August 31, 2019 / 4:46 PM / 23 days ago

Hughes strikes early as Watford draw to ease pressure on boss Gracia

Soccer Football - Premier League - Newcastle United v Watford - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - August 31, 2019 Newcastle United's Paul Dummett in action with Watford's Will Hughes REUTERS/Scott Heppell

(Reuters) - After three successive Premier League defeats under manager Javi Gracia, Watford stopped the rot by hanging on for their first point of the season in a 1-1 draw at Newcastle United on Saturday.

Will Hughes took just 78 seconds to atone for his embarrassing miss on the goalline the previous weekend, slotting home after Tom Cleverley’s shot deflected off a defender into his path.

The goal was the second quickest Watford have ever scored in the Premier League and eased visiting nerves as they sought to avoid their worst start to a season for 85 years.

Newcastle took most of the first half to find any sort of attacking rhythm but equalised just before the break through Fabian Schar, who pounced on a loose ball to beat Ben Foster with a left-foot shot from inside the area.

Both sides could have won it after the break when Joelinton thought he should have been awarded a penalty and Watford substitute Isaac Success was denied by keeper Martin Dubravka.

Gracia, who is under pressure with his side still rooted to the bottom of the table, chose to keep record signing Ismaila Sarr on the bench.

Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Toby Davis

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