Watford have added another point to their Premier League tally but they will know they could be celebrating a fifth win in six games – and they largely have themselves to blame for not capitalsing on their first-half domianance after almost losing at the death.

The Hornets were made to settle for a 1-1 draw after Aleksandar Mitrovic cancelled out Andre Gray’s very early opener, but the old adage of not taking your chances when on top once again rang true.

The only major criticism that could be levelled at the visitors at half-time was they should have been further ahead.

They got off to the perfect start through Gray after 92 seconds following some confusion in the Fulham defence – that was to become a theme of the first half – and proceeded to bully their hosts for much of the opening 45 minutes.

With their effective pressing game and higher intensity, Watford created numerous other chances in the opening 45 minutes which they unable to make the most of while they also saw a good penalty appeal rejected. Furthermore, Timothy Fosu-Mensah was also fortunate not to see a straight red card for a bad challenge on Troy Deeney.

Former Hornets boss Slavisa Jokanovic made changes at the break, the hosts were increasingly improved in the second period and the Hornets’ performance level dropped.

The hosts began to ask a growing number of questions without ever building up a sustained head of attacking steam, but they were to get back on terms when Luciano Vietto capitalised on some lax defensive play to set up Mitrovic.

The Serbian striker then almost won it late on when it took a fine Ben Foster save to push his header on to the bar as the Hornets held out for an opening draw of the campaign.

Despite suffering their first defeat of the season against Manchester United; Javi Gracia saw no reason to make any changes and kept faith with the same XI for the sixth consecutive Premier League game.

Fulham were beaten 3-0 at champions Manchester City last time out and Jokanovic made two changes, both in defence, with Fosu-Mensah and Calum Chambers coming in for Cyrus Christie and Denis Odoi.

Watford got off to a flyer in their only previous away outing at Burnley and they repeated the trick, but even more quickly this time by the banks of the Thames.

Fulham’s centre-back pairing of Chambers and Alfie Mawson were in trouble as Gray and Will Hughes immediately pressed from a throw-in and the ball fell for the former Derby County midfielder to slide in his teammate, who calmly a first-time finish beyond Marcus Bettinelli to net his third of the campaign.

The hosts looked edgy at the back; the Hornets were to win a free-kick and two corners but were unable to threaten Bettinelli’s goal again, and then a Mawson header prevented a Daryl Janmaat cross getting to Deeney or Abdoulaye Doucoure, who were queuing up behind him.

The opening stages were frantic though, with Fulham trying to give as good as they got and they had a first clear opening when Vietto was put through on goal but the frame of Foster did was required.

However, the ball rebounded to the Fulham man, whose cross-cum-shot went wide of the far post, but the home faithful were asking for a penalty as Mitrovic went down as Christian Kabasele made sure he coudn't get on the end of the ball.

Back came the Hornets with Hughes sliding in Gray on the right side of the area and although his attempted cross was blocked by Mawson, more poor defending allowed Deeney to latch on to the loose ball and try his luck from a tight angle with Bettinelli blocking his effort.

Next a Jose Holebas corner from the right picked out the diving head of Kabasele, who saw his route to a potential second goal for his side blocked by the body of Ryan Sessegnon.

The chances kept coming for the visitors, with only an excellent blocking save from Bettinelli preventing Gray from hooking in his second after another lapse from Mawson had seen the central defender head Janmaat’s deep delivery into the path of the striker.

Fulham were able to gain some respite for a spell, although Mawson’s difficult first half was to continue when he was booked for chopping down Roberto Pereyra. And he was quickly followed by Fosu-Mensah, who went over the ball and caught Deeney’s shin with a challenge some officials would have deemed worthy of a sending off.

Mawson was then fortunate not to concede a penalty when he prevented Hughes from going round Bettinelli by sliding in, but without winning the ball.

Despite being second best for most of the opening period though, it was Fulham who looked to be finishing the stronger, but they were almost caught out in the last minute when more poor defending allowed a Foster to clearance to run for Pereyra, who came inside on his right foot before curling a shot not too far wide of the far post.

Watford fans will remember Jakonovic was not afraid to make changes when the game was going against his side during his time at Vicarage Road and Fulham emerged for the second half with two alterations to their number. Mawson was put of his misery as he made way for Odoi and Floyd Ayite came on for skipper Kevin McDonald.

A response was to be expected from the hosts and four minutes after the restart they created a decent opportunity when Andre Schurrle stood up a good cross from the right and Mitrovic got in front of Craig Cathcart to head narrowly over.

The home side were having more of the game and Holebas was to move on to a fourth booking of the campaign for a foul on Mitrovic.

Gray tested Bettinelli with a low angled drive in the 59th minute; the Hornets’ first effort on goal of the second half, before Jokanovic completed his changes as Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa replaced Stefan Johansen.

The Hornets continued to be a good cross or pass away from a second goal and their inability to find it continued to give their opponents hope, Mitrovic having their next effort when he headed a Jean Michel Seri corner wide.

Gracia made his first change in the 69th minute with Kiko Femenia replacing Hughes with the pattern of the game increasingly becoming Fulham having the bulk of the possession, with their opponents largely content to keep them at arms’ length.

But Watford’s inability to put the game to bed was to come back and bite them when Schurrle’s attempted through ball wasn’t dealt with and Vietto was allowed to latch on to the ball on the left side of the area and centre for Mitrovic to stab past Foster from close range.

The Hornets boss responded by sending on Isaac Success for Gray and the visitors should have had a chance when Deeney seized on a mistake from Chambers and advanced into the area. But instead of going it alone, he tried to square to Success and the ball was intercepted.

Soon after Success, who had looked sharp since coming on, did well on the left side of the area and was able to squeeze in a shot, but Bettinelli blocked at his near post.

Foster had not had a great deal to do in terms of making saves, but he was called upon with two minutes of normal time remaining, diving full length to his right to turn away a left-footed curler from Mitrovic.

But Watford were to survive an even closer call from the resulting corner when Mitrovic rose highest to send a header against the crossbar, but only after Foster had touched the ball on to the woodwork to preserve a point.

Fulham: Bettinelli; Fosu-Mensah, Mawson (Odoi 46), Chambers, Sessegnon; Seri, McDonald (Ayite 46), Johansen (Anguissa 64); Vietto, Mitrovic, Schurrle. Subs not used: Rico, Le Marchand, Christe, Kamara.

Watford: Foster; Janmaat, Cathcart, Kabasele, Holebas; Hughes (Femenia 69), Doucoure, Capoue, Pereyra (Sema 90); Gray (Success 80), Deeney. Subs not used: Gomes, Mariappa, Masina, Chalobah.

Bookings: Mawson for a foul on Pereyra (30); Fosu-Mensah for a foul on Deeney (32); Holebas for a foul on Mitrovic (58).

Attendance: 23,418.

Referee: Martin Atkinson.