CRAIG CATHCART scored at both ends before super-sub Tom Cleverley grabbed a late Watford winner.
It was a fitting way for the Hornets to mark the second anniversary of former boss Graham Taylor’s death.
Reuters6 Tom Cleverley fires home a winner for Watford against Crystal Palace
Reuters6 Watford's Tom Cleverley celebrates with Troy Deeney after scoring their second goal
The visitors dominated the opening stages almost took a third minute lead when Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra fired shots against the Eagles’ right upright before Roberto Pereyra does the same with therebound with the goal at his mercy.
Deeney went close with a header before Palace took the lead against the run of play in the 38th minute in comical circumstances.
James Tomkins’ header from a Luka Milivojevic corner caused panic in the Watford goalmouth where Abdoulaye Doucoure’s clearance rebounded off Hornets team-mate Craig Cathcart and into their own net, despite keeper Ben Foster’s attempt to claw it back from over the line.
Palace then suffered a blow when keeper Vicente Guaita went down in the box after collecting a cross and for him the game was over as the Eagles send on sub stopper Wayne Hennessey fresh from his Nazi salute scandal this week.
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But it was his opposite number Foster who stole the show at the start of the second half as he pulled off fine saves from Wilfried Zaha and Milivojevic to prevent Palace from adding a second.
And after Deeney had seen a shot cleared off the line by Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Watford levelled in the 67th minute when Cathcart climbs above Tomkins at the far post to head in Holebas’ corner.
Hornets boss Javi Gracia immediately took off his sub Ken Sema – who replaced Will Hughes in the 19th minute – and sent on Cleverley.