Everton missed a chance to climb to seventh in the Premier League after falling to a 1-0 defeat at Watford, who rise to 10th.
Toffees manager Sam Allardyce has targeted being the highest-placed team behind the established big six in his pursuit of Europa League qualification.
But despite being able to select Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott and Gylfi Sigurdsson, Troy Deeney's fine late finish was enough to secure all three points for Watford.
In recalling Ashley Williams and Jonjoe Kenny to his side, two weeks after their 3-1 defeat of Crystal Palace, Allardyce made minimal changes to a winning team yet rarely saw them threaten.
First Oumar Niasse saw a square ball into the area deflected towards goal by Adrian Mariappa, forcing Watford goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis into an early reaction save.
A run from Rooney before he exchanged possesses with Tom Davies created a shooting chance for the former England captain that Karnezis collected and, after Etienne Capoue struck high and wide in response, it took until the second half for a further sight on goal.
Michael Keane headed wide from Idrissa Gana Gueye's cross despite having time and space and a run and cross from Roberto Pereyra then created the chance for Deeney to head at goal, with Jordan Pickford stretching to save.
Allardyce introduced January signing Cenk Tosun in an attempt to inspire his side, but before he could have a significant impact Deeney's 79th-minute finish gave the hosts the lead.
Substitute Stefano Okaka's right-wing cross found fellow frontman Deeney and he sent a powerful strike on the turn into the top right corner.
Okaka tested Pickford with a low shot towards the bottom corner before a stoppage-time scramble almost led to an undeserved Everton equaliser.
Pickford came forward for a late corner and, after he won a header and Watford struggled to clear, Tosun turned the ball goalwards, forcing a save from Karnezis that secured his team's victory.