Watford 2 Newcastle United 1: Relegation fears deepen at Vicarage Road
Relegation-threatened Newcastle United's plight worsened at Vicarage Road this afternoon.
Steve McClaren's side were beaten 2-1 by Watford, with the game underlining the need for more reinforcements in this month's transfer window.
The result, a fourth successive defeat away from home, left the club 18th in the Premier League and a point adrift of safety, though second-bottom Sunderland are now just two points behind them after their home draw against Bournemouth.
After a goalless first half, Odion Ighalo put Watford ahead after the break.
Craig Cathcart doubled their advantage in the 58th minute, but Jamaal Lascelles gave United hope with a goal on his full Premier League debut.
Newcastle, however, couldn't find a way back.
Injury-hit McClaren had also handed a full league debut to fit-again Rolando Aarons.
And the club's head coach, without a recognised left-back, set up his team in an unusual 3-4-2-1 formation.
United quickly faded after making a bright start, though Heurelho Gomes had to be at his best to stop a shot from Aleksandar Mitrovic, who had a difficult half.
McClaren sent out an unchanged side for the second half, and Watford were ahead within seconds.
Ighalo was put through by Troy Deeney and he rounded goalkeeper Rob Elliot to score his 14th league goal of the season.
Cathcart netted a second from close range as Ayoze Perez, surprisingly left out of McClaren's starting XI, and Yoan Gouffran waited to come on.
Lascelles headed past Gomes from a Jonjo Shelvey corner, but there was to be no late comeback.
WATFORD: Gomes; Paredes (Nyom, 88), Britos, Cathcart, Ake; Capoue, Watson; Behrami, Deeney (Amrabat, 90), Jurado (Almen Abdi, 77); Ighalo. Subs not used: Prodl, Anya, Guedioura.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Elliot; Lascelles, Coloccini (Riviere, 88), Mbemba; Janmaat, Saivet (Perez, 59), Shelvey, Aarons (Gouffran, 59); Sissoko, Wijnaldum; Mitroivc. Subs not used: Darlow, Taylor, Marveaux, Thauvin.
Goals: Ighalo 46, Cathcart 58, Lascelles 71
Bookings: Mbemba 51, Behrami 56, Britos 68
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)