A fine Albert Riera goal means Watford currently lead fellow play-off chasers Ipswich Town 1-0 at Vicarage Road.

There was only one chance of note in the opening 20 minutes. Jonny Williams’ struck his shot from 15 yards powerfully but Manuel Almunia parried the ball clear.

Watford had been sloppy in possession for large parts of the opening quarter but did look a threat on the counter.

And when Tommie Hoban won the ball back in midfield, it started a move which saw Lewis McGugan attempt the overlap and give Riera the space to cut inside and find the far corner from 20 yards with a right-footed shot.

The Hornets, who made one change with Mathias Ranegie replacing the injured Ikechi Anya, went into the contest eight points below the play-off places, with two games in hand on most of the teams above them.

Watford: Almunia; Angella, Ekstrand, Hoban; Faraoni, Abdi, Tozser, McGugan, Riera; Deeney, Ranegie.

Subs: Bond, Belkalem, Battocchio, Merkel, Doyley, Murray, Pudil.

Ipswich line-up: Gerken; Chambers, Smith, Berra, Cresswell; Skuse, Wordsworth, Hyam; Nouble, Williams, Murphy.

Subs: Crowe, Hunt, Mings, Green, Richardson, Taylor, Marriott.