Manuel Almunia's error gifted Bolton a third straight win as Watford suffered their third consecutive home defeat.

The decisive moment came on 27 minutes when Almunia dropped a Neil Danns cross beneath his legs and Jermaine Beckford converted from close range.

Hornets goalkeeper Almunia failed to reappear for the second half.

Watford had chances to level but Bolton also threatened and Danns was denied by a sharp save from substitute Hornets keeper Jonathan Bond.

Dougie Freedman's side rise to 15th in the Championship table, while Watford drop to 10th.

Unhappy at home

Watford are without a home victory in the Championship since beating Wigan on 28 September

Both sides created early openings but it was Bolton who made the breakthrough thanks to Almunia's mistake.

Any danger seemed to have been dealt with when the Spaniard bent down to gather a low Danns cross from the right. But, having got the ball within his grasp, the former Arsenal keeper let it squirm loose through his legs and Beckford gleefully capitalised.

Watford worked hard to recover, George Thorne shooting over before Nyron Nosworthy hit an acrobatic half-volley narrowly off target and Fernando Forestieri curled an effort wide.

Almunia was replaced in goal by Bond, who made his England Under-21 debut in midweek, and Hornets boss Gianfranco Zola introduced Diego Fabbrini soon after as he switched to a more attacking formation.

Bolton keeper Andy Lonergan saved well from Forestieri before Chung-Yong Lee missed the target at the other end with a lob when clean through.

And the visitors came close to doubling their lead when Danns capitalised on a slip from Daniel Pudil, but Bond was equal to his left-footed shot.

Danns had another opportunity with two minutes remaining but his strike from the right-hand side of the area was deflected over.

Watford manager Gianfranco Zola told BBC Three Counties Radio:

"It's been a long week after picking up a lot of injuries and to concede a goal like that was tough.

"We didn't create enough and Bolton are a good side that are in good form.

"There was too much of just passing the ball around when they had everyone behind the ball.

"We have to be better and get the ball wide more but it was tough today."

Bolton boss Dougie Freedman:

"You go along through a season hoping to pick up two or three of the little opportunistic goals where it drops for you and Jermaine Beckford is the master at that - that's why I brought him to the club and he's won us the game.

"The two goalkeepers dropped the ball but I felt we had a player that was on form and he smacked it in the net.

"But, apart from that, I felt we controlled the game out of possession in the second half and controlled the way they played and I felt we deserved to win because of that."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Watford

  • 01 Almunia (Bond - 45' )
  • 19 Faraoni
  • 18 Pudil
  • 06 Ekstrand
  • 33 Nosworthy (Fabbrini - 56' )
  • 27 Cassetti Booked
  • 29 Thorne
  • 08 McEachran
  • 15 Acuña (Mensah - 79' )
  • 11 Forestieri
  • 07 Battocchio

Substitutes

  • 03 Bellerín
  • 20 Fabbrini
  • 23 Iriney
  • 26 Mensah
  • 28 Smith
  • 30 Bond
  • 32 O'Nien

Bolton Wanderers

  • 24 Lonergan
  • 17 McNaughton
  • 15 Baptiste
  • 06 Spearing
  • 04 Mills
  • 05 Ream
  • 18 Danns (Hall - 95' )
  • 44 Kamara
  • 10 Beckford Booked (Ngog - 85' )
  • 21 Pratley (Moritz - 75' )
  • 27 Lee Chung-yong

Substitutes

  • 07 Eagles
  • 09 Ngog
  • 11 Hall
  • 12 Knight
  • 14 Moritz
  • 31 Wheater
  • 37 Lee-Barrett
Ref: Brendan Malone
Att: 15,247

Match Stats

Shots

19 9

On target

1 3

Corners

7 5

Fouls

10 10

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Watford 0, Bolton Wanderers 1.

90:00 +5:00 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Watford 0, Bolton Wanderers 1.

90:00 +4:24 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Bolton Wanderers. Robert Hall replaces Neil Danns.

90:00 +3:43

Attempt missed. Daniel Pudil (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Joshua McEachran.

90:00 +1:47

Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by Marco Cassetti.

90:00 +1:30

Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by Marco Cassetti.

90:00 +0:48

Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by Joel Ekstrand.

89:46

Attempt missed. Daniel Pudil (Watford) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by George Thorne following a set piece situation.

89:04

Diego Fabbrini (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

89:04

Foul by Jay Spearing (Bolton Wanderers).

87:50

Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by Daniel Pudil.

87:46

Attempt blocked. Neil Danns (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Ngog.

86:35

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

85:28

Delay in match George Thorne (Watford) because of an injury.

85:28

Delay in match Neil Danns (Bolton Wanderers) because of an injury.

85:17

Foul by George Thorne (Watford).

85:17

Neil Danns (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:56 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Bolton Wanderers. David Ngog replaces Jermaine Beckford.

84:20

Diego Fabbrini (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

84:20

Foul by Jay Spearing (Bolton Wanderers).

83:08

Offside, Bolton Wanderers. André Moritz tries a through ball, but Jermaine Beckford is caught offside.

82:50

Fernando Forestieri (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

82:50

Foul by Neil Danns (Bolton Wanderers).

