The belief that Watford could reach their first FA Cup final in 35 years was starting to mount following their fifth round victory at Queens Park Rangers. That optimism was to mount still further amid full-time scenes at Vicarage Road.

Following three rounds of away football and 650 miles worth of travelling, it was finally Watford's turn to play host and what an occasion it turned out to be.

Crystal Palace were the guests in Hertfordshire that day and would be subjected to their third defeat at the hands of the Hornets in this season alone.

The Eagles' wings had been clipped by their previous two losses in the league and when news broke that an injury would keep star man Wilfried Zaha out of the game, their confidence suffered another dent.

Etienne Capoue remained alert to open the scoring with a precise side-footed finish into the roof of the vacant net that raised both the noise and belief inside Vicarage Road through the roof.

The Watford defence had been resolute throughout the competition until this point, shutting out all three of their previous opponents.

However, whether excitement got the better of them, or they momentarily switched off, it's unclear, but suddenly Michy Batshuayi had nicked the ball away from Adrian Mariappa, was bearing down on goal and in the blink of an eye the scores were level and the Golden Boys had it all to do again. Cue Andre Gray.

The man who this season has made a name for himself as the quintessential super sub was introduced from the bench and put himself in the right place at the right time to latch onto Roberto Pereyra's perfectly executed delivery to ensure safe passage to Wembley Stadium and an FA Cup semi-final.

The scenes of jubilation lasted long after the final whistle and while flags were waved and songs were sung, an emotional goodbye was taking place down on the turf.

Goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes had said before the game he was 99 per cent sure this season would be his last as a footballer and there were tears rolling down his cheeks as he bid farewell to the supporters, after what could well have been his final performance at Vicarage Road.