Marvin Sordell scored twice to help Watford earn a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 4-1 win over battling Hartlepool.
A shock appeared to be on the cards when Antony Sweeney scored his 10th goal of the season with the last kick of the first half.
But quickfire goals from youngster Piero Mingoia - on his senior debut - and Sordell put the Hornets in command midway through the second half.
Sordell made it 11 for the campaign with eight minutes remaining before substitute Danny Graham secured the in-form Hornets a sixth straight win at the death.
Watford made five changes, with Troy Deeney starting in attack as Graham was only deemed fit enough for a place on the bench. Rene Gilmartin was in goal, with regular shot-stopper Scott Loach among the substitutes.
Hartlepool dropped Steve Haslam, with Gary Liddle moving from midfield to partner Peter Hartley in the centre of defence. Midfielder Paul Murray came into the starting line-up, with Ritchie Humphreys playing as a lone striker - but Watford`s class told.