Two goals from Ismaila Sarr saw second-placed Watford take another step towards promotion back to the Premier League with a win over Reading at Vicarage Road.
The Senegalese gave the hosts the lead with a curled effort after cutting in from the right and just under two minutes later made it 2-0 with a fiercely struck shot that gave visiting goalkeeper Rafael Cabral no chance.
The visitors should have pulled one back when George Puscas hit the post from close range with the goal open.
Watford are now 12 points clear of third-placed Brentford, having played two games more, and five behind Championship leaders Norwich.
Sixth-placed Reading will drop out of the play-off places on Saturday if Bournemouth beat Coventry at home.
The game was as good as decided in the space of a couple of minutes as Sarr showed his class with two fantastic goals.
First he latched on to a through ball from Kiko Femenia and stepped in on to his left foot to curl home and then he powerfully shot into the top far corner after Reading had been caught in possession on the halfway line.
Puscas hit the post from inside the six-yard box and Yakou Meite sliced an effort into the side-netting as Veljko Paunovic’s men looked for a way back into the game before the break.
The Hornets were rarely troubled in the second half and are now unbeaten in eight games, with seven wins in that time.
They visit rivals Luton next Saturday, while Reading are back in action next Friday with a home game against play-off hopefuls Cardiff.
- 5Troost-EkongSubstituted forCathcartat 70′minutes
- 14ChalobahSubstituted forC SÃ¡nchezat 45′minutes
- 19HughesBooked at 75mins
- 7ZinckernagelBooked at 17mins
- 10JoÃ£o PedroSubstituted forGrayat 77′minutes
- 12SemaSubstituted forSuccessat 78′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 28C SÃ¡nchez
- 33Cabral Barbosa
- 15GibsonSubstituted forRichardsat 64′minutes
- 8RinomhotaBooked at 56minsSubstituted forBaldockat 87′minutes
- 14EjariaSubstituted forAlukoat 87′minutes
- 47PuscasSubstituted forLucas JoÃ£oat 64′minutes
- 2Pontes Esteves
- 18Lucas JoÃ£o
Match ends, Watford 2, Reading 0.
Second Half ends, Watford 2, Reading 0.
Foul by Andy Yiadom (Reading).
Isaac Success (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt missed. Yakou Meite (Reading) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box misses to the left. Assisted by Sam Baldock.
Foul by Liam Moore (Reading).
Ismaila Sarr (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Corner, Reading. Conceded by Carlos SÃ¡nchez.
Isaac Success (Watford) is shown the yellow card.
Thomas Holmes (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Philip Zinckernagel (Watford).
Attempt saved. Sone Aluko (Reading) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lucas JoÃ£o.
Attempt blocked. Liam Moore (Reading) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Substitution, Reading. Sone Aluko replaces Ovie Ejaria.
Substitution, Reading. Sam Baldock replaces Andy Rinomhota.
Corner, Watford. Conceded by Liam Moore.
Attempt blocked. Ismaila Sarr (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Francisco Sierralta (Watford) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Philip Zinckernagel with a cross.
Corner, Watford. Conceded by Thomas Holmes.
Attempt missed. Omar Richards (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is too high following a set piece situation.