Brighton continued their search first league win of 2019 as they were held to a stalemate by Watford at the Amex.

Meanwhile, Watford keep up their chase for a Europa League spot thanks to another heroic Ben Foster display.

The home side started well. Gaetan Bong made his way into the penalty area before chipping the ball back to Solly March, however, March couldn’t get a clean connection and his shot bounced over the bar.

Excitement was at a premium for the first quarter-hour, but after sixteen minutes Troy Deeney had his first sighter when he headed Daryl Janmaats cross wide.

23 minutes in Pascal Gross went close mltting inside his man before dragging the shot wide. Then Lewis Dunk headed Gross’ free-kick wide. The Seagulls were going to have to do a lot better to trouble Ben Foster in the Watford goal.

It seemed if the home side were to get an opener it would be from a set-piece. Davy Propper found space at the back-post but he could only volley Gross’ delivery wide.

Five minutes before the break Brighton had their best opportunity so far, Gross swung in a cross from the right but Foster was there to get a strong hand on Locadia’s close-range header.

Solly March had been a threat to the Hornets in the first half, and he nearly broke the deadlock minutes into the second in extraordinary fashion with a corner which Foster had to tip over.

Chris Hughton’s side were coming closer but they were lacking an accurate delivery, every ball that entered Watford’s penalty area was swept up by Adrian Mariappa or Craig Cathcart.

Everything good that Watford did came through full-back Janmaat, and before the hour mark the Dutchman put in another dangerous delivery which Ken Sema headed over.

Gross’ set pieces were proving to be a real problem for the away side, this time it was Glenn Murray heading over the German’s free kick.

In an attempt to freshen up the attack, Hughton brought on Florin Andone for the aforementioned Murray.

Perhaps the moment that best summed up the match after 78 minutes was Locadia sending a horrible spinning shot wide. He nearly made amends moments later, heading Gross’ cross goal-ward prior to seeing his effort tipped over by Foster.

From the resulting corner Foster made a sliding tackle of a save to stop Shane Duffy’s overhead kick from creeping into the bottom corner.

Meanwhile, Locadia seemed to have left his shooting boots at home, controlling Bong’s long ball before skewing a shot wide with his left.

Substitute Andone was foiled by Foster one-on-one late on. Clearly the football gods had chosen the result for the days game.

It wasn’t going in for either side. Will Hughes well-struck volley then found the side netting.

Brighton travel north to play West Brom in their fourth round replay on Wednesday while Watford host Everton next week.

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