Birthday boy Chris Porter returned from nine months of injury hell to score Derby’s only goal at Vicarage Road and extend the Rams unbeaten record to 4 games.
It’s been a good fortnight for Derby as they finally begin to look like a team capable of challenging in this division. Victories over Reading and Watford have been linked together by draws against West Brom and Preston. Derby’s unbeaten run has seen then climb to 17th in the division and put seven points between them and the relegation zone.
This game was one of Derby’s best away performances for a long time, DJ Campbell, Lee Hendrie and Paul Connolly all had chances to put the Rams into the lead in the first half but were unable to get past Watford goalkeeper Scott Loach.
Heidar Helguson tested Stephen Bywater with a curling shot but the Derby keeper did well to tip the shot round the post. Bywater nearly gifted Watford the lead in the last minute of the half as his clearance fell to Danny Graham, but the Watford striker couldn’t place his 40 yard shot into the open goal.
The Rams continued to press the home side and were rewarded on 77 minutes when Lee Hendrie’s cross was headed home by Porter. The former Motherwell striker got above his marker to power his header past Loach. Watford still had one final chance but Bywater saved well from John Eustace in the last minute.
So the Rams claim their first away victory of the season and will look to build on this with home games against Doncaster and Blackpool over Christmas.