A goalless draw at home after being relegated is no cause for celebration, but Watford were finally able to draw a line under their awful record-breaking run of defeats at Vicarage Road with a 0-0 stalemate against Everton.

The makeshift line-up rarely looked like they would win the game, but they showed an appetite and desire for the task, limiting their opponents to only a handful of chances and were rewarded with just an eighth point at home this season and a first Premier League clean sheet of the campaign at Vicarage Road as well.

The appointment of Rob Edwards as the new head coach will bring a new dawn for the Hornets in the Championship, but a large number of empty seats inside the ground was a reflection of what the Vicarage Road faithful have had to endure over the past six months.

After a first half of very few chances, Everton created the best two opportunities of the match after the break, with Ben Foster doing very well to keep out a Richarlison effort which deflected off Christian Kabasele before Demari Gray dragged another good opportunity wide.

In truth though, it was a dismal advert for the Premier League and one that did not reflect favourably on the Toffees in their efforts to preserve their top-flight status for another season.

Such were Watford’s options available going into the game, only Foster, Samir, Moussa Sissoko and Edo Kayembe remained from the team that started Saturday’s relegation-sealing defeat at Crystal Palace.

Joao Pedro was deemed fit enough to start after missing the trip to Selhurst Park, Samuel Kalu made his first start for the club and Gosling came in for his first Premier League appearance since the opening day of the season. The paucity of first-team squad options meant four Academy players were on the bench.

Frank Lampard, by contrast, only made the one injury-enforced change from the team which won 2-1 at Leicester City last time out to move out of the bottom three, with Michael Keane replacing Yerry Mina.

The Hornets started on the front foot, enjoying plenty of the ball in the opening stages and almost creating an opening when some sloppiness from the Toffees gave Pedro the chance to try and slide in Ken Sema, but the ball deflected off Keane back to Jordan Pickford.

Another promising situation developed when Kalu and Pedro combined to feed Sema to the left of the area and he cut the ball back across, but it cannoned off Kalu through to the Everton keeper.

Watford Observer:

Dan Gosling challenges Alex Iwobi

The visitors then started to get a grip on proceedings, having long periods of possession as they started to ask attacking questions.

Mike Dean, who was in charge of his last game at Vicarage Road before retiring, got his cards out for the first time into the 18th minute, showing yellow to Mason Holgate for a sliding lunge on Kalu.

The hosts continued to hold firm as the opening period passed its halfway mark, although Everton were looking to expose Adam Masina when they had the opportunity.

One run by Richarlison at the heart of the defence looked like it may pose problems, but Sissoko got back to win the ball as the Brazilian went to ground, looking back in the direction of the referee in the hope that a penalty may be coming his way, but Dean was not interested.

Attempts on goal remained in very short supply, although Anthony Gordon did try an ambitious volley from an Alex Iwobi cross, hitting it well over the top.

A Sissoko foul on Richarlison on the right angle of the penalty area gave Everton another opportunity to test the Hornets rear guard, but Ben Foster held Abdoulaye Doucoure’s header back across goal after Gray’s delivery had been headed away to the left side of the 18-yard box.

Watford Observer:

Ben Foster claims Abdoulaye Doucoure's header

Kalu had the opportunity to test Pickford from range a minute before the break when the Hornets were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out, but the Nigerian was unable to keep his effort beneath the bar despite striking it well enough as the opening period ended goalless.

The Hornets had the first sniff of an opening in the second half when Kayembe spotted the run of Pedro, but Pickford was alert to the danger and raced from his area to beat the Brazilian to the ball as he sought to go round him.

Soon after though, Sema whipped in a free-kick from the left which Sissoko glanced across the face of goal and behind, but replays showed the Hornets captain was eased off the ball by Doucoure as he rose to meet the delivery.

Foster had enjoyed a relatively quiet evening to date, but in the 53rd minute he excelled, stretching out his ‘wrong’ hand to push behind a poked effort from Richarlison which deflected off Kabasele after the former Hornet had rolled Sissoko to open up the opportunity.

The card count was levelled up on the hour when Samir saw yellow for a foul on Richarlison, but two minutes later Everton went close to taking the lead when Kalu gave the ball away, allowing Iwobi to run at the defence before sliding a pass inside to Gray, who went for the far post but pushed his attempted finish narrowly wide.

Watford Observer:

Samuel Kalu tries to get the better of Demari Gray

Everton had another chance soon after, this time from a corner when Keane won the header but it lacked the power to really trouble Foster.

Seamus Coleman was booked for a foul on Gosling but the Toffees continued to up the ante, with a Richarlison cross bisecting the six-yard box after Kabasele slipped trying to deal with the Hornets old boy.

Lampard turned to Dominic Calvert-Lewin to try and find a winner with 13 minutes remaining as he replaced Gray. Soon after, Gordon managed a shot on target but it lacked the power to test Foster.

Delph then made way for Allan as the game meandered to a tame conclusion, with Craig Cathcart coming on for Kalu for the last four minutes of normal time before Kayembe made way for Peter Etebo.

Watford had a late opportunity to win it in the second minute of injury time as Sema swung over a free-kick from the left, but Kabasele got under his attempted effort and Pickford was able to grasp the ball.

Any thoughts of a victory quickly turned to preserving a point, with Kabasele sticking out a leg to block a cross before the home side successfully repelled two late corners to give the long-suffering Vicarage Road faithful something to cheer at the final whistle.

Watford: Foster; Ngakia, Kabasele, Samir, Masina; Sissoko, Kayembe (Etebo 89) Gosling; Kalu (Cathcart 86), Pedro, Sema. Subs not used: Bachmann, Troost-Ekong, Sierralta, Morris, Cukur, Blake, Grieves.

Everton: Pickford; Iwobi, Coleman, Keane, Holgate, Mykolenko; Gordon, Doucoure, Delph (Allan 81), Gray (Calvert-Lewin 77); Richarlison. Subs not used: Begovic, Kenny, Gomes, Davies, Branthwaite, Rondon, Alli.

Bookings: Holgate for a foul on Kalu (18); Samir for a foul on Richarlison (60); Coleman for a foul on Gosling (65).

Referee: Mike Dean