Match ends, Watford 2, Reading 0.
Two goals from Ismaila Sarr saw second-placed Watford take another step towards promotion back to the Premier League with a win over Reading at Vicarage Road.
The Senegalese gave the hosts the lead with a curled effort after cutting in from the right and just under two minutes later made it 2-0 with a fiercely struck shot that gave visiting goalkeeper Rafael Cabral no chance.
The visitors should have pulled one back when George Puscas hit the post from close range with the goal open.
Watford are now 12 points clear of third-placed Brentford, having played two games more, and five behind Championship leaders Norwich.
Sixth-placed Reading will drop out of the play-off places on Saturday if Bournemouth beat Coventry at home.
The game was as good as decided in the space of a couple of minutes as Sarr showed his class with two fantastic goals.
First he latched on to a through ball from Kiko Femenia and stepped in on to his left foot to curl home and then he powerfully shot into the top far corner after Reading had been caught in possession on the halfway line.
Puscas hit the post from inside the six-yard box and Yakou Meite sliced an effort into the side-netting as Veljko Paunovic's men looked for a way back into the game before the break.
The Hornets were rarely troubled in the second half and are now unbeaten in eight games, with seven wins in that time.
They visit rivals Luton next Saturday, while Reading are back in action next Friday with a home game against play-off hopefuls Cardiff.
Watford boss Xisco Munoz:
"If it was up to me we would play all our games at home.
"It is very nice when you have big power in your home. There is only one problem - it would be far more emotional if we could play with our fans but this is the life we have now.
"I am very happy with Sarr, he put in a very good performance. But I want to say that for all the players."
Reading boss Veljko Paunovic:
(On George Puscas' miss) "He was in the same spot against Derby on Monday and he scored.
"This group is one of the best groups I have worked with. If somebody misses that's football, nobody is there to blame. It's the opposite and I will just keep encouraging the work of the team."
"The tough part of the game is the result. We played great football against one of the best teams in the league but the outcome was not what we wanted.
- 5Troost-EkongSubstituted forCathcartat 70'minutes
- 14ChalobahSubstituted forC Sánchezat 45'minutes
- 19HughesBooked at 75mins
- 7ZinckernagelBooked at 17mins
- 10João PedroSubstituted forGrayat 78'minutes
- 12SemaSubstituted forSuccessat 78'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 28C Sánchez
- 33Cabral Barbosa
- 15GibsonSubstituted forRichardsat 64'minutes
- 8RinomhotaBooked at 56minsSubstituted forBaldockat 87'minutes
- 14EjariaSubstituted forAlukoat 87'minutes
- 47PuscasSubstituted forLucas Joãoat 64'minutes
- 2Pontes Esteves
- 18Lucas João
- James Linington
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Watford 2, Reading 0.
Foul by Andy Yiadom (Reading).
Isaac Success (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt missed. Yakou Meite (Reading) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box misses to the left. Assisted by Sam Baldock.
Foul by Liam Moore (Reading).
Ismaila Sarr (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Corner, Reading. Conceded by Carlos Sánchez.
Isaac Success (Watford) is shown the yellow card.
Thomas Holmes (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Philip Zinckernagel (Watford).
Attempt saved. Sone Aluko (Reading) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lucas João.
Attempt blocked. Liam Moore (Reading) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Substitution, Reading. Sone Aluko replaces Ovie Ejaria.
Substitution, Reading. Sam Baldock replaces Andy Rinomhota.
Corner, Watford. Conceded by Liam Moore.
Attempt blocked. Ismaila Sarr (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Francisco Sierralta (Watford) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Philip Zinckernagel with a cross.
Corner, Watford. Conceded by Thomas Holmes.
Attempt missed. Omar Richards (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is too high following a set piece situation.