A 77th-minute goal from Troy Deeney helped struggling Watford to an important win over Brighton.

Deeney hit his first goal for almost 12 months just two minutes after coming on as a substitute for the Hornets.

Brighton, who lost midfielder Liam Bridcutt to a first-half injury, have stretched their winless run in the Championship to nine games.

This is Watford's fourth league win of the season and moves them four points clear of the relegation zone.

It was a deserved victory for Watford that was secured when Deeney collected Chris Iwelumo's knock-down, and after seeing his initial effort blocked by goalkeeper Steve Harper, followed up to convert the rebound.

Sean Dyche's side were dominant in the first-half and Adrian Mariappa headed against a post.

As they did in Saturday's goalless draw at Birmingham, the Seagulls improved in the second half as they started to spread the ball around, but they failed to register a single shot on target, and have now failed to score in four of their last five matches.

Dyche was pleased that his decision to introduce Deeney from the bench paid immediate dividends, saying: "I am actually delighted for Troy because he works very hard for us and often fills in a number of positions and sometimes comes out of the team when it's a hard decision.

"It's a hard one for him but he's professional, works very hard for us, is good around the group and we respect him for that."

Brighton manager Gus Poyet was disappointed with his team's display but promised he would not change his philosophy of stylish football in order to stop the run of poor results.

He said: "I don't remember the last time we were so poor. We got what we deserved.

"We've got a way of playing football that's my way, we're trying to create an identity in the football club that's mine and at the moment the team is not capable of passing and moving the ball and playing football.

"Reasons? I can start crying that we're missing important players, blah, blah, blah... it doesn't matter. When you've got the chance to jump in there and you train one way to play that way and don't perform, there's no excuses."

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