West Brom slipped deeper into relegation peril after Troy Deeney struck late to secure Watford a 1-0 win at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
The Hornets skipper marked his 300th league appearance for the club with a well-taken finish in the 77th minute that proved the difference in a tight affair.
In addition to securing his side back-to-back league wins, Deeney's strike sent West Brom to a fifth successive Premier League defeat that will only heighten the pressure on the under-fire Alan Pardew, who was reportedly set to be sacked if he failed to claim three points.
The Baggies boss had been forced to smooth over a reported dressing room row with Chris Brunt in the lead-up and appeared set to at least claim a steadying, if uninspiring, point.
Salomon Rondon was the culprit for failing to earlier put the visitors ahead, directing a gilt-edged second-half header wide of the upright.
That proved their only real opportunity as they were left rooted to the bottom of the ladder and looking destined for the drop.
300 - Troy Deeney has scored in what was his 300th league appearance for Watford – he also scored on his 50th, 100th, 150th, 200th and 250th for the club. Stalwart. pic.twitter.com/BZIJr0CYyT— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 3, 2018
West Brom almost got off to a flyer when a defensive header dropped kindly for Grzegorz Krychowiak, but the Poland international's close-range effort was bravely blocked by Adrian Mariappa.
A carbon copy moment at the other end saw Kieran Gibbs crucially deflect a threatening Roberto Pereyra shot amid an encouraging start to the contest.
Opportunities dried up from there, though, as a midfield battle took hold, Rondon's wayward header representing a rare sight of goal.
The Hornets did eventually find a way through five minutes before the break and should have opened the scoring.
Pereyra drove at the heart of defence before slipping the ball into the path of the overlapping Daryl Janmaat, whose unconvincing finish was pushed past the far post by Ben Foster's outstretched boot.
The action immediately livened up after the restart with Venezuela striker Rondon first drawing a near-post save from Orestis Karnezis, before Richarlison went close through an acrobatic bicycle kick.
An unmarked Rondon was at fault for failing to convert the best chance of the sequence on 54 minutes, heading wide from Gibbs' inviting left-sided cross.
Andre Carrillo, restored to the starting XI in place of the injured Gerard Deulofeu, attempted to get Javi Gracia's side back on the front foot by curling a fine long-range effort over the bar.
There was still time for the home side to grab the winner, though, as Deeney sprung the Baggies' high line, latched onto Will Hughes' through pass and dink a cool finish over the onrushing Foster.
Key Opta Facts:
- West Bromwich Albion have lost five successive Premier League games for the first time since January 2011.
- The Baggies have won just one of their last 27 Premier League games (W1 D11 L15).
- Watford have won 10 points in five Premier League games under Javi Gracia (W3 D1 L1), more than they won in their first five under Marco Silva (8).
- Gracia has won all three of his Premier League home games in charge of Watford – Silva won just three of his 12 in charge of the Hornets at Vicarage Road (W3 D4 L5).
- Troy Deeney scored in what was his 300th league appearance for Watford – he also scored on his 50th, 100th, 150th, 200th and 250th for the club.
- Will Hughes has been involved in four goals in his last four Premier League appearances for Watford (two goals, two assists).