Isaac Success scored his first Watford goal and Troy Deeney is now just one short of his 100th for the Hornets after they twice came from behind to earn a point from a 2-2 draw against Bournemouth at Vicarage Road.

Walter Mazzarri opted to go with a bold, attack-minded formation, but after starting promisingly a lack of quality in the final third hindered Watford’s prospects going forward, while at the other end they were to be undone by a cross yet again as Callum Wilson met a Junior Stanislas cross with his head to put the visitors in front.

The Hornets got back on terms early in the second half when Troy Deeney scored after good work by Nordin Amrabat, but they were soon up against it again when a Josh King shot was deflected past Heurelho Gomes.

However, the Cherries joy was to prove short-lived as fellow substitute Success met a Jose Holebas free-kick to net his first Hornets goal and bring his side level for a second time.

Watford were to have the ball in the net for a third time – Deeney seeing a header ruled out for a foul on Boruc – but at the other end Stanislas struck the crossbar with a free-kick while Jack Wilshere also hit the post twice.

Mazzarri, who was celebrating his 55th birthday, made two changes from the side that served up such a dismal showing in the 2-0 defeat at Burnley on Monday night, both as a result of injury.

Craig Cathcart and Miguel Britos were both ruled out so in came Camilo Zuniga for his first start and Younes Kaboul as the Hornets lined up with a back four. There had been plenty calling for Success to start the game, but he again had to settle for a place on the bench as Mazzarri persevered with Odion Ighalo alongside Deeney in attack.

Bournemouth ended Everton’s unbeaten start to the season last time out with a 1-0 victory and with no fresh injury problems, Eddie Howe named an unchanged team, meaning former Hornets loanee Nathan Ake was among the replacements.

The Hornets had their first chance after a minute when, after a long throw from the left had been partially cleared, Valon Behrami hooked the ball back towards the Cherries’ box, Etienne Capoue glanced it on and Igahlo was in space on the left side of the area, but snatched his first-time left-footed effort wide of the far post.

The Hornets, who had started with a bold 4-1-2-3 in possession, started encouragingly, seeing plenty of the ball in the early stages and Deeney was the next to have an attempt, but saw his strike from the edge of the 18-yard box blocked by Steve Cook.

The game’s first controversial moment came in the 12th minute when Sebastian Prodl was fouled by Callum Wilson as he tried to shepherd the ball back towards his own goalline. But referee Mike Dean didn’t see it that way by not only deciding there was no foul on the Hornets defender but then opting to book him for knocking the ball out of play with his hand as he fell to the ground.

Like most inside Vicarage Road, Mazzarri was far from impressed with the decision and received a talking to from Dean for his troubles after Gomes had been forced to tip over Stanislas’ resultant inswinging free-kick.

The card count was levelled up in the 20th minute when Wilshere was yellow carded after catching Zuniga late. But while the home side were looking to be progressive when going forward, they were proving wasteful in possession at times as the game became rather scrappy as the midway point of the opening period passed.

Holebas was the next to try his luck, pulling a shot wide from the edge of the box following an Ighalo lay-off before the visitors had an opening when Jordon Ibe took on and beat Zuniga down the outside, but Gomes got down to hold the former Liverpool man’s low ball into the near post.

Roberto Pereyra was the next player to go into Dean’s notebook although his booking was eminently avoidable, received for a needless trip on Wilshere when he was going nowhere of significance.

But it was the Cherries who were to strike the first blow in the 31st minute when Stanislas was allowed to get half a yard down the right and his good cross was met by Wilson, who had got clear of Prodl, and he headed down and beneath Gomes to make it 1-0.

After going behind, the Hornets were looking a bit messy and they were not helping themselves with a lack of movement up front, but they almost got back on terms four minutes before the interval.

The referee correctly played advantage when Holebas was caught late by Adam Smith, who was subsequently yellow carded, and the hosts attacked at pace with Ighalo switching the ball across to Nordin Amrabat on the right side of the area, only for the Moroccan to see his well-struck effort saved by Artur Boruc and his follow up end with the same outcome.

Booking number five arrived in the last minute of normal time when Simon Francis was rightly cautioned for bringing down Capoue towards the right edge of the 18-yard box, but the Frenchman’s subsequent set piece was poor and easily dealt with.

