IT was a case of no Robbie Brady, no problem for Burnley as they began a lengthy spell without the winger with another win.

There had been much debate this week, most of it in the hothouse environment of social media, about exactly who should replace Brady. Plenty wanted to see Charlie Taylor in an advanced role. Scott Arfield? He had his doubters.

But Arfield has never let the Clarets down in his 184 appearances for the club and he remains one of Sean Dyche’s most trusted lieutenants. He was always going to get the nod here and he repaid the faith of the man who brought him to the club with his second goal of the season.

In his time at Turf Moor Arfield has been a prime example of a player who has kept pace with the development of the club. When he arrived he had been released by Huddersfield and Burnley beat off competition from Southend and MK Dons to sign him.

He’s proved to be a shrewd bit of business for the Clarets and he has a habit of popping up with key goals - his only strike of last term was an injury-time winner against Everton.

This clash with Watford had been dubbed a meeting of the Premier League’s surprise packages this season, but it was the Clarets who shone, taking a firm grip of seventh place and continuing their role as ‘best of the rest’ this season.

That they did it without Brady, Ben Mee and long-term absentee Tom Heaton speaks volumes about the squad depth this term.

While Arfield grabbed the glory Kevin Long was faultless in replacing Mee for his first league action of the season. Like Arfield he has continued to develop his own game as the club’s stock has risen.

It’s certainly never been higher under Dyche’s tenure. Burnley have won half of their 16 league games this season and are just three wins behind matching the total they managed in the whole of last season.

On a freezing cold Saturday that remarkable success was enough to warm the hearts of the Turf Moor faithful.

It had been the visitors who had made the better start, with Richarlison sliding in to turn a cross over from six yards early on before Nick Pope saved an Abdoulaye Doucoure volley from 12 yards.

But gradually the Clarets took a grip of the game.

Heurelho Gomes produced a fine one-handed save to keep out a Johann Berg Gudmundsson free-kick from 25 yards while he was twice tested by Wood.

The crucial period of the game arrived in the six minutes before half-time. Marvin Zeegelaar went in two-footed on Steven Defour and was given a straight red card. Burnley made numerical advantage count immediately.

Jack Cork took the ball of Richarlison and fed Gudmundsson, who sent a low pass into the area which Jeff Hendrick dummied and Arfield showed skill and composure to cruise past Daryl Janmaat and produce a left-footed finish.

Burnley could have made sure of the win in the second half, with Wood and substitute Ashley Barnes seeing goals controversially ruled out for offside.

Defour then sent a free-kick onto the roof of the net before Gomes again denied Gudmundsson with a strong one-handed save.

Andre Gray made his Turf Moor return off the bench but the Hornets were forced to send Gomes up for a late free-kick as they searched for an equaliser. When Pope claimed the delivery the game was up.