Sunderland's on this day record for 12th February
2011 PREM TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR H L 1-2 2006 PREM TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR H D 1-1 2005 CHMP WATFORD H W 4-2 2000 PREM Coventry City A L 2-3 1994 LD1 BRISTOL CITY H D 0-0 1972 DIV2 OXFORD UNITED H W 3-0 1966 DIV1 Liverpool A L 0-4 1963 FAC Gravesend & Northfleet A D 1-1 1955 DIV1 CHARLTON ATHLETIC H L 1-2 1938 FAC BRADFORD PARK AVENUE H W 1-0 1927 DIV1 WEST HAM UNITED H L 2-3 1921 DIV1 Aston Villa A W 5-1 1910 DIV1 Aston Villa A L 2-3 1902 FAC Newcastle United A L 0-12004/5 SUNDERLAND 4 WATFORD 2
SUNDERLAND: Myhre, Wright, Breen, Caldwell, McCartney, Whitehead, Robinson, Whitley, Arca, Elliott, Stewart (Brown 67).Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Welsh, Thornton, Danny Collins.
WATFORD: Jones, Darlington, Demerit, Cox, Doyley (Eagles 54), Ardley (Young 84), Jackson, Mahon, Chambers, Webber, Helguson (Dyer 70).Subs Not Used: Chamberlain, Blizzard.
Marcus Stewart was the hat-trick hero for slick Sunderland as they maintained the pressure on Wigan and Ipswich at the top of the Coca-Cola Championship.
The 32-year-old's ninth, 10th and 11th goals of the season, plus a strike from substitute Chris Brown, gave the Black Cats a fully-deserved win.
Lloyd Dyer's two consolation efforts late on were Watford's limp response on a day when Sunderland were at their clinical best in front of goal.
A blustery wind did not allow for football of the highest quality but the home side made a strong case for Premiership football returning to the Stadium of Light next season.
After a slow start, Mick McCarthy's men had begun to look more like a team vying for promotion as the first half wore on and Julio Arca's darting runs from the left were a sign of Sunderland's growing authority.
Stewart's intelligent link-up play brought him a deserved reward when he nodded home a fine cross from the right by the lively Stephen Elliott in the 19th minute.
Watford, who have not won at Sunderland in the league since November 1994, had mustered little in reply other than a Gavin Mahon effort which he dragged wide from 20 yards.
Then in the 32nd minute, George McCartney was tripped by James Chambers in the box and Stewart stepped up to send Paul Jones the wrong way from the spot.
Stewart nearly had an assist to his name when his deep cross was volleyed home from Arca but the strike was ruled offside.
Helguson had Watford's first attempt on goal just before the break, out-jumping Gary Breen, but Thomas Myhre was equal to the Icelander's powerful header.
Five minutes after the restart Jones had a moment to forget when McCartney's hopeful punt forward got caught up in the swirling wind and the keeper jumped underneath it, spilling the ball behind him at the edge of the area where the former Ipswich forward stretched to beat two defenders to the ball and prodded home.
With the game slipping quickly away from his team Watford boss Ray Lewington threw on Chris Eagles, on loan from Manchester United, for Lloyd Doyley.
The ever-dangerous Helguson, with 12 league strikes to his name this season, nearly profited from some hesitancy between McCartney and Myhre but he could only direct his snap-shot wide.
Elliott was sent sprawling in the area but the referee correctly waved away any appeals, which were largely consigned to the crowd.
Stephen Wright charged forward and lofted a ball over Jones but also the far post, before Stewart was given a standing ovation when he was replaced by Chris Brown midway through the second half.
An Eagles free-kick flashed over Myhre's left-hand upright before the Black Cats pounced again.
Dean Whitehead forced Jones into a point-blank save and from the resulting corner Brown tucked away Caldwell's knock-down for Sunderland's fourth in the 73rd minute.
Watford pulled a goal back out of the blue three minutes later when Dyer, on for Helguson, struck from close range following some pinball in the home penalty box.
Elliott missed a sitter from two yards, Brown's looping side-foot was tipped away by Jones before Dyer lobbed Myhre with seconds left of stoppage-time.BACKTRACK - 1938 SUNDERLAND 1 BRADFORD PARK AVENUE 0(FA Cup 5th Round)
The F.A. Cup 1938 5th Round Arsenal (DIV1) 0 Preston North End (DIV1) 1 Brentford (DIV1) 2 Manchester United (DIV2) 0 Charlton Athletic (DIV1) 1 Aston Villa (DIV2) 1 Chesterfield (DIV2) 2 Tottenham Hotspur (DIV2) 2 Liverpool (DIV1) 0 Huddersfield Town (DIV1) 1 Luton Town (DIV2) 1 Manchester City (DIV1) 3 Sunderland (DIV1) 1 Bradford Park Avenue (DIV2) 0 York City (D3N) 1 Middlesbrough (DIV1) 0