Brighton ran out comfortable 2-0 winners at Vicarage Road as goals from Neal Maupay and Adam Webster gave them a deserved victory over a disappointing Watford, who remain without a Premier League win since November.
The Seagulls dominated the first half in possession and brought saves from Hornets stopper Ben Foster as Maupay and Jakub Moder went close.
Emmanuel Dennis gave the visitors the occasional reminder of his talent with a few storming runs down the left, also curling a free kick just wide of Robert Sanchez's goal.
However, it was Brighton who deservedly broke the deadlock when Maupay found space in the box to loft Tariq Lamptey's cross into the far corner, giving Foster no chance.
The introduction of Ismaila Sarr from the bench sparked Watford into life and they nearly equalised after a jinking run from Dennis saw him smash the bar.
However, Graham Potter's own substitutions halted Watford's momentum and the game was sealed when Webster eventually bundled in from Alexis Mac Allister's corner.
The Hornets finally registered their first shot on target in the 87th minute, with Sanchez alert enough to keep out Sarr's strike from a tight angle.
Watford player ratings
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Ben Foster (GK) - 6/10 - Made some decent stops early on as Brighton peppered his goal. Went walkabouts positionally a few times, including once when he was lucky to get away with a poor clearance on the touchline.
Kiko Femenia (RB) - 5/10 - Ruined a good chance after some good Watford pressing, passing the ball straight into touch.
Craig Cathcart (CB) - 6/10 - Reasonably average, though wasn't given that much protection by Watford's non-existent midfield.
Samir (CB) - 6/10 - Cut out a few Brighton attacks with five interceptions. Similar story to Cathcart.
Hassane Kamara (LB) - 4/10 - Battle with Lamptey looked an interesting one in the first ten minutes or so, but he soon started to lose it and was booked for a poor challenge on the young Englishman in the second half.
Juraj Kucka (RM) - 5/10 - Made four tackles during the first half, though he was also dribbled past twice during the same period. Brought off for the more attacking Sarr.
Moussa Sissoko (CM) - 5/10 - Fell to the floor on the edge of the box but got nothing from the referee. Can be effective with the ball at his feet but rarely got the space to charge forward.
Edo Kayembe (CM) - 5/10 - Couldn't help Watford get a foothold in midfield and was taken off at half time.
Tom Cleverley (LM) - 4/10 - Played out wide to combat Lamptey's threat but didn't have anywhere near enough pace for that contest.
Emmanuel Dennis (ST) - 6/10 - Provided Watford's first attacking moment of note, charging down the left before being fouled by Dunk. Booked for catching Lamptey on the ankle.
Josh King (ST) - 5/10 - Shot over from Femenia's corner. Couldn't influence proceedings.
Ismaila Sarr (RW) - 6/10 - Came on at half time for his first Hornets appearance since November and immediately gave them a lift with some direct running. Had his side's only shot on target.
Imran Louza (CM) - 5/10 - Made little impact in central midfield.
Joao Pedro (LW) - 5/10 - Bit wasteful in possession.
Brighton player ratings
5. Goalkeeper & defenders
Robert Sanchez (GK) - 6/10 - Flapped at a cross, dropping it but no damage was done. Only had one save to make and grabbed a few crosses.
Joel Veltman (CB) - 7/10 - Only Dunk made more completed passes than the Dutchman, who made some good challenges and blocks. Solid.
Adam Webster (CB) - 8/10 - Showed good anticipation and made three interceptions. Sealed the victory with a scrambled finish into the roof of the net.
Lewis Dunk (CB) - 7/10 - Booked for bringing down a charging Dennis. Put a free header over the bar at the back post. Used the ball accurately. Fully into the swing of things again after spending some time out with injury.
6. Wing backs & midfielders
Tariq Lamptey (RWB) - 7/10 - Got the assist for Maupay's opener, finding the Frenchman in the box from out wide. Brought down Sarr for a yellow card, but gave Watford more problems at the other end of the pitch than he had to deal with.
Pascal Groß (CM) - 6/10 - Ballooned a header over when well placed. Efficient as part of Brighton's system without being particularly eye-catching.
Adam Lallana (CM) - 7/10 - Played a little deeper at times and helped Brighton recycle possession with his quick feet.
Jakub Moder (AM) - 8/10 - Tested Foster with a nice snapshot early on. Made some decent runs forward, was excellent in the air and carried out his defensive duties well.
Marc Cucurella (LWB) - 7/10 - A bundle of energy down the left. Good strike from inside the box was kept out by Foster.
Neal Maupay (ST) - 8/10 - Brought a save from Foster with a decent strike from range. Opened the scoring with a terrific finish, hooking in Lamptey's cross on the half-volley.
Danny Welbeck (ST) - 5/10 - Saw very little of the ball during his 64 minutes, managing just 15 touches and no shots on goal.
Alexis Mac Allister (CM) - 7/10 - Popped the cross in which led to Webster's strike.
Yves Bissouma (CM) - 7/10 - His introduction stopped Watford enjoying their possession as Brighton closed out the victory.
Shane Duffy (CB) - N/A - On for the last few minutes.