Newcastle United held by Watford as Miguel Almiron misses prove costly
Will Hughes gave Watford the lead with around 90 seconds on the clock before Fabian Schar levelled things up before the break for much-changed United.
Bruce made seven changes from the side beaten by Leicester City on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup, but just two enforced adjustments from the Spurs win last weekend.
It was a disaster start for United as they fell behind less than two minutes from the off.
A Tom Cleverley shot ricocheted off a United defender and fell fortuitously for Hughes, who tucked in from inside the area for 1-0 to the Hornets.
United failed to really get a grip on things after that with the movement of Hughes and Ricardo Pereyra causing them all kind of problems and Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff looking off the pace.
The Magpies failed to create or trouble the Watford goal but Miguel Almiron’s barren spell in front of goal continued when he failed to control a Jetro Willems cross with the goal at his mercy.
United’s goal came a little out the blue.
Just before the break an Emil Krafth cross was nodded down by Hayden and Fabian Schar, who’d strode into the attack unmarked, tucked in with his left foot – another cool, calm finish to add to the Switzerland international’s growing goal collection on Tyneside.
After the break United were definitely the team in the ascendancy – as Almiron again squandered the chance to tuck home his first goal in black and white after some good work by Christian Atsu down the left.
Hayden stung the fingertips of Ben Foster from distance as United pushed for a winner and substitute Yoshinori Muto should have done better when set free.
Despite chances at both ends late on – Isaac Success’ header was brilliantly saved by Martin Dubravka – the match ended with spoils, probably fairly, shared.
Bruce’s wait for a home win goes on – with the next chance to break his St James’s Park duck not until September 21 v Brighton.