Hornets sting visiting Swans
Swansea missed the chance to move into the play-off places after they were beaten 2-0 at Watford.
Last Updated: 17/02/09 10:08pm
Swansea missed the chance to move into the play-off places after they were beaten 2-0 away at struggling Watford.
First-half efforts from strikers Tamas Priskin and Tommy Smith was enough to claim all three points for Brendan Rodgers' men.
The win takes the Hornets out of the bottom three and one point above the drop zone after inflicting the visitors' first defeat in 16 games.
Despite the surprising defeat the Swans remain in the play-off hunt with just three points between themselves and Sheffield United in sixth.
It was the hosts who engineered the first shot in anger, Jobi McAnuff and Smith combining nicely for Don Cowie to lash over the top from just outside the area.
Thomas Butler then called Hornets goalkeeper Scott Loach - superb against Chelsea in the FA Cup defeat on Saturday - into action with a curling effort from the left-hand side of the area before Jack Cork shot over at the other end following a bright break.
The Swansea midfield trio of Leon Britton, Joe Allen and Jordi Gomez were leaving Watford chasing shadows at times as they effortlessly moved the ball about but it was Rodgers' side who took a 23rd-minute lead.
Butler's corner was cleared to McAnuff and the pacey winger sped forward before slipping in Smith on the left of the area.
Smith sent in a low cross that was aimed at Cowie but the ball ran on for Priskin at the back post and the Hungarian kept his cool to slot home between Dorus De Vries' legs.
Priskin had come off the bench to put Watford ahead against Chelsea at the weekend and his calm finish made it four goals in four games.
The goal may have come against the run of play but it was two 10 minutes later.
Smith was again integral as he played in McAnuff down the left. His low cross found Cowie, who looked certain to score but his low shot from eight yards was brilliantly saved by De Vries.
Swansea defender Ashley Williams hooked the ball clear but only to Smith, who confidently drilled a half-volley into the bottom corner from 20 yards for his 13th of the season.
The Swans carved out a chance in the opening seconds of the second half but Nathan Dyer's low cross evaded everyone in the six-yard box.
Jason Scotland - whose strike against Fulham made it 12 goals in 12 games -whistled a free-kick narrowly over as Martinez's men pushed for an early goal that would give them a way back into the match.
The hosts were under the cosh but still managed to fashion a chance to seal the win in the 67th minute.
Cork played Priskin in over the top and, after he held off a challenge, the striker managed to square the ball for the onrushing Smith but under pressure he was unable to steer the ball home.
Martinez added an extra striker in the form of qualified teacher Guillem Bauza but the hosts held on to claim a vital three points that breathes life into their survival battle.