82:07

Offside, Bolton Wanderers. Kevin McNaughton tries a through ball, but Neil Danns is caught offside.

80:15

Attempt missed. Fernando Forestieri (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Diego Fabbrini.

78:37 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Bernard Mensah replaces Javier Acuña.

77:40

Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by Daniel Pudil.

77:31

Attempt saved. Neil Danns (Bolton Wanderers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by André Moritz.

75:06

Foul by Diego Fabbrini (Watford).

75:06

Lee Chung-Yong (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

74:15 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Bolton Wanderers. André Moritz replaces Darren Pratley.

71:22

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

70:37

Delay in match George Thorne (Watford) because of an injury.

70:19

Attempt blocked. Cristian Battocchio (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

69:51

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Alex Baptiste.

69:49

Attempt blocked. Diego Fabbrini (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Marco Davide Faraoni.

63:33

Foul by Fernando Forestieri (Watford).

63:33

Matthew Mills (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:56

Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:56

Foul by Lee Chung-Yong (Bolton Wanderers).

62:02

Attempt blocked. Daniel Pudil (Watford) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

62:00

Attempt blocked. Diego Fabbrini (Watford) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Fernando Forestieri.

61:25

George Thorne (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:25

Foul by Jermaine Beckford (Bolton Wanderers).

60:52

Attempt missed. Lee Chung-Yong (Bolton Wanderers) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Tim Ream.

60:01

Attempt saved. Fernando Forestieri (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

59:11

George Thorne (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

59:11

Foul by Darren Pratley (Bolton Wanderers).

58:34

Attempt blocked. George Thorne (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Fernando Forestieri.

57:38

Joel Ekstrand (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

57:38

Foul by Jermaine Beckford (Bolton Wanderers).

55:08 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Diego Fabbrini replaces Nyron Nosworthy.

52:54

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Matthew Mills.

52:01

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

51:17

Delay in match Jermaine Beckford (Bolton Wanderers) because of an injury.

50:51

Attempt missed. Jermaine Beckford (Bolton Wanderers) header from very close range is too high. Assisted by Jay Spearing with a cross following a set piece situation.

49:56

Foul by Marco Cassetti (Watford).

49:56

Alex Baptiste (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

49:02

Foul by Marco Cassetti (Watford).

49:02

Alex Baptiste (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

48:28

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Kevin McNaughton.

48:21

Attempt blocked. Fernando Forestieri (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Joshua McEachran.

45:00

Second Half begins Watford 0, Bolton Wanderers 1.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Jonathan Bond replaces Manuel Almunia because of an injury.

45:00 +2:49 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Watford 0, Bolton Wanderers 1.

45:00 +2:06

Foul by Daniel Pudil (Watford).

45:00 +2:06

Kevin McNaughton (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +1:33

Offside, Bolton Wanderers. Matthew Mills tries a through ball, but Darren Pratley is caught offside.

44:16

Foul by Fernando Forestieri (Watford).

44:16

Alex Baptiste (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

41:57

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Medo.

41:54

Attempt blocked. Javier Acuña (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniel Pudil.

41:02

Attempt missed. Javier Acuña (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

40:12

Javier Acuña (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

40:12

Foul by Matthew Mills (Bolton Wanderers).

37:31

Attempt missed. Fernando Forestieri (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Daniel Pudil.

32:58

Offside, Watford. Manuel Almunia tries a through ball, but Fernando Forestieri is caught offside.

31:08

Attempt missed. Nyron Nosworthy (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left following a corner.

30:45

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Kevin McNaughton.

29:59

Attempt missed. George Thorne (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Daniel Pudil.

27:43

Attempt blocked. Joshua McEachran (Watford) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Javier Acuña with a cross.

25:54 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Watford 0, Bolton Wanderers 1. Jermaine Beckford (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from very close range to the top right corner.

23:29

Foul by Joshua McEachran (Watford).

23:29

Neil Danns (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

21:54

Attempt blocked. Neil Danns (Bolton Wanderers) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

20:37

Attempt saved. Neil Danns (Bolton Wanderers) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

19:48

Attempt missed. Javier Acuña (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Joshua McEachran.

18:04

Attempt blocked. Joshua McEachran (Watford) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Javier Acuña with a headed pass.

17:06

Attempt missed. Neil Danns (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

14:54 Booking

Booking Jermaine Beckford (Bolton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

14:42

Manuel Almunia (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

14:42

Foul by Jermaine Beckford (Bolton Wanderers).

13:29

Attempt missed. Joel Ekstrand (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.

12:57

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Matthew Mills.

11:27

Attempt missed. Jermaine Beckford (Bolton Wanderers) header from very close range is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Neil Danns with a cross.

9:24 Booking

Booking Marco Cassetti (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

9:19

Foul by Marco Cassetti (Watford).

9:19

Lee Chung-Yong (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

8:59

George Thorne (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

8:59

Foul by Darren Pratley (Bolton Wanderers).

4:55 Booking

Booking Javier Acuña (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

4:36

Kevin McNaughton (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

4:36

Foul by Javier Acuña (Watford).

1:30

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Tim Ream.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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