(Reuters) – Watford’s winless run since the start of the Premier League campaign stretched to 10 games when they played out a 0-0 draw against Bournemouth at Vicarage Road on Saturday but they had goalkeeper Ben Foster to thank for a rare clean sheet.
Foster, 36, kept Watford in the game with five crucial saves as Bournemouth dominated possession and peppered the home side’s goal with 15 shots, but the points were shared and Quique Sanchez Flores’s side kept only their second clean sheet of the season.
Bournemouth even resorted to shots from distance to test Foster, who was up to the task. He was forced to dive low to his right twice to keep out Diego Rico’s stinging shot and then kept out a well-placed curler from Philip Billing.
“I am frustrated on one hand but on the other hand we could have also lost the game,” Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe told the BBC. “Keeping a clean sheet away from home is positive but having our third game without scoring is certainly a negative.
“We don’t normally struggle to score but today at least we did not struggle to create chances.”
Watford were dealt an early blow when they were forced to substitute Tom Cleverley 10 minutes into the game after the midfielder injured his ankle while making a tackle, with Will Hughes taking his place.
Steve Cook nearly gave Bournemouth the lead from a corner kick in the first half after losing his marker to connect with Ryan Fraser’s cross, only to see his header come crashing off the crossbar with Foster rooted to the spot.
The visitors’ best chance of the first half came on the stroke of halftime when a quick counter-attack released Callum Wilson on the right and his cross to the far post was met by Arnaut Groeneveld, whose effort was kept out by a diving Foster.
It was Bournemouth keeper Aaron Ramsdale’s turn to provide the highlights in the second half, first denying Gerard Deulofeu at his near post and then flying low to his left to palm away a low drive from Hughes in the 75th minute.
“We had a few chances and probably it was a fair result in the end,” Foster said. “We know we have a solid base to start from. We can keep clean sheets and can score goals so we can build on that.”
The result leaves Watford bottom of the standings with five points while Bournemouth, who were held to a second consecutive 0-0 draw, are eighth with 13 points.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon)