With no draw until Championship fixture number 28, it’s now three on the spin for Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side.

Adding in the FA Cup draw with Birmingham, and the replay being level after 90 minutes, it’s five in a row in all competitions. 

The fine margins that were previously going either way have now levelled out.

Draws come in many forms, and if the Wigan stalemate was frustrating, disappointing, forgettable and two points dropped, this was hard-fought, well-earned and one gained, even if Rovers had led for almost an hour. 

Draws even out the rollercoaster of emotions, a middle ground compared with the highs of wins and lows of defeat. Yet the travelling 1,300 supporters and team alike will have left Vicarage Road with positives to take. 

A free-flowing feel to a match aided by a competitive edge that saw six players booked and a touchline tussle made for a compelling watch.

It was worlds apart from the meek surrender at Rotherham United only a month ago, 18 fouls compared to 0 at the New York Stadium, and a Rovers side who showed some spite out of possession and belief on the ball.

For a team that have enjoyed 14 league wins and spent much of the season inside the top six, it has too often been underwhelming and lacking in standout moments.

Indeed, the Carabao Cup win at West Ham, a tie that was a potential inconvenience, arguably remains the highlight. 

Managing games well and seeing out wins, as they have to their credit on many occasions, hasn’t always made for the most entertaining and memorable matches.  

Infact, sucking out the drama is a key component of winning football matches, particularly in a league of fine margins. 

Yet while Rovers were pushed back for much of the second half, and saw Joe Rankin-Costello booked for time wasting before the hour, when Wesley Hoedt made it 1-1, there was still a willingness to still push forward. 

This proved they can go toe-to-toe with teams expected to challenge.

While Tomasson called for more bravery on the ball, there wasn’t a shortage of that in their approach.

Indeed, had Sam Szmodics chosen to go alone, rather than try and square for fellow sub Sam Gallagher, they could have had a chance to nick it in injury time. 

While they aren’t risk averse, many of the risks they do take come in their own half, with Rankin-Costello almost punished for a sloppy pass in the first half as Joao Pedro went close.

However, it is when crossing the halfway line that good opportunities are too often let down by their final ball. It is why there is a feeling that John Buckley can have such a key role to play.

Another criticism throughout the season has been that they have been too predictable, and their play one-paced. 

That is why the addition of Sorba Thomas is so crucial, a player whose first thought is forward, and his directness, aided by the busy-ness of Tyrhys Dolan on his return to the side, gave Rovers a real outlet on the break.  

Then there is Bradley Dack, a player able to provide the finishing touch.

There was no sign of panic as a rebound at the end of a neat Rovers move came his way, even willing to steady himself to open up even more of the goal for him to find and put his side ahead in the 24th minute.

It was a 50th league goal in 152 games for Dack, his strike rate closer to one in two when only including starts. 

A feeling of how many he could have had he stayed fit must be caveated by the fact he would unlikely still be a Rovers player had he been injury free. 

Few could begrudge Dack the run of form he’s enjoying, and if Rovers are to harbour any hopes of pressing on in the remaining 16 games, he will surely have a key role to play.

His goal put Rovers 1-0 up, turning home after another unlikely hero of the hour Rankin-Costello had been denied by a smart Daniel Bachmann save, a goal that shocked Vicarage Road.

In contrast to Dack, Ben Brereton’s form remains a concern, although his willingness to help the team could well be proving to be a detriment to end his barren run in front of goal.

As was the case against Wigan he found himself pushed back, often dropping deep into the left wing-back role. 

While Dack has eased the goalscoring burden, could lightening the load of his defensive work help Brereton get back to his best form?

The attacking positions remaining a conundrum for Rovers to solve, as Jack Vale, who had started three consecutive league games in attack, didn't make the matchday 18.

For much of the second half Rovers were pressed into defensive action, and it was largely one-way traffic until Hoedt’s equaliser, the central defender volleying home after a free kick was only half cleared.

Either side of that, the hosts had two big opportunities.

A rare moment of indecision saw Pears flap at an inswinging cross, though somehow Ismael Kone failed to turn home from two yards out.

Within 90 seconds of the equaliser, Pears made a smart stop to deny Ken Sema, though Ismaila Sarr wasted an excellent chance when turning over from the rebound.

Pears otherwise put in a strong display, with good handling in either half to deny Sarr and Hassane Kamaara, and his stops allowed Rovers to finish the game strongly.

Ahead of the game, Tomasson made a point of picking out Watford’s eight-strong bits of January transfer business as a topic of discussion.

That was a stark contrast to his side.

Alongside the four Academy graduates starting at Vicarage Road came players signed in 2017, 2018, 2020 (x2), 2021, 2022 and 2023. 

The Academy are holding up their end of the bargain, but Rovers must strike the right balance in terms of their recruitment if they are to become true top six contenders.

The injury returns of Dom Hyam and Callum Brittain could well change that dynamic, but it does leave the feeling of how different things could be had Rovers built more on the foundations of recent seasons.

While their position in the league would consider them as top six challengers, you would be hard-pressed to find many Rovers supporters expecting such.

But the gap might not be the insurmountable task many would think, and some help for a team that are battling hard would undeniably have given them a better chance.