Troy Deeney's diving header snuffed out any threat of an upset as Watford eased past giant-killers Bristol City 3-0 and into the FA Cup fourth round.
Captain Deeney toasted his return from a four-match ban with his third goal of the campaign, adding to Andre Carrillo's drilled strike and Etienne Capoue's neat finish.
Bristol were unable to repeat the heroics that saw them dispatch Manchester United 2-1 on December 20 to reach the Carabao Cup semi-finals, amid a clinical Hornets performance.
Lee Johnson's men lost Korey Smith to a possible knee injury, leaving the forward who bagged the late winner against United as a doubt for Tuesday's League Cup semi-final first leg at Manchester City.
Watford skipper Deeney ended a week awash with rumours of a transfer to Newcastle by returning to goalscoring form, to hand Marco Silva's men their first win in three matches.
A lacklustre Watford were allowed to canter through the first quarter by a visiting outfit struggling for a foothold.
Bristol City's attacking raids proved few and far between, leaving Watford to dictate a curiously laboured tempo.
Once the hosts finally seized the initiative however, the game quickly swung their way.
Tom Cleverley saw his shot blocked by Luke Steele after being played in by the lively Carrillo.
And then the Peru forward forced the opener, drilling the ball past a frustrated Steele, who will doubtless feel he should have rebuffed the effort.
Cauley Woodrow fired wide from distance for City after Opi Edwards' dangerous run on the turn, but the Championship men could not find a route back into the clash before the break.
City forward Smith failed to return for the second half, replaced by Marlon Pack.
Roberto Pereyra curled a neat effort against the bar to resume the action, with Capoue unable to turn in the rebound.
Watford hardly had to wait to wrap up the tie however, Deeney burying Cleverley's near-post cross with a diving header.
Abdoulaye Doucoure's calmness under pressure kick-started a field-length move, capped by skipper Deeney to shut down this tie.
Deeney could have doubled his tally minutes later, but nodded Daryl Janmaat's deflected cross wide of the near post.
Capoue had the last word, sweeping home Watford's third after another flowing move, sealing an untroubled home win.