Watford and Everton draw 1-1 at Vicarage Lane on Saturday afternoon, as both teams’ seasons peter out to insignificance.
James McCarthy’s cool finish put Everton ahead on the stroke of half-time, but Jose Holebas hit back less than 60 seconds later.
Everton made two changes. Gareth Barry returned after missing the last two matches through suspension while Leighton Baines also came back into the eleven after being dropped for his comments following the Man Utd game.
Watford made an impressive five changes to the team which was lost 4-0 to Arsenal last weekend as Juan Carlos Paredes, Miguel Britos, Jose Holebas, Valon Behrami, and Jurado all started.
Everton dominated the early exchanges, racking up the lion share of possession in the process.
The first real chance came after ten minutes. Ross Barkley steamed forward and tried to pick out Gerard Deulofeu in the box. Fortunately for Watford, Britos was on hand to sweep away the danger, otherwise it would have been a simple tap-in for the Spaniard.
Deulofeu forced Heurelho Gomes into the first save of the match ten minutes later. Gareth Barry found the playmaker on the edge of the box, but his smart shot was well-stopped.
Watford’s first chance came via Jurado, as his strike from distance forced a fingertip save from Joel Robles.
The best of the drama was saved for the end of the half. Everton took the lead in the 45th minute when James McCarthy nicked the ball away from Britos and lashed in from the edge of the area.
The lasted less than a minute, however. Watford kicked off and went straight up the other end to win a corner. Ben Watson took it, and Holebas was on hand to head home at the back post.
The second half didn’t retain the same levels of drama. It took until the 60th minute for us to see any serious attempt on goal. It eventually came through Aaron Lennon; he drove into the box at Watford failed to close him down, but his shot was parried away by Gomes.
Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku started to grow into the game in the final twenty minutes. He skewered one tough effort wide from 30 yards, but showed threatening signs whenever he linked up with Deulofeu.
Ben Watson forced Robles into a great save in the dying moments, but ultimately there would be no further goals and the game ended with a point apiece.
The result means Everton stay 14th with 39 points, while Watford stay 15th with 38.
Watford travel to West Brom next Saturday then play West Ham to the following Wednesday. In two weeks time they play Palace in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
Everton are away at Palace on Wednesday, home to Southampton next weekend, then away at Liverpool for the rescheduled Merseyside derby in ten days.