West Ham needed a late Ricardo Vaz Te goal to earn a point as they blew their chance to go top of the Championship.

Teenager Sean Murray fired Watford ahead midway through the second half with a fierce low drive.

Hornets keeper Tomasz Kuszczak, on loan from Manchester United, produced excellent saves to deny Mark Noble and James Tomkins.

But Vaz Te scored via the far post as West Ham moved to within a point of Championship leaders Southampton.

Although the Hammers have a game in hand over Southampton, manager Sam Allardyce will see this as two points dropped, particularly as his side created enough chances to secure a comfortable victory.

Watford, for their part, defended doggedly and were just three minutes away from securing a third successive win at Upton Park.

Matt Taylor, back in the West Ham line-up after a three-match ban, crashed a shot against the crossbar from 30 yards with less than a minute of the game gone.

The Hammers twice opened up a stubborn Watford defence just before half-time, only for Kuszczak to come to the visitors' rescue with saves from Noble and Tomkins.

Did you know?

Sean Murray's only other goal for Watford came in a 3-2 win over Leicester on 14 February

Just before the hour mark, Watford lost Dale Bennett, who was carried off on a stretcher wearing a neck brace after colliding with team-mate John Eustace.

West Ham's failure to punish Watford proved costly as 18-year-old midfielder Murray shot home off the far post.

However, Vaz Te fired goalwards from a corner and the ball squeezed over the line before Kuszczak could react.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (5)

West Ham

  • 01 Green
  • 03 McCartney
  • 05 Tomkins
  • 15 Faye
  • 17 O'Brien (Lansbury - 74' )
  • 18 Faubert
  • 04 Nolan
  • 14 Taylor (Vaz Te - 74' )
  • 16 Noble Booked
  • 08 Maynard (Baldock - 62' )
  • 09 Cole

Substitutes

  • 31 Boffin
  • 22 Lansbury
  • 32 O'Neil
  • 07 Baldock
  • 12 Vaz Te

Watford

  • 35 Kuszczak
  • 03 Dickinson
  • 06 Mariappa
  • 12 Doyley
  • 17 Bennett (Taylor - 58' )
  • 04 Eustace
  • 18 Kacaniklic Booked
  • 22 Murray (Buaben - 88' )
  • 32 Hogg Booked
  • 09 Deeney
  • 10 Iwelumo

Substitutes

  • 01 Loach
  • 05 Taylor
  • 19 Buaben
  • 20 Trotta
  • 25 Garner
Ref: Stroud
Att: 31,674

Match Stats

Shots

15 13

On target

9 7

Corners

9 4

Fouls

12 13

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +9:45 Full time

Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.

90:00 +9:34 Booking

Booking Jonathan Hogg receives a caution.

90:00 +8:30

Free kick taken by Robert Green. Jonathan Hogg challenges Mark Noble unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mark Noble restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +8:30 Booking

Booking Booking for Alex Kacaniklic for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +7:24

Julien Faubert takes a shot. Tomasz Kuszczak makes a comfortable save.

90:00 +4:40

Outswinging corner taken by Mark Noble from the right by-line, Troy Deeney makes a clearance.

90:00 +2:25

Henri Lansbury takes a shot. Tomasz Kuszczak makes a save.

90:00 +1:54

Troy Deeney gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on George McCartney. Direct free kick taken by Mark Noble.

90:00 +0:59

Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Iwelumo on Julien Faubert. Direct free kick taken by James Tomkins.

89:29

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Mark Noble from the left by-line, Martin Taylor manages to make a clearance.

86:43 Substitution

Substitution Sean Murray goes off and Prince Buaben comes on.

86:43 Goal scored

Goal! - Ricardo Vaz Te - West Ham 1 - 1 Watford Ricardo Vaz Te fires in a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. West Ham 1-1 Watford.

86:13

Ricardo Vaz Te takes a shot. Save by Tomasz Kuszczak. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Mark Noble.

85:47

The referee penalises Chris Iwelumo for handball. Direct free kick taken by Kevin Nolan.

84:19

Mark Noble challenges Troy Deeney unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Adrian Mariappa.

83:44

John Eustace takes a shot from long range which goes wide right of the goal.

81:53

Corner taken by Alex Kacaniklic from the right by-line.

81:07

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Mark Noble, Header from deep inside the area by Ricardo Vaz Te goes over the bar.

80:51

Kevin Nolan takes a shot. Carl Dickinson gets a block in.

79:49

Corner taken by Mark Noble from the left by-line, free kick awarded for a foul by James Tomkins on Martin Taylor. Direct free kick taken by Tomasz Kuszczak.

79:09

Martin Taylor challenges Carlton Cole unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed by Mark Noble, clearance made by Lloyd Doyley.

77:58

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Mark Noble.

