Match ends, Watford 1, Fulham 0.
Watford moved to within a point of the Championship leaders after a narrow victory over Fulham at Vicarage Road.
Troy Deeney was the match winner early in the first half, thumping home after the visitors failed to clear the ball.
It was the home side's 70th league goal of the season, making them the highest scoring team in all four professional divisions of English football.
The result will feel harsh for the visitors who contributed plenty to the match, but ultimately came away with nothing, meaning they drop to 20th in the table, eight points above the relegation zone.
The ninth minute provided the crucial moment, as Fulham's defenders failed to react after goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli pushed the ball away, which fell to Deeney to thump strike into the roof of the net for his 15th goal of the campaign.
They could have extended their lead in the second half as Matej Vydra's shot looped over Bettinelli but came back off the crossbar.
Fulham could have been reduced to 10 men when Jazz Richards retaliated to a Vydra challenge by getting to his feet and pushing the Watford striker over, but received only a yellow card from the referee.
Cauley Woodrow and Shaun Hutchinson headed corners over the target for Fulham, and Ross McCormack had an effort saved by Heurelho Gomes late on, as they searched in vain for the leveller.
Watford head coach Slavisa Jokanovic: "It wasn't a brilliant game, but I must be positive and optimistic when we win some games like this.
"I understand it's always nice winning 5-0 or 3-2 or 4-2, but sometimes it's very difficult."
Fulham boss Kit Symons: "A draw would have been a fair result overall.
"We had the better possession, a couple of more shots than them but it was pretty even-steven really.
"But it was a decent performance, I've got no problem with the way we performed."
- 22AbdiSubstituted forForestieriat 87'minutes
- 5GuédiouraBooked at 83mins
- 18PudilSubstituted forLayunat 58'minutes
- 20VydraSubstituted forIghaloat 66'minutes
- 29RichardsBooked at 57mins
- 12FofanaBooked at 53mins
- 32KavanaghSubstituted forKacaniklicat 76'minutes
- 10RuizSubstituted forSmithat 76'minutes
- 16WoodrowSubstituted forRodallegaat 66'minutes
- Trevor Kettle
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Watford 1, Fulham 0.
Attempt saved. Ross McCormack (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Attempt missed. Matt Smith (Fulham) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Ashley Richards.
Substitution, Watford. Fernando Forestieri replaces Almen Abdi.
Attempt missed. Miguel Layún (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Attempt missed. Hugo Rodallega (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.
Adlène Guédioura (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Konstantinos Stafylidis (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Adlène Guédioura (Watford).
Attempt saved. Ross McCormack (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Matt Smith with a headed pass.
Attempt missed. Ben Watson (Watford) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is too high. Assisted by Gabriele Angella following a set piece situation.
Offside, Fulham. Shaun Hutchinson tries a through ball, but Matt Smith is caught offside.
Substitution, Fulham. Alexander Kacaniklic replaces Sean Kavanagh.
Substitution, Fulham. Matt Smith replaces Bryan Ruiz.
Foul by Hugo Rodallega (Fulham).
Gabriele Angella (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Almen Abdi (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Bryan Ruiz (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Odion Ighalo (Watford).