th minute of the match was about as exciting as it got during an uneventful opening.

Replays showed that the Swedish international’s shot had actually been deflected wide by Darnell Fisher, but it was hardly dramatic enough to be considered exciting.

A late challenge from Nathaniel Chalobah on Sam Morsy in the 25th minute was not exactly noteworthy either, but the Hornets’ captain’s yellow card was the next most interesting moment in an opening half-hour starved of incidents.

That quickly changed moments later however, when the scoring was opened with either side's first real sight of goal.

Sema first had a shot beaten out by Marcus Bettinelli but Watford benefited from a poor clearance and Philip Zinckernagel’s shot from the edge of the box was deflected off Sarr’s boot, wrongfooting the keeper and sending the ball into the back of the net.

The hosts vehemently argued that the goal should have been ruled out for offside, but replays showed two Middlesbrough players were stood between the goalscorer and the keeper and that the right decision had been reached.

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There was little else to get excited about in the remainder of the first half, but the second started with Watford benefiting from an offside call.

Duncan Watmore turned the ball into the net after latching onto George Saville’s header, but he had obviously strayed beyond the last man and the goal was disallowed.

Pedro tried his luck from range soon after, but was unable to keep his effort down. He then fired wide on the hour mark after Sarr had cut the ball back from the by-line.

The Brazilian squandered yet another chance ten minutes later after Sarr, Zinckernagel and Sema zipped the ball from right to left to find the teenager in space in the box. He could only guide his effort beyond the far post.

Watford were made to pay for spurning those rare chances with 13 minutes to go when substitute Bolasie headed in Paddy McNair's free kick after Sema fouled Fisher out on the right.

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Nevertherless, the point still takes the Hornets ten points clear of the chasing pack and means promotion is still firmly within their own hands.