- Kabasele strike puts Hornets ahead
- Fine Sinclair goal seals victory
- Carl Stewart and Brice Dja Djédjé make first-team debuts
- Hornets progress to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup
The Hornets progressed to the fourth-round of the FA Cup with a comfortable defeat of Championship opponents Burton Albion.
Defender Cristian Kabasele put the Hornets ahead midway through the first-half, before Jerome Sinclair sealed victory late on with a fine-strike from distance.
Brandon Mason made his first start for Walter Mazzarri’s side after impressing as a substitute against Tottenham on New Year's Day.
Costel Pantilimon replaced Heurelho Gomes in goal as the Brazilian shot-stopper was sidelined due to illness.
Sinclair and Odion Ighalo started having both come off the bench against Stoke in the midweek Premier League fixture.
Craig Cathcart replaced Sebastian Prödl in the starting eleven as he looked to improve his match fitness after a long injury layoff.
Neither side fashioned a notable chance at goal in the opening minutes, however the Hornets were forced into an early change as Cathcart came off following a clash of heads with Miguel Britos. Prödl entered the field in his place in the middle of the defence.
Étienne Capoue whipped a fantastic ball into the box from the left which was just nudged away from Ighalo as the Hornets pushed forward.
With their next attack the Hornets were ahead. Brandon Mason was slid into the box by Deeney and the academy-graduate played an inch-perfect ball across the front of goal which Christian Kabasele gratefully guided in at the back-post.
Front-man Ighalo was the next to go close as he weaved his way into the box before firing a left-foot shot just over Jon McLaughlin’s bar.
As half-time neared Capoue tried his luck from distance but his powerful effort to the left of goal was saved by McLaughlin, in what proved to be the last effort of the half.
The visitors started the second-half brightly and Luke Varney was inches away from heading his side level, following a promising ball played into the box by Tom Flanagan.
Sinclair tried his luck from just inside the area soon after but his low curling effort was held comfortably.
The Brewers broke forward again through Flanagan who delivered a ball across the six-yard box which Marcus Harness was just unable to slot in at the far-post.
Mazzarri made his second change of the match shortly after as Brice Dja Djédjé came on in place of Younès Kaboul, making his full Hornets debut.
The Hornets’ lead was extended as Britos won the ball deep in the Watford half before driving forward. He played a pass into Sinclair who broke centrally before unleashing a fine strike into the back-of-the-net for his first goal of the season.
It was almost a third moments later as Djédjé once more lined-up an effort from range, however his powerful effort went just over.
Sinclair went close to a second inside stoppage-time shortly before he was replaced by Carl Stewart, who came on to make his first-team debut.
The remaining minutes of stoppage-time were comfortable for the Hornets as they ensured that they are in the hat for the fourth-round draw.
HORNETS: Pantilimon (GK); Kaboul (Dja DjeDje, 59), Cathcart (Prödl, 15), Britos; Kabasele, Capoue, Doucouré, Mason; Sinclair (Stewart, 90), Ighalo; Deeney (c)
Subs not used: Arlauskis (GK), Watson, Folivi, Eleftheriou.
Goals: Kabasele (22), Sinclair (77)
BURTON: McLaughlin (GK), Flanagan, Brayford (c), McFadzean, Williamson, Dyer, Naylor, Palmer (Murphy, 81), Miller (Ward, 33), Varney (Akins, 70) Harness.