Huddersfield and Watford fought out a 0-0 stalemate at the John Smith’s Stadium on a damp and drizzly day in West Yorkshire.
In a game short of clear-cut opportunities, Yaser Asprilla and Matty Pearson came closest for either side, on an otherwise comfortable afternoon for both goalkeepers.
The draw extends Watford’s unbeaten league run to four, with Huddersfield earning their first clean sheet at home since mid-September.
Ken Sema almost unknowingly put Watford ahead after four minutes, getting his head- or rather his face – to a wicked deflected cross into the centre. The early half-chance whistled wide.
Huddersfield had the first meaningful effort of the game in the 27 the minute when Pearson’s left-footed shot was held by Dan Bachmann in the Hornets’ goal.
Sorba Thomas called Bachmann back into the action six minutes later, with the Watford shot-stopper getting down well to his left to deny the opener.
The visitors remained resilient, and Edo Kayembe’s whipped attempt asked questions of Huddersfield’s Lee Nicholls, resulting in Watford’s best effort of the half.
Less than a minute into the second period, the increasingly threatening Asprilla struck low and hard at goal, from a tight angle. A smart stop from Nicholls tipped the ball around the post.
As the heavens opened, Valerien Ishamel’s side injected a minor impetus into the game.
Jamal Lewis and Jeremy Ngakia both had promising shots blocked by the sturdy Town defence, including one by Michael Helik.
On 64 minutes, the John Smith’s Stadium began to wake up as Ben Wiles’ speculative attempt sailed over. Watford rushed up the other end and Jamal Lewis’ low shot kept Nicholls busy.
Hornets sub Imran Louza looked lively when turning from 25 yards out, but fired high and wide on 70 minutes.
With 13 minutes left on the clock, Mileta Rajovic rose well inside the Huddersfield penalty area, but could not quite connect with Ryan Andrews’ clipped cross.
In added time, Town almost snatched the winner with substitute Mattie Pollock drifting in behind, but unable to pick out a blue and white shirt in the middle.
Watford pressed for a dramatic winner, and if not for Josh Ruffle’s heroics, they may have found it. The Town sub flicking the ball away from underneath the crossbar.