A wonder goal from Wes Hoedt and a top-notch penalty save from Ben Hamer earned Watford only their second away win of the season - and lifted them into the top 10 in the Championship.

The 2-1 success at Hull was another piece of evidence that, slowly but surely, Watford are coming together as a unit that can be solid at the back while still being able to create at the other end, even away from home.

The home side certainly had the better of it, as 23 shots to 10 illustrates, but this wasn’t a battering, far from it.

Watford gave as good as they got, and when they did come under pressure – particularly at the start of the second half – they didn’t panic and tried to keep playing their way out of trouble.

The boost of Edo Kayembe’s early goal had barely sunk in when the home side levelled, but Watford didn’t divert from the plan and continued to look calm and composed.

The big question before the game was whether Dan Bachmann would come straight back into the team after serving his one-match suspension.

He didn’t and it meant a second successive game for Hamer – he then proved to be pivotal in the win with a penalty save that really was out of the top drawer, not just getting down to the ball but pushing it away to safety.

It was a save that deserved to contribute to a victory, and Hoedt then made that happen in unforgettable style.

Ryan Allsop had been playing well off his line throughout the game, but even when Hoedt won a tackle just inside the Hull half the keeper couldn’t have expected what was to happen next.

The Watford skipper looked up, saw where Allsop was and struck a 45-yard chip – at pace, not a floated effort - that sailed over Allsop before dropping perfectly under the bar and into the net as the keeper turned round and ran back to try and stop it.

A worldy, you might say.

Hull had to pile forward after that but Watford did a very smart and professional job of seeing the game out. The home side had a lot of the ball but it never felt like they were going to draw level, though that was much easier to say after the game than while watching the clock tick painfully slowly in real time.

There was a need for Watford to show they could be attack-minded on the road after their cautious approach at Leicester, and this game showed they could while still displaying the stability and organisation that has underpinned their recent run of one defeat in nine.

After the game the home side, and the local media, felt they had been robbed, but they had their chances and if you pass up one from the spot, then it’s hard to justify the feeling you were hard done by.

As with the win at Swansea and then the rallying victory over Norwich, today felt like another mini landmark in a season of rebuilding and resetting.

Watford were strong, solid and confident. They attacked when they could without being reckless, and defended when they needed to without being negative.

And the two players most effected by the head coach’s decision not to bring back Bachmann turned out to be the heroes – captain Hoedt and keeper Hamer.

There was an early scare for Watford as Hamer had to palm away a downward header from Tyler Morton in the first minute but the Hornets settled well and looked bright.

In the fifth minute Mileta Rajovic controlled Ken Sema’s pass inside the box and then rolled it off for Ismael Kone, but he lifted his shot over the top.

But two minutes later Watford went ahead.

Sema broke down the left and slipped a ball into the path of the break Jamal Lewis. His low cross wasn’t cleared and Edo Kayembe took a touch before firing into the net.

The lead lasted only three minutes though, and Watford will be furious at the way they were opened up for the equaliser.

Liam Delap surged through the centre with barely a challenge and had got to the box when a sliding Wes Hoedt blocked him. The ball broke to Scott Twine and he shot into the corner.

The two goals opened the game right up, and both sides were keen to get forward.

In the 17th minute there was another chance in a similar position for Kayembe after Kone had laid back a Lewis cross, but this time the midfielder put his shot over.

Four minutes later a clever check inside from Jaden created space, but his curling shot from the corner of the box was tipped over at full stretch by Hamer.

Two minutes before the break Hull keeper Ryan Allsop matched that Hamer save. A great break by Sema from inside his own half ended with Kone trying a curling, dipping effort from just inside the box that Allsop clawed away.

The home side had the better of the opening exchanges of the second half, and it needed a sliding challenge from Hoedt to deflect Jaden’s shot wide after he had beaten Porteous and got into the box.

Hull were then awarded a penalty when in trying to clear the ball Livermore swept away Grieves legs.

Jaden stepped up and went for accuracy, but his attempt to slot the ball into the bottom corner was denied as Hamer went full length and tipped the ball away.

Delap then fired an angled shot that beat Hamer but went narrowly wide of the back post before Jaden sent an effort from just inside the box wide of the target.

Watford rode the storm and so nearly went back in front in the 69th minute.

Lewis played a neat one-two with Vakoun Bayo and then let fly from a tight angle, only to see Allsop take off and push the ball up and away with an outstretched arm.

Then came the winner.

Hull cleared their lines and Hoedt challned Delap on halfway. Having won the ball, the defender had a look up and then released a sumptuous 45-yard chip that sailed over Allsop before dropping just under the bar and into the net.

The Dutchman saw the chance, knew exactly what he was doing, and then executed it to perfection.

After that Watford set about defending what they had.

Hamer made another great stop to keep out Jaden’s well-struck 20-yard effort and the same player threatened again when his dipping shot landed on the roof of the net.

However, the Hornets did a very good job of running down the clock and staying compact – there were home fans heading for the exit long before the final whistle went, but the away end was full and ready to great the players after a fine away win.

Watford: Hamer; Andrews (Pollock 78), Porteous, Hoedt, Lewis; Livermore, Kayembe, Kone (Dele-Bzashiru 90); Asprilla (Ince 64), Rajovic (Bayo 64), Sema (Sierralta 78). Subs: Bachmann, Louza, Healey, Martins