Top-of-the table Watford triumphed despite a poor second-half display against Sheffield Wednesday.
Darius Henderson put the Hornets ahead, sweeping home from six yards after Dan Shittu flicked on a Lloyd Doyley throw.
Marlon King made it 2-0 from the spot but the Owls replied through a crisp Graham Kavanagh half-volley.
Akpo Sodje, Etienne Esajas and Kavanagh wasted good chances to level after the break before Wednesday had Jermaine Johnson sent off late on.
Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd:
"In the first half an hour we played some wonderful stuff. It was everything we had worked on but then it got scrappy and we never found our form.
"We've got some very good individuals but we only play as a team intermittently. That will come from time on the pitch but it bodes well to be top when we're not playing particularly well. We are on schedule for our points target.
"Darius brings a fear factor to our games now. Defenders in this division are scared of him and rightly so because he scores goals."
Sheffield Wednesday manager Brian Laws:
"The sending off was very harsh. Jermaine Johnson took a punch in the face early in the second half and got booked for his reaction.
"Then he had to go to right-back because Frankie Simek had to come off with a kick to the ankle and he did well for us. I don't think it was a sending off but it didn't cost us the game.
"The first 20 minutes was like men against girls. We've got to stand up to bullying. They bullied us out of the points. They're athletic, they get the ball forward and they come at you in the opening 20 minutes but if you get through that the game opens up.
"I'd like to get rid of the first 20 minutes because after that there was nothing in it and we were unfortunate not to get anything."
Watford: Poom, Doyley, DeMerit, Shittu, Stewart, Smith, Williamson, Mahon, Johnson (McAnuff 89), King (O'Toole 90), Darius Henderson.
Subs Not Used: Lee, Priskin, Ellington.
Goals: Darius Henderson 6, King 16 pen.
Sheff Wed: Burch, Simek (Esajas 54), Michael Johnson, Hinds (Bullen 46), Gilbert, Jermaine Johnson, Whelan, Kavanagh, Tudgay, Burton, Sodje.
Subs Not Used: Lunt, O'Brien, Beevers.
Sent Off: Jermaine Johnson (89).
Booked: Gilbert, Esajas, Whelan.
Goals: Kavanagh 36.
Ref: Andy Hall (W Midlands).