Match ends, Watford 2, Wycombe Wanderers 0.
Andre Gray's first brace in almost four years helped Watford beat Wycombe Wanderers in the Championship and go level on points with second-placed Brentford.
Gray swept in Kiko Femenia's teasing cross from close range as the Hornets got an early opener.
Wycombe thought they had equalised two minutes after half-time, but David Wheeler's close-range effort was deemed offside.
Gray put the game beyond Wycombe's reach when he found space in the box and neatly finished Philip Zinckernagel's neat pass.
Wycombe remain bottom of the second tier and are 12 points from safety with 13 games to play, while only goal difference keeps Watford out of the automatic promotion places after Brentford lost at leaders Norwich earlier in the evening.
With Watford playing four teams in the bottom 10 in their next five games - including the three sides immediately above Wycombe - Xisco Munoz's side will fancy their chances of overtaking Brentford as they aim for an instant return to the Premier League.
Gray, in for the suspended Joao Pedro, scored for just the second time in 34 matches as the Hornets made a great start, with Tom Cleverley and Ismaila Sarr also having chances and Sarr seeing a penalty appeal turned down.
Watford, who had more than 70% possession in the first half, continued to batter away at the Chairboys as Sarr curled an effort wide and forced David Stockdale to tip away a 36th-minute shot before doing well to block Ken Sema's follow-up effort.
Wycombe's coaches were convinced Wheeler was onside when he put the ball in the net, but Gareth Ainsworth's side were out of it 10 minutes later when Gray registered a double for the first time since he got two goals for Burnley in a 3-2 Premier League loss at Swansea almost four years ago.
The hosts almost got a third with 13 minutes left when Stockdale saved Zinckernagel's shot and Sarr blazed wide after Gray's effort on the rebound, while Wycombe felt they should have had a penalty in the final moments after Scott Kashket went down under a challenge from Watford goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann.
Watford head coach Xisco Munoz told BBC Three Counties Radio:
"We are thinking that today was a good performance.
"Every day we try to give better things for tactics, I think we are fitter and every day we are improving.
"The important players arrive when we need and Gray was that tonight. It's also important for him for his confidence because he's worked very hard in the past weeks.
"We have a very good squad and the most important thing is whoever stays in the first team gives the maximum for the team."
Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth told BBC Three Counties Radio:
"It was a tough game. We didn't give a great account of ourselves if I'm being honest.
"We've done a lot better in games recently, even Sunday I thought we were outstanding against Norwich, and maybe there's a fallout from that and the efforts we put in there.
"If you're not on it against one of the top teams in the league away at Vicarage Road you get punished."
- 21FemeníaSubstituted forNgakiaat 75'minutes
- 8CleverleySubstituted forWilmotat 86'minutes
- 18GraySubstituted forPericaat 84'minutes
- 12SemaSubstituted forHungboat 83'minutes
- 12KnightSubstituted forOfoborhat 68'minutes
- 4GapeSubstituted forThompsonat 67'minutes
- 17HorganSubstituted forKashketat 80'minutes
- 23OnyedinmaSubstituted forMcClearyat 68'minutes
- 9IkpeazuSubstituted forAkinfenwaat 80'minutes
- Geoff Eltringham
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Watford 2, Wycombe Wanderers 0.
Offside, Wycombe Wanderers. Adebayo Akinfenwa tries a through ball, but Scott Kashket is caught offside.
Foul by Ben Wilmot (Watford).
Scott Kashket (Wycombe Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Anthony Stewart (Wycombe Wanderers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right following a set piece situation.
Foul by Philip Zinckernagel (Watford).
Curtis Thompson (Wycombe Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Watford. Ben Wilmot replaces Tom Cleverley because of an injury.
Ismaila Sarr (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Curtis Thompson (Wycombe Wanderers).
Attempt missed. Adebayo Akinfenwa (Wycombe Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Curtis Thompson with a cross.
Substitution, Watford. Stipe Perica replaces Andre Gray.
Substitution, Watford. Joseph Hungbo replaces Ken Sema.
Attempt missed. Ismaila Sarr (Watford) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Andre Gray.
Attempt saved. Philip Zinckernagel (Watford) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Tom Cleverley.
Substitution, Wycombe Wanderers. Adebayo Akinfenwa replaces Uche Ikpeazu.
Substitution, Wycombe Wanderers. Scott Kashket replaces Daryl Horgan.
Attempt missed. Ismaila Sarr (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Philip Zinckernagel.
Attempt missed. Curtis Thompson (Wycombe Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Ryan Tafazolli.