Huddersfield Town signed their season off in style as substitute Danny Ward hit a hat-trick to end Watford’s 10-match unbeaten streak at Vicarage Road.
Joe Lolley, on his first full start for Town, opened the scoring just after the break and then set up Ward for his first two goals of his hat-trick.
Ward rounded off his treble with a free-kick that caught the Watford goalkeeper napping to complete his first professional hat-trick.
The Hornets striker, player-of-the-season, Troy Deeney grabbed a late consolation from the penalty spot.
Town boss Mark Robins made four changes for the trip to Vicarage Road. Joel Lynch, Tommy Smith and Oliver Norwood started with Joe Lolley making his first start for The Terriers since signing from Kidderminster Harries in January.
Watford had the better opportunities in the first half and could have taken the lead on 5 minutes had it not been for a smart save from Town ‘keeper Alex Smithies. A neat one-two allowed debutant Alex Jakubiak a chance at goal but Smithies made a good save with his legs.
Lolley was giving the Watford backline a headache and went close with a curling effort from the edge of the box whilst Deeney put his body on the line to deny Adam Clayton’s goalbound effort.
Smithies again made a save with his legs midway through the first half when Cristian Battocchio got the better of Paul Dixon but his effort from close range was denied by the Town stopper.
Adam Hammill and Oliver Norwood tested Jonathan Bond in the Watford goal with long range effort as the first 45 drew to a close but both were straightforward saves for the goalkeeper.
Lolley and Hammill were causing problems down both flanks and it was Lolley who gave Huddersfield the lead just 23 seconds into the second half. The winger cut inside from the right after receiving Ward’s pass, twisted and turned Marco Cassetti before firing a low shot into the net.
The two combined again to double Town’s lead on 55 minutes this time Lolley playing the role of provider. The winger played in a neat pass into the Watford penalty area for Ward and the attacker’s shot managed to squirm under the body of Bond.
It got better for Huddersfield as ten minutes later the two combined again with Lolley’s knock down fell into the path of Ward who fired into the back of the net with a smart, outside of the foot shot.
Watford weren’t at the match in the second half but sub Sean Scannell, on for Lolley, allowed Davide Faraoni to break away but his cross came to no danger.
Ward, who had come on as a sub in the 30th minute for Nahki Wells, completed his hat-trick with a curled free-kick from the right flank that beat Bond at his near post for his 10th goal of the season.
Watford did grab a consolation in injury time when Deeney converted from the penalty spot after Peter Clarke was penalised for a foul following a corner.
Watford: Bond, Anya, Pudil, Angella, Cassetti, Hoban, Murray (Diakite 50), Tozser, Jakubiak (Faraoni 58), Deeney, Battocchio (Doherty 80).
Subs not used: Almunia, Belkalem, Doyley, O’Nien.
Huddersfield: Smithies, Smith, Gerrard (Clarke 84), Lynch, Dixon, Lolley (Scannell 69), Hogg, Norwood, Clayton, Hammill, Wells (Ward 30).
Subs not used: Bennett, Woods, Gobern, Holmes
Referee: David Coote