A brace on his home debut from Mathias Ranegie and a Troy Deeney goal has put Watford in full control against Blackpool at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets made a bright start. Deeney, who was searching for his 50th goal for the club, had an early strike saved by Matt Gilks before scuffing an effort wide.

Deeney came closer moments later. He received a pass, pulled away from two defenders and had a clear sight of goal. He aimed his shot towards Gilks’ far corner but the ball rolled agonisingly wide.

Watford’s control of the game deserved a goal and, in the 15th minute, they were rewarded. Ikechi Anya won a corner and Daniel Tozser delivered a fine cross.

Ranegie was left unmarked six yards out and the striker powerfully headed past Gilks to put the Hornets ahead.

Blackpool, who haven’t recorded a Championship victory since November, looked bereft of confidence. Ricardo Fuller sent a shot towards goal but the striker’s attempt was wayward and cleared the bar.

The Hornets had been able to move the ball freely across the pitch and they struck a second goal ten minutes before the break.

Toszer fizzed a pass into Daniel Pudil. He laid the ball to Deeney and, despite the striker’s shot taking a deflection, his shot hit the net and he had his 50th Watford goal.

The Hornets then added a third. Ranegie won possession from Gary MacKenzie, exchanged passes with Cristian Battocchio and then coolly slid the ball past Gilks.

A late free-kick from Stephen Dobbie was well wide and the Hornets were received a standing ovation as they left the pitch at the break. 

Watford: Almunia, Angella, Cassetti, Doyley, Anya, Tozser, Murray, Battocchio, Pudil, Deeney, Ranegie.

Watford substitutes: Bond, Belkalem, Hoban, Neill, Merkel, Faraoni, Park.

Blackpool: Gilks, Foley, Broadfoot, MacKenzie, Halliday, Angel, Perkins, Dobbie, Haroun, Keogh, Fuller.

Blackpool substitutes: Cathcart, Bishop, Basham, Osbourne, Grandin, Chopra, Goodwillie.