New hero Andre Vidigal scored his fourth goal of the season as Stoke beat Watford 1-0.

The Portuguese winger – who turned 25 in midweek – marked his birthday with a late celebration as he notched a 53rd-minute winner.

It is now four goals in as many games in all competitions for the summer signing from Maritimo, who continues to impress on English soil.

Meanwhile, Watford’s unbeaten league start under new boss Valerien Ismael comes to an end with a disappointing display.

Following successive clean sheets in their opening two league games, the travelling Hornets began resolutely in a cagey opening to the fixture.

Twenty minutes passed until either side had a sight at goal with Watford the first to threaten.

A drilled James Morris shot flashed across the face of goal and only marginally alluded the outstretched Vakoun Bayo.

Stoke gradually grew into the fixture and, unsurprisingly, it was lively new recruit Vidigal who inspired the hosts.

The stylish forward twice came close in quick succession, first forcing a stop from Daniel Bachmann before then being thwarted by heroic Hornets defending.

Despite an uneventful opening period, the tie burst into life after the restart with Ismael’s outfit appearing the likelier to break the deadlock.

A cute piece of trickery from Ken Sema was followed by an inviting cutback, but substitute Yaser Asprilla could not direct his header on target.

Fellow attacker Matheus Martins also tried his luck and his venomous strike from range was destined for the bottom corner, if not for the intervention of Mark Travers.

However, the visitors’ bright start to the half was not rewarded as Alex Neil’s Potters snatched the advantage thanks to a moment of brilliance.

A deep Ki-Jana Hoever delivery found Vidigal, who chested down and rifled in an emphatic half-volley on the swivel into the top corner.

Buoyed by their breakthrough, Stoke quickly asserted their dominance as they looked to tighten their grip on the tie.

And the hosts came close to doubling their lead when Jordan Thompson collected in a dangerous position, but his strike was just over the target.

Watford rallied in their pursuit of a leveller and their best opportunity of the game fell to Asprilla.

The 19-year-old Colombia international advanced dangerously into the area, cut inside and unleashed a fierce strike, but Travers saved well.

A lively Sema then saw an audacious long-range effort whistle agonisingly wide of goal as The Potters held onto their slender advantage.

Forward Ryan Mmaee came close to opening his account for the hosts following a summer switch from Ferencvaros, but he dragged his strike wide late on.