Watford have another point on the board but their search for a first Premier League win of the season will go into November after their clash against Bournemouth finished as games against the Cherries tend to do, in another draw.

The latest meeting between the two sides was high on effort but generally lacking in quality, with the two goalkeepers the standout performers in this goalless stalemate.

The Hornets can take heart from another solid display at the back as they recorded a second clean sheet in three games, but they lacked the necessary guile in the final third to get off the victory mark at the 10th time of asking.

Watford should have taken with the first attack of the game, but Abdoulaye Doucoure fired over after Aaron Ramsdale could only parry a Gerard Deulofeu cross back into the danger zone.

The hosts had other opportunities during a somewhat frenetic opening period, but were thankful to Ben Foster on more than one occasion, not least in the closing stages when he denied Arnaut Danjuma from close range.

Foster was to have a quieter second half for the most part as the home side looked the more likely to find the breakthrough, with Ramsdale called upon to make two good saves from Deulofeu and Will Hughes.

It was Bournemouth who finished the stronger though, with substitute Harry Wilson curling a free-kick narrowly wide before Ryan Fraser forced Foster into a final save of the afternoon in injury time.

With Jose Holebas suspended and Danny Welbeck out for “months” following his hamstring injury, Sanchez Flores was always going to have to make two changes but he otherwise chose to leave well alone following the heartening performance in the 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur.

Adam Masina came in at left-back while Gerard Deulofeu was promoted from the bench, having played all but four minutes of last weekend’s game following Welbeck’s injury.

Ismaila Sarr and Kiko Femenia were not among the substitutes due to a leg injury and illness respectively.

Bournemouth also drew last time out, 0-0 at home to Norwich City, and Eddie Howe opted to make three changes, with Jefferson Lerma, Danjuma and Joshua King replacing Lewis Cook, Harry Wilson and Dominic Solanke, who all dropped to the bench.

Watford would have wanted to start positively and they spurned a great chance to go in front with barely a minute on the clock.

Daryl Janmaat set the Hornets on the attack when he intercepted a pass from Diego Rico before breaking forward and slipping a pass to the right side of the area where Deulofeu’s low cross-shot was parried back into the danger zone by goalkeeper Ramsdale, the ball sat up invitingly for Doucoure but he was unable to keep his follow-up down.

The Cherries responded with Lerma cutting in from the right side of midfield before shooting wide of Foster’s right-hand post.

Deulofeu though, was causing Bournemouth all kinds of problems in the early stages, with more trickery on the right leading to another dangerous cross before he took the Hornets’ first corner on the left and curled it against the near post, but the rebound wouldn’t fall quickly enough for Craig Dawson to get an early shot away.

Some of the gloss was taken off the encouraging start in the 10th minute when Tom Cleverley was forced off through injury, meaning Hughes was given an early taste of the action.

The hosts then survived a let-off five minutes later when Steve Cook met his side’s first corner of the contest with a glancing header which thumped off the face of the bar before Watford were able to clear their lines.

Both sides remained positive in their approach, with Bournemouth having the next opportunity of note when Foster had to get down at his near post to push away a Philip Billing drive after Danjuma had laid a pass back to him.

Masina had barely ventured forward in the game but when he did so in the 28th minute it was to very useful effect, sweeping a cross-field ball to Janmaat who was able to get in round the back of Rico but nobody in a yellow and black shirt was able to get on the end of his pass.

Rico saw a free-kick deflected over from 25 yards after Deulofeu had fouled Lerma, but the Spaniard was to go much closer when the resultant corner was half-cleared, hitting a stinging left-footed drive which Foster had to move sharply to his left to push away.

Watford continued to threaten to get in though, with Deulofeu almost spinning his way in after being played in by Janmaat, who had been a constant willing outlet on the right flank.

Dawson picked up the game’s first booking for hauling down Callum Wilson after the Bournemouth striker had got in behind him, but in the last minute of normal time in the first half Foster came to the home side’s rescue when he produced an excellent blocking save to thwart Danjuma who looked odds-on to convert King’s cross from the right as the opening period ended goalless.

There was a change at the start of the second half, but it came among those in control of the game as assistant referee Darren Cann was replaced by fourth official Tom Nield.

As with the first half, the Hornets were to have a great opportunity to go in front early in the second period when a Foster clearance was flicked on to Deulofeu who took on and beat Steve Cook and closed in on goal, but was unable to get the better of Ramsdale.

The absence of a natural striker had been all too apparent though, and in the 57th minute Sanchez Flores moved to address this by bringing on Andre Gray for Nathaniel Chalobah.

Howe soon made a change of his own, with Harry Wilson replacing Danjuma, but the contest was still searching for that spark of quality to catch light.

Callum Wilson was booked for an off-the-ball incident, with something that was subsequently said seeming to annoy Christian Kabasele before matters soon calmed down again.

Doucoure lashed a shot wide from 20 yards as Watford continued to seek the breakthrough before the Cherries responded in kind with King sending an angled effort straight at Foster.

Rico was cautioned for flying into a challenge on Hughes before more changes followed, with Dimitri Foulquier replacing Masina while Solanke came on for Callum Wilson.

Soon after though, Ramsdale was called upon to make a good save low to his left to keep out a low drive from Hughes, but the opening goal continued to remain elusive.

It almost arrived with eight minutes of normal time remaining when a Deulofeu free-kick from wide on the right was flicked on at pace by Pereyra and a deflection off a Bournemouth body took it just beyond Gray at the back post, although the officials decided to award a goal kick.

It was heart in mouths time at the other end moments later though, when Doucoure was booked for a foul on Lerma and Harry Wilson curled the free-kick up and over the wall and wide of Foster’s left-hand post, with the keeper rooted to the spot.

Bournemouth looked the more likely to secure the win in the closing stages and they had the final effort in stoppage time when Foster was called upon to keep out a rising drive from Fraser, but the stalemate could not be broken.

Watford: Foster; Janmaat, Kabasele, Dawson, Cathcart, Masina (Foulquier 73); Cleverley (Hughes 10), Chalobah (Gray 57), Doucoure; Deulofeu, Pereyra. Subs not used: Gomes, Prodl, Mariappa, Quina.

AFC Bournemouth: Ramsdale, A Smith, S Cook, Ake, Rico; Fraser, Lerma, Billing, Danjuma (H Wilson 61); C Wilson (Solanke 73), King. Subs not used: Boruc, Francis, L Cook, Kelly, Mepham.

Bookings: Dawson for a foul on C Wilson (42); C Wilson for off the ball incident (65); Rico for a foul on Hughes (73); Deulofeu for dissent (77); Billing for a foul on Pereyra (81); Doucoure for a foul on Lerma (85); Hughes for a foul on H Wilson (87); Pereyra for a foul on A Snith (89).

Referee: Mike Dean.