Abdoulaye Doucoure saved the day for Watford with a controversial last-gasp leveller to share the spoils.
The Hornets looked to be heading for another defeat when Troy Deeney headed the ball to Roberto Pereyra allowing Doucoure to put the ball into the back of the net on the 90th minute- even if referee Roger East seemed to fail to spot his double handball.
This should have been a day to remember the good old days at Vicarage Road on the first anniversary of the death of legendary manager Graham Taylor.
But the Hornets were unable to take inspiration from the fans’ tributes in the stands.
He opted to stick skipper Troy Deeney, available for his first league outing since a four-match ban having also scored on his comeback in the FA Cup victory over Bristol City last weekend, on the bench.
Instead he chose Andre Gray as his lone striker. Deeney though did come on at half time to replace Ben Watson.
These two sides shared the unwanted distinction of being the Premier League’s bottom two in the form table with Southampton coming into this match without a win in their last nine.
But it was the visitors who took the lead after 21 minutes, Dusan Tadic flicking the ball on to James Ward-Prowse after intercepting a pass from Shane Long.
Wesley Hoedt floated the ball from 45 yards seven minutes later only for Watford keeper Huerelho Gomes to tip it over.
And Long, who recently scored for the first time in 35 matches, then had a shot blocked himself by Marvin Zeegelaar.
Saints though were finally rewarded for their efforts on the 44th minute to floor the home side with a second from Ward-Prowse.
Against Long and the Serbian Tadic – superb throughout – linked up to supply Ward-Prowse who simply tapped the ball past Gomes.
The Hornets, whose season began so optimistically, are now in danger of enduring one of struggle.
If they cannot beat Southampton, who had celebrated just one away league victory before this – against Crystal Palace in September and had only been above the drop zone on goal difference – on their home turf, then troubled days lie in wait.
Especially when Silva then drafted in Stefano Okaka for a three-pronged attack.
They pulled back a consolation goal on the 58th minute when Gray headed the ball in at close-range after Daryl Janmaat’s initial drive was tipped onto the bar by Saints keeper McCarthy.
But it looked to be too little too late until Doucoure’s handy work at the death.
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