The home fans who were filing out before the game entered stoppage time clearly hadn’t factored in that although Watford have had a change of head coach, some habits are hard to shake off.

Tom Cleverley had his head in hands as he saw his team concede a minute into time added on, thus squandering a 2-0 lead and going home from The Hawthorns with a point from a 2-2 draw.

However, that those in yellow will have gone home knowing they let two points slip away is also a mark of the progress Watford have made in a very short space of time under Cleverley’s stewardship.

Once again they played 3-5-2, and once again they looked very well drilled, organised and enthusiastic.

The home side tore off at the start and it needed two excellent saves from Dan Bachmann to prevent them from taking an early lead.

However, as the game settled the Hornets kept the Baggies at arm’s length and, while they didn’t do too much going forward, they looked comfortable against a side that were unbeaten in seven.

After half-time Watford moved up a gear, got two goals and everything seemed set for an unlikely away win.

Edo Kayembe’s fiercely-struck, controlled 20-yard effort followed by an oh-so-typical Mileta Rajovic goal from only a handful of yards clearly rocked the home side, and their fans.

Had it stayed 2-0 for a while, that might have been enough.

But once Albion got one back within five minutes they had their tails up, the volume in the stadium cranked up and it was a case of clock-watching from then.

Watford did have chances to kill the game off and, when they weren’t taken, there was that nagging feeling that they were running out of steam faster than the seconds were ticking away.

A minute into stoppage time the home side levelled it up, and the game ended with Watford looking more uncomfortable than they had all afternoon.

Letting points slip away is always painful, especially when the lead has been a couple of goals and the equaliser arrives so late.

However, this was once again a committed, battling display from Watford who knew their jobs and carried them out well.

Albion have only lost three home games all season and are still very much in the play-off race, and what Watford showed today – as they did on Friday – was that they can mix it with the best teams in the Championship.

After all, only the most optimistic of Hornets fans would have predicted their side would not lose either fixture over the Easter Period.

There were two changes to the starting-line-up. Skipper Wes Hoedt returned from suspension in defence with Mattie Pollock dropping to the bench, while Ismael Kone replaced Yaser Asprilla on the bench.

Meanwhile, there was a first time on the bench for 17-year-old forward Zavier Massiah-Edwards. The youngster is well known to Tom Cleverley having been a regular in the Under-18s and is a very attacking, skilful, tricky winger. 

Giorgi Chakvetdaze wasn’t in the squad at all due to illness.

The first half started at high pace but then slowed and by the end of 45 minutes the game was taking on the appearance of a last-day fixtures.

There was nearly total disaster in the seventh minute as Francisco Sierralta lost the ball midway inside his own half and Thomas-Asante ran through on goal.

Bachmann made a great save to deny him and then, when the ball ran loose, Johnston cut in but his follow-up was blocked by Ryan Porteous.

Watford’s first and only on-target attempt came soon after but Kayembe’s low 20-yard drive was straight at Palmer.

Bachmann then excelled again in the ninth minute when he sprung away to his left and tipped away a header from Thomas-Asante.

That was pretty much it in terms of efforts on goal until the final minute of the half when Fellows attacked down the right and got to the by-line, but Thomas-Asante glanced his header wide.

The Hornets went ahead six minutes after the restart and really brought the game to life.

It was a great strike from Kayembe, who controlled Tom Dele-Bashiru's half-cleared corner on the D on the edge of the box and struck a low shot into the bottom corner.

Minutes later Dele-Bashiru's searing 25-yard drive was pushed away by Palmer, Emmanuel Dennis collected the loose ball on the left, danced along the by-line and then struck the post with a low shot.

In the 65th minute Watford looked to have control of the game when they went 2-0 up.

It was a typical Mileta Rajovic goal as the substitute slid in at the back post to convert a low cross from Lewis, who had been released by a very clever pass from Asprilla.

However, five minutes later the home side were back in it.

Thomas-Asante was slid in behind the defence on the right and beat Bachmann at the near post with a well-struck shot.

Watford continued to press though, and Asprilla sent a shot straight at Palmer before Andrews saw the keeper hold his side-footed volley.

As the game ticked into stoppage time, the home side broke Watford hearts with the equaliser.

The Hornets defence was slow to close Furlong down when he received the ball just outside the box on the right and he beat Bachmann with a rising shot into the far corner.

Watford: Bachmann; Porteous, Sierralta, Hoedt; Andrews, Dele-Bashiru, Kone (Asprilla 54), Kayembe (Livermore 84), Lewis; Bayo (Rajovic 54), Dennis (Martins 73). Subs: Hamer, Ince, Pollock, Morris, Massiah-Edwards