However, the Hornets had another opportunity in injury time when Amrabat headed the ball on and Kaboul’s flick almost fell for Ighalo, but Boruc snatched the ball on his line as the visitors took their lead into the break.

Mazzarri’s men needed to start the second period and they weren’t too far away from getting back on terms within 90 seconds as a deep Holebas free-kick was headed firmly back across goal and wide by Prodl.

Another chance came and went a couple of minutes later when a corner from the right was flicked on by Prodl and although the ball was behind Deeney at the far post, he improvised with a back-heeled scorpion-like attempt but was unable to keep his effort underneath the bar.

With the striker’s next effort though, the Hornets did get back on terms in the 50th minute.

A throw-in on the right was taken to Amrabat, who showed good strength to turn and get away from Charlie Daniels as he got to the by-line before pulling the ball back for Deeney, who calmly fired home his third of the season and 99th goal for the club to make it 1-1.

However, parity almost didn’t last for very long as Wilshere jinked across the Hornets penalty area from the right before the space opened up for a left-footed curler which beat the dive of Gomes but cannoned back out off his right-hand post.

Behrami became the sixth booking of the afternoon when he was penalised for a foul on Cook. But after Mazzarri had made his first change by bringing on Success for Ighalo, Watford went close to taking the lead when Deeney met a cross from the right with a firm downward header which Boruc was equal to.

Howe made his first substitution in the 61st minute, bringing on Josh King for Ibe. And within a minute it was to pay off as the replacement wrong-footed Behrami to open up some space around 25 yards out and hit a right-footed shot which deflected off Kaboul and deceived Gomes as it beat him at his near post.

But Bournemouth were not to be in front for long and in keeping with the theme of the moment, it was the substitute who got the Hornets level for a second time.

The goal originated from a deep Holebas free-kick on the left and Success met it with a superb flicked header back across goal that gave Boruc no chance as the Nigerian opened up his Hornets account in style.

The Hornets thought they had a third when Deeney outjumped Boruc to head home a cross, but Dean decided a foul had been committed, before Success was inches away from getting on the end of Amrabat’s latest good delivery from the right.

Back came the Cherries with King seeing his right-footed swinger from Smith’s cross from the right deflected high and wide of the target, and then Wilshere missed a glorious chance to make it 3-2 when Smith’s low delivery found the England midfielder coming in at the far post in plenty of space, but he struck his attempted left-footed finish across the outside of the post and behind.

It was to be the Arsenal loanee’s last involvement as he was replaced by Dan Gosling in the 74th minute before Mazzarri opted to fresh up his midfield by bringing on Adlene Guedioura for Capoue.

The woodwork came to the Hornets rescue for a second time with nine minutes remaining when Stanislas sent a 20-yard free-kick over the wall, only to see it crash back off the bar after Prodl had been penalised for a trip on Smith right on the edge of the area.

Watford had been primarily tasked with defending for a lot of the latter stages of the second half, but with four minutes of normal time remaining they looked to spring the counter when Pereya swept the ball across to Success, who showed great footwork to jink away from two opponents before trying to catch Boruc out with an early shot, but the Cherries keeper dealt with it relatively comfortably.

Four minutes of stoppage time afforded both sets of fans optimism their side could snatch a late winner and while Bournemouth had the majority of the possession in the latter stages, they were unable to fashion an opportunity to test Gomes for one last time.

Watford: Gomes; Zuniga, Prodl, Kaboul, Holebas; Amrabat, Behrami, Capoue (Guedioura 78), Pereyra; Ighalo (Success 58), Deeney. Not used: Pantilimon, Kenedy, Doucoure, Watson, Kabasele.

Bournemouth: Boruc; Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels; Surman, Arter; Stanislas, Wilshere (Gosling 74), Ibe (King 61); Wilson (Afobe 90). Not used: Federici, Ake, Gradel, Smith.

Bookings: Prodl for handball (12); Wilshere for a foul on Zuniga (20); Pereyra for a foul on Wilshere (28); Smith for a foul on Holebas (41); Francis for a foul on Capoue (45); Behrami for a foul on Cook (57); Stanislas for time wasting (89).

Attendance: 20,575.

Referee: Mike Dean.