76:59

Sam Baldock takes a shot. Save by Tomasz Kuszczak.

76:42

Abdoulaye Faye fouled by Troy Deeney, the ref awards a free kick. Abdoulaye Faye restarts play with the free kick.

73:39 Substitution

Substitution Ricardo Vaz Te replaces Matthew Taylor.

73:39 Substitution

Substitution Henri Lansbury joins the action as a substitute, replacing Joey O'Brien.

73:39

Julien Faubert has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.

72:09

Alex Kacaniklic takes a shot. Save by Robert Green.

69:14

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Alex Kacaniklic, Troy Deeney produces a right-footed shot from close range which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

67:53 Goal scored

Goal! - Sean Murray - West Ham 0 - 1 Watford Sean Murray finds the net with a goal from just outside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. West Ham 0-1 Watford.

67:20

Troy Deeney is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Robert Green takes the indirect free kick.

67:02

John Eustace takes a shot. Save made by Robert Green.

65:01

Corner from left by-line taken by Sean Murray.

64:43

Alex Kacaniklic takes a shot. Blocked by Joey O'Brien.

63:14

Lloyd Doyley fouled by Matthew Taylor, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Tomasz Kuszczak.

60:57

Direct free kick taken by Sean Murray.

60:57 Substitution

Substitution Sam Baldock is brought on as a substitute for Nicky Maynard.

60:57

Mark Noble gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jonathan Hogg.

57:28 Substitution

Substitution Dale Bennett leaves the field to be replaced by Martin Taylor.

50:05

Joey O'Brien takes a shot. John Eustace gets a block in.

48:24

George McCartney fouled by Sean Murray, the ref awards a free kick. Mark Noble takes the direct free kick.

47:30

Close range headed effort by James Tomkins clears the crossbar.

46:34

Dale Bennett gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nicky Maynard. Matthew Taylor delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, clearance made by Adrian Mariappa. Short corner worked by Mark Noble.

45:01

The game restarts for the second half.

45:00 +2:57 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.

45:00 +2:14

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Alex Kacaniklic from the right by-line, save by Robert Green.

44:49

Corner taken short by Matthew Taylor.

44:15

Jonathan Hogg concedes a free kick for a foul on Carlton Cole. Free kick taken by Mark Noble.

43:53

Matthew Taylor has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.

43:33

Free kick awarded for a foul by Troy Deeney on Robert Green. Robert Green takes the direct free kick.

42:48

Sean Murray takes a shot. Save made by Robert Green.

42:12

Free kick awarded for a foul by Abdoulaye Faye on Troy Deeney. Alex Kacaniklic crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, Carlton Cole manages to make a clearance.

40:56

John Eustace fouled by Carlton Cole, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Tomasz Kuszczak.

40:22

John Eustace has an effort at goal from outside the box missing to the wide left of the goal.

37:58

James Tomkins takes a shot. Save by Tomasz Kuszczak.

37:39

Unfair challenge on Matthew Taylor by Chris Iwelumo results in a free kick. Matthew Taylor takes the direct free kick.

36:50

Mark Noble takes a shot. Save by Tomasz Kuszczak.

35:15

James Tomkins fouled by Troy Deeney, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by James Tomkins.

34:36

Alex Kacaniklic takes a shot. Save by Robert Green.

32:31

Inswinging corner taken by Mark Noble from the left by-line, Header from close range by Carlton Cole misses to the right of the goal.

31:38

Alex Kacaniklic has an effort at goal from outside the box which misses left.

28:53

Chris Iwelumo concedes a free kick for a foul on Abdoulaye Faye. Robert Green restarts play with the free kick.

27:44

Foul by Joey O'Brien on Alex Kacaniklic, free kick awarded. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Sean Murray from left wing.

22:29

Direct free kick taken by Carl Dickinson.

22:29 Booking

Booking Mark Noble is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

22:18

Mark Noble challenges Alex Kacaniklic unfairly and gives away a free kick.

21:24

Free kick awarded for a foul by John Eustace on George McCartney. Mark Noble takes the direct free kick.

17:57

Carlton Cole challenges John Eustace unfairly and gives away a free kick. Tomasz Kuszczak restarts play with the free kick.

17:19

Alex Kacaniklic produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.

16:37

Foul by Nicky Maynard on Jonathan Hogg, free kick awarded. Lloyd Doyley takes the direct free kick.

6:59

The referee blows for offside against Chris Iwelumo. Mark Noble takes the free kick.

4:45

James Tomkins gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Troy Deeney. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Sean Murray, save made by Robert Green.

3:51

Mark Noble gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Troy Deeney. Adrian Mariappa restarts play with the free kick.

1:03

Matthew Taylor takes a shot.

0:41

Shot from just outside the box by Troy Deeney misses to the left of the target.

0:00

The match begins.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers