Shane Long scored the fastest goal in Premier League history but Saints were denied a win by a late Watford leveller at  Vicarage Road.

The Republic of Ireland striker achieved the remarkable milestone by netting after just 7.69 seconds to break the previous record of 9.9 seconds which had stood since 2000 when Ledley King scored for Tottenham against Bradford.

Saints spurned a string of first half chances and paid the price as Watford equalised in the closing stages through Andre Gray.

Saints got off to a truly remarkable start with their record-breaking goal.

It was Watford who had kick-off and rolled the ball back to Craig Cathcart.

He took a touch before an attempted punt up the field was charged down by Shane Long.

It broke kindly for Long and the striker was in one-on-one with keeper Ben Foster and showed great composure to lift the ball past him to score.

Watford so nearly levelled things up on three minutes as Will Hughes crossed from the right to Andre Gray but his shot was saved at point blank range by the legs of Angus Gunn and the Hornets attacker headed over a sharp follow-up chance.

Gerard Deulofeu was the next to come close ten minutes later with a curling effort from the edge of the box that went narrowly wide.

It was a frantic start to the game and Long had another opening but headed wide at the far post.

Saints were being so positive and Nathan Redmond’s direct running caused Watford a major issue on 25 minutes as he burst into the area and fired a shot across goal that Foster did well to turn wide diving to his right.

They had half a shout for a penalty turned down by referee Mike Dean when Ryan Bertrand burst forward and went down right on the edge of the box under a physical challenge from Cathcart.

The chances just kept on coming for Saints, and once again it was Long and Redmond at the heart of it. Long squared to Redmond, who was able to let the ball run across his body far too easily, before his shot was turned on to the post via a deflection off of the diving Foster.

Incredibly, Saints hit the woodwork again as three minutes before half time Redmond whipped in a wonderful curling low cross from the right that was met by the sliding Bertrand whose effort cannoned off the far post.

Watford did remind Saints of their threat before the break as Deulofeu got a sight of goal but dragged his shot wide.

The Hornets started the second half better than the first and had an opportunity as Abdoulaye Doucoure tried to bundle in a header but failed to make a clean contact.

The game continued to be a very open affair, but it was Watford who were starting to exert a little more control.

They felt they should have been given a penalty when Christian Kabasele went down under the challenge of Long but it looked a very optimistic shout.

Hasenhuttl reacted by making three changes over the course of 11 minutes and it steadied the ship.

Indeed, Saints got on the front foot again and Foster did well to keep out a stinging strike from distance by Ward-Prowse.

Inevitably Watford piled on the pressure in the closing stages.

Gunn had to come to the rescue with another close range save with little more than a minute remaining. Deulofeu tricked his way into the area and delivered a cross that found Isaac Success but he couldn’t beat the Saints keeper.

The Saints defence was breached on 90 minutes as the ball deflected in the area to Gray who lashed home a high near post shot that flashed past Gunn, who got a slight touch but couldn’t keep it out and the game finished with honours even.