That was the last time Cherries had registered back-to-back 0-0 draws before Saturday’s stalemate at Vicarage Road.

Just four days separated a pair of goalless clashes at Dean Court against Morecambe in League Two followed by Blyth Spartans in the FA Cup under Jimmy Quinn, more than a decade ago.

Now, for the first time in Eddie Howe’s managerial career, he has presided over back-to-back scores of 0-0 with the draw against Watford following the tie with Norwich a week earlier.

But the two games could not have been much more different.

As turgid and forgettable as the contest with the Canaries was, Cherries and the Hornets played out an entertaining contest at WD18.

Heroic defending, brilliant saves, rattled woodwork and missed chances from start to end played their part in one of the more entertaining goalless games you’re likely to witness.

But, despite the best efforts from the likes of Steve Cook, Arnaut Danjuma and Harry Wilson, Cherries could not find a way through against Watford, taking to 314 minutes the total since Howe’s men have last found the net when Callum Wilson rattled in against West Ham as the spoils were shared.

Howe made three changes to the side which drew against Norwich, notably handing Danjuma his first start for the club. Jefferson Lerma and Joshua King were recalled with Harry Wilson, Lewis Cook and Dominic Solanke all dropping to the bench.

Watford, seeking their first league victory of the season, made a bright start, almost taking the lead inside the first two minutes. Gerard Deulofeu’s low cross was parried out by Aaron Ramsdale to Abdoulaye Doucoure, who ballooned an effort into the group of travelling away fans behind the goal.

But Cherries soon broke forwards themselves during a lively opening with Lerma dragging a left-footed effort just wide.

Steve Cook was on hand to throw himself in the way of a Craig Dawson shot after Deulofeu’s corner had struck a post, while Roberto Pereyra tested Ramsdale from 20 yards.

Chances continued to flow with Ryan Fraser’s whipped corner at the other end powerfully headed goalwards by Steve Cook, but the ball rebounded off the crossbar and away to safety.

Goalkeeper Ben Foster had to be alert to keep his side level, sprawling to deny fierce efforts from both Philip Billing and Diego Rico.

Hornets, the league’s bottom-placed side, were not without threat themselves with Daryl Janmaat’s low cross causing havoc, but Adam Smith was alert to make the sliding block.

With the first half looking to be petering towards a goalless conclusion, Cherries created their clearest opening of the afternoon. King found space down the right and delivered an inch-perfect cross to an unmarked Danjuma at the back post, but the Dutchman could not find a way past Foster.

Watford created the first chance after the restart through the lively Deulofeu. The Spaniard twisted and turned away from Cook before aiming low, but Ramsdale was on hand to save at his near post.

Howe turned to his bench shortly after the hour mark, introducing Harry Wilson in place of Danjuma, with Fraser shifting over to the left wing.

But opportunities dried up with Doucoure firing over for Watford before King’s shot was comfortable for Foster.

A second Cherries change was imminent with Solanke replacing Callum Wilson. But within seconds of his introduction, the hosts broke forwards through Will Hughes, who unleashed a powerful effort towards the bottom corner, but Ramsdale was again there to brilliantly tip away.

As the rain hammered down, set pieces looked the best route to a goal for either side in the closing minutes with a delivery from out wide flashing across the Cherries goal while Harry Wilson went agonisingly close with a 22-yard effort, skimming the post.

Fraser had one final opportunity in stoppage time, but could not find a way through meaning Cherries have now failed to score in three consecutive league matches for the first time in almost two years.

Cherries: Ramsdale; Smith, S Cook, Ake, Rico; Fraser, Lerma, Billing, Danjuma (H Wilson, 61); King; C Wilson (Solanke, 74).

Unused subs: Francis, Mepham, Kelly, L Cook, Boruc (g/k).

Booked: C Wilson, Rico, Billing.

Watford: Foster; Cathcart, Dawson, Kabasele; Janmaat, Doucoure, Cleverley (Hughes, 10), Chalobah (Gray, 57), Masina (Foulquier 73); Deulofeu, Pereyra.

Unused subs: Prodl, Mariappa, Quina, Gomes (g/k).

Booked: Dawson, Deulofeu, Doucoure, Hughes, Pereyra.

Referee: Mike Dean. 

VAR: Andre Marriner. 

Attendance: 20,821