Steve Thompson supplied a taste of the action to come with a first-half penalty after Steve Agnew had been brought down by Andy Hessenthaler. Watford equalised on 51 minutes when Gavin Ward, the Leicester goalkeeper, dropped the ball on his line and Bruce Dyer stepped in. Thirty seconds later, an Agnew cross from the left found David Oldfield, who volleyed home from 15 yards to make it 2-1.
Watford were behind for only three minutes, the centre-forward Paul Furlong helping himself to a free header from two yards, but the score moved to 3-2 when Agnew dummied and the midfielder Oldfield sent a powerful shot into the right-hand corner. Furlong brought Watford level for a third time, scoring his second goal following a poor clearance by Colin Gibