An injury-time header from Rudy Gestede secured a point for Blackburn at Vicarage Road, denying Watford a seventh straight home win.

Marco Cassetti's volley put Watford ahead but David Dunn equalised, before teeing up Craig Conway who calmly finished from eight yards.

Watford were level when Troy Deeney scored a penalty and took the lead through substitute Cristian Battocchio.

But there was late drama as Tommy Spurr's cross was met by Gestede.

Both sides look set for another season in the Championship, locked in mid-table with nine fixtures remaining, but the Hornets' fine home form had given their fans some hope of a repeat of last year's run to the play-off final.

They led when Cassetti buried his first goal for the club from Deeney's cross, but Dunn lashed in from the edge of the box after Manuel Almunia had punched out a corner.

Veteran Dunn then slid in Conway for Rovers' second, only for referee Darren Sheldrake to penalise Todd Kane for handball, with Deeney scoring the penalty.

Battocchio ran clear to score with two minutes left but there was still time for Gestede to head in a last-gasp leveller.

Blackburn boss Gary Bowyer:

"We were comfortable at 2-1 and the penalty changes the course of the game.

"Our lad is stood two yards from (Ikechi) Anya when he crosses it and the ball hits the hand.

"We need to clarify, for the sake of the game, what is handball in the penalty area because you guys, you report on it and one week it's not been given and one week it has been given.

"We need some clarification because it changed the course of the game."

Watford head coach Beppe Sannino:

"I'm very disappointed but in English football you have to pay attention to the last, last minute of the game. This is the rule of English football.

"We nearly won this game but it was not only this game. Since I joined the club there were many games we have dropped points in the last five minutes of games.

"This game reflects Watford's season perfectly."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (4)

Watford

  • 01 Almunia
  • 27 Cassetti
  • 18 Pudil
  • 06 Ekstrand
  • 04 Angella Booked
  • 31 Hoban (McGugan - 72' )
  • 28 Tözsér
  • 08 Merkel (Diakité - 75' )
  • 09 Deeney
  • 21 Anya
  • 16 Murray (Battocchio - 61' )

Substitutes

  • 07 Battocchio
  • 10 McGugan
  • 12 Doyley
  • 19 Faraoni
  • 23 Diakité
  • 29 Neill
  • 30 Bond

Blackburn Rovers

  • 01 Robinson
  • 02 Kane Booked
  • 03 Spurr
  • 17 Williamson
  • 16 Keane
  • 04 Kilgallon Booked
  • 29 Evans Booked
  • 08 Dunn (Varney - 90' )
  • 11 Rhodes
  • 39 Gestede
  • 32 Conway

Substitutes

  • 05 Hanley
  • 13 Eastwood
  • 14 Olsson
  • 15 Varney
  • 19 Taylor
  • 22 Feeney
  • 23 Dabo
Ref: Darren Sheldrake
Att: 13,921

Match Stats

Shots

10 17

On target

3 6

Corners

6 6

Fouls

10 14

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Watford 3, Blackburn Rovers 3.

90:00 +6:15 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Watford 3, Blackburn Rovers 3.

90:00 +5:34

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Corry Evans.

90:00 +5:17

Attempt blocked. Luke Varney (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Rudy Gestede with a headed pass.

90:00 +4:11

Attempt missed. Marco Cassetti (Watford) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Daniel Tözsér with a cross following a corner.

90:00 +3:34

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Todd Kane.

90:00 +2:33 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Watford 3, Blackburn Rovers 3. Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Matthew Kilgallon.

90:00 +1:21

Luke Varney (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +1:21

Foul by Daniel Tözsér (Watford).

89:50 Booking

Booking Matthew Kilgallon (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

89:44

Foul by Matthew Kilgallon (Blackburn Rovers).

89:44

Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

89:15 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Luke Varney replaces David Dunn.

87:21 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Watford 3, Blackburn Rovers 2. Cristian Battocchio (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ikechi Anya following a fast break.

86:03

Foul by Gabriele Angella (Watford).

86:03

Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:49 Booking

Booking Todd Kane (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

84:43

Lewis McGugan (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:43

Foul by Todd Kane (Blackburn Rovers).

82:25

Attempt missed. Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Paul Robinson following a set piece situation.

81:47

Foul by Daniel Pudil (Watford).

81:47

Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

80:55

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Thomas Spurr.

77:39 Booking

Booking Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

77:34

Samba Diakité (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77:34

Foul by Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers).

76:59

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Marco Cassetti.

76:38

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Daniel Pudil.

75:35

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

75:20 Booking

Booking Gabriele Angella (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

75:16

Delay in match Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) because of an injury.

75:06

Foul by Gabriele Angella (Watford).

75:06

Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

74:36 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Samba Diakité replaces Alexander Merkel.

74:10

Attempt missed. Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

73:31

Foul by Joel Ekstrand (Watford).

73:31

Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

71:49 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Lewis McGugan replaces Tommy Hoban.

71:05

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

71:05

Foul by Thomas Spurr (Blackburn Rovers).

70:25 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Watford 2, Blackburn Rovers 2. Troy Deeney (Watford) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

69:29

Penalty conceded by Todd Kane (Blackburn Rovers) with a hand ball in the penalty area.

67:30

Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

67:30

Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

67:15

Alexander Merkel (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

67:15

Foul by Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers).

66:12

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

64:41

Delay in match Manuel Almunia (Watford) because of an injury.

63:52 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Watford 1, Blackburn Rovers 2. Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by David Dunn.

62:57

Foul by Joel Ekstrand (Watford).

62:57

Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

60:30

Gabriele Angella (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:30

Foul by Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers).

60:02 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Cristian Battocchio replaces Sean Murray.

58:16

Attempt missed. Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Thomas Spurr.

57:09

Attempt missed. David Dunn (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from more than 35 yards misses to the right. Assisted by Jordan Rhodes with a headed pass.

52:53

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

51:53

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Matthew Kilgallon.

51:52

Attempt blocked. Sean Murray (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Marco Cassetti.

49:49

Attempt missed. Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Craig Conway following a set piece situation.

49:17

Lee Williamson (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

49:17

Foul by Alexander Merkel (Watford).

48:38

Attempt missed. Ikechi Anya (Watford) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Troy Deeney.

46:40

Offside, Watford. Daniel Pudil tries a through ball, but Ikechi Anya is caught offside.

45:00

Second Half begins Watford 1, Blackburn Rovers 1.

45:00 +1:21 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Watford 1, Blackburn Rovers 1.

45:00 +0:31

Attempt saved. Matthew Kilgallon (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Craig Conway with a cross.

45:00 +0:08

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Sean Murray.

44:15

Foul by Michael Keane (Blackburn Rovers).

44:15

Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

43:35

Foul by Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers).

43:35

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

42:32

Foul by Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers).

42:32

Daniel Pudil (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

40:25

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

39:28

Delay in match Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) because of an injury.

38:28

Attempt blocked. Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Rhodes.

34:32

Attempt missed. Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

32:45

Attempt missed. Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Thomas Spurr.

31:34

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Marco Cassetti.

28:05

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

28:05

Foul by David Dunn (Blackburn Rovers).

26:41 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Watford 1, Blackburn Rovers 1. David Dunn (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner following a set piece situation.

25:58

David Dunn (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

25:58

Foul by Daniel Tözsér (Watford).

24:41

Offside, Watford. Daniel Tözsér tries a through ball, but Ikechi Anya is caught offside.

23:34

Foul by Tommy Hoban (Watford).

23:34

Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

18:00

Attempt missed. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Daniel Tözsér.

16:38

Ikechi Anya (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

16:38

Foul by Todd Kane (Blackburn Rovers).

13:55

Foul by Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers).

13:55

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

12:06

Foul by Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers).

12:06

Alexander Merkel (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

8:06

Attempt missed. Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Thomas Spurr.

7:10

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Daniel Pudil.

6:46

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Manuel Almunia.

6:41

Attempt saved. Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by David Dunn.

5:52

Attempt missed. David Dunn (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Rudy Gestede.

3:19 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Watford 1, Blackburn Rovers 0. Marco Cassetti (Watford) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alexander Merkel with a cross.

1:56

Attempt missed. Gabriele Angella (Watford) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Ikechi Anya with a cross following a corner.

1:38

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Todd Kane.

1:36

Attempt blocked. Marco Cassetti (Watford) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ikechi Anya with a cross.

1:06

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Todd Kane.

0:16

Attempt saved. Todd Kane (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by David Dunn.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers