Deeney ensures Watford beat Stoke to close gap on promotion places

The talismanic skipper scored from the spot and provided the assist for Ismaila Sarr against James McClean’s Stoke.

WATFORD CAPTAIN TROY Deeney led by example as his promotion-chasing side moved up to third in the Championship with a 2-1 win at Stoke.

Deeney converted a 64th minute penalty after Stoke keeper Josef Bursik fouled Joao Pedro. And the veteran striker also provided the assist for Ismaila Sarr to double Watford’s advantage from an acute angle.

Stoke substitute Steven Fletcher got one back with seven minutes left. But Watford kept their composure to seal a third successive win, leaving Stoke with just one victory in their last 10 league games.

Watford’s third away league win this season lifted them level on points with second placed Swansea, who are ahead on goal difference as the race for promotion to the Premier League hots up.

stoke-city-v-watford-sky-bet-championship-bet365-stadium PA James McClean greets Watford's Kiko Femenia after the final whistle tonight. PA

Deeney’s sixth goal of the season was his 139th for Watford, still some way shy of Luther Blissett’s high mark of 186.

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