Four of Troy Deeney's five goals this season have come from the spot
Troy Deeney's first-half penalty was enough for Watford to beat Barnsley and move up to third in the Championship.
Referee Tim Robinson pointed to the spot when Deeney prodded the ball onto the raised arm of Tykes defender Callum Brittain and though keeper Jack Walton got a strong hand to the powerful kick he could not prevent it going in.
Watford had a second goal disallowed for offside when the recalled Andre Gray tucked away a rebound after Will Hughes hit the post from 25 yards, but the visitors looked the better side for periods without creating too much.
The closest Valerien Ismael's side came to an equaliser was through Watford's Francisco Sierralta, who would have scored an own goal had it not been for Daniel Bachmann's fine stop, and defeat was Barnsley's third in a row.
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Xisco Munoz's Hornets have won all three games at Vicarage Road since he took charge and are now three points behind second-placed Swansea, while Barnsley remain 10th.
The visitors had a strong appeal for a penalty of their own deep in stoppage time after Cauley Woodrow went down under a challenge from Craig Cathcart, leaving the Tykes frustrated on the final whistle.
Woodrow nodded a Conor Chaplin cross over in the first half and Callum Styles skewed wide after the break, with Watford keeper Bachmann's only save coming from his own centre-back.
William Troost-Ekong flicked a fine cross wide from close range late on as Watford looked for a second but despite that miss they have now won 32 points at home this season, seven more than any other side in the division.
- Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text
- 26Bachmann21Femenía5Troost-EkongSubstituted forCathcartat 82'minutes31Sierralta11Masina23SarrBooked at 90mins8CleverleySubstituted forChalobahat 71'minutes19Hughes12SemaSubstituted forZinckernagelat 62'minutes9DeeneySubstituted forJoão Pedroat 62'minutes18GraySubstituted forNgakiaat 82'minutes
- 3Ngakia6Wilmot7Zinckernagel10João Pedro14Chalobah15Cathcart16Garner32Navarro35Parkes
- 1Walton26SollbauerBooked at 90mins6Andersen30Helik7Brittain27Mowatt21PalmerSubstituted forKaneat 69'minutes4StylesSubstituted forSibbickat 89'minutes29AdeboyejoSubstituted forFrieserat 57'minutes9Woodrow11ChaplinSubstituted forMorrisat 57'minutes
Referee:Tim RobinsonMatch StatsHome TeamWatfordAway TeamBarnsleyPossessionHome56%Away44%ShotsHome9Away11Shots on TargetHome3Away0CornersHome5Away3FoulsHome13Away11Live TextPost update
Match ends, Watford 1, Barnsley 0.
Second Half ends, Watford 1, Barnsley 0.
Ismaila Sarr (Watford) is shown the yellow card.
Will Hughes (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Cauley Woodrow (Barnsley).
Foul by Ismaila Sarr (Watford).
Alex Mowatt (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Watford. Conceded by Michael Sollbauer.
Michael Sollbauer (Barnsley) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Philip Zinckernagel (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Michael Sollbauer (Barnsley).
Substitution, Barnsley. Toby Peter Sibbick replaces Callum Styles.
Offside, Watford. Philip Zinckernagel tries a through ball, but João Pedro is caught offside.
Corner, Barnsley. Conceded by Nathaniel Chalobah.
Foul by Francisco Sierralta (Watford).
Cauley Woodrow (Barnsley) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Watford. Jeremy Ngakia replaces Andre Gray.
Substitution, Watford. Craig Cathcart replaces William Troost-Ekong.
Attempt missed. William Troost-Ekong (Watford) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Philip Zinckernagel with a cross following a corner.
Attempt blocked. Ismaila Sarr (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
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