Watford underlined their promotion credentials by ruthlessly disposing of Fulham in a clinical display at Vicarage Road this evening.

The Hornets were more incisive from the outset and could have been in front early on when Paul Robinson curled a 20-yard free-kick against the frame of the goal. The lively Gifton Noel-Williams, who posed problems for the visiting defence all night, made the opening goal with a superb spin and pass for Micah Hyde. The midfielder precisely picked out Ronny Rosenthal with a pass and the Israeli forward found the bottom corner brilliantly – making light of an acute angle.

Fulham passed up several good openings to equalise – literally as Ray Wilkins’ side often opted for another pass instead of going for goal – but they should have levelled within sixty seconds. A quick free-kick saw Robbie Herrera cross from the left and after Mike Conroy had seen his shot cannon back off the crossbar, Ian Selley’s follow-up was cleared off the line by Tommy Mooney.

Noel-Williams showed his promise again to make sure of all three points for the hosts two minutes from time. The young forward slipped in Paul Robinson with a lovely ball and the left-back slotted the killer second past a stranded Mark Walton.

WATFORD: Chamberlain, Bazeley, Robinson, Page, Millen, Mooney, Noel-Williams, Hyde, Lee, Johnson, Rosenthal. Subs (not used): Palmer, Easton, Smith.

BOOKED: Johnson.

GOALS: Rosenthal (42), Robinson (88).

FULHAM: Walton; Cullip, Lawrence, Morgan; Smith, Herrera, Bracewell, Selley (Scott 80), Hayward; Moody, Conroy. Subs (not used): Carpenter, McKenzie.

BOOKED: Cullip, Lawrence.

REFEREE: Kevin Lynch (North Yorkshire).