High-flying Watford's poor home form this season has continued apace after Stoke City stunned them with a slender 1-0 victory at Vicarage Road.
Darren Fletcher's maiden goal for the Potters earned Mark Hughes' men their first away win in the Premier League this term and, strangely, was the only shot on target in the contest.
Marco Silva's side had chances to enjoy a share of the spoils in Hertfordshire, but their third league loss of the campaign means it is just one win in five matches on home soil in 2017/18.
Buoyed by their lofty position in the table, Watford began the game in confident fashion. Both teams were guilty, however, were failing to make the decisive final ball in the attacking third until the opening goal on 16 minutes.
Against the run of play, Xherdan Shaqiri's low corner to the edge of the area was met by Fletcher, whose side footed volley curled under the body of Heurelho Gomes to stun the home side.
Two superb deliveries from Jose Holebas were crying out to be fired home as the Hornets tried to find an equaliser but one wasn't forthcoming.
Etienne Capoue wasted a glorious chance at the back post from Miguel Britos' flick on but the strike would have been ruled out for offside anyway.
Troy Deeney then spurned a good opportunity as his scuffed shot dribbled wide of the upright from Tom Cleverley's raking long ball as half-time approached.
Ryan Shawcross' timely intervention straight after the restart prevented Deeney from firing home at the near post before Watford's best chance fell to Richarlison just shy of the hour mark.
Holebas' inswinging cross was met by Andre Carrillo, whose mistimed header fell invitingly to the Brazilian with goal agape in front of him - the forward, though, inexplicably fired wide of the post when it was easier to score.
A rare Stoke counter culminated in Joe Allen sending a left foot effort wide from a good position, while Richarlison and substitute Andre Gray put further attempts the wrong side of the upright.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting drew a fine stop from Gomes late on during another sparse Potters attack before Saido Berahino was denied ending his 33-match streak without a goal by the Brazilian's frame from Shaiqiri's excellent deft pass.
Tempers frayed with two scuffles on the pitch as the game reached its climax before Charlie Adam saw his shot cannon back off the post with Gomes in no man's land.
It mattered not though as the away side's backs-to-the-walls effort paid off to secure all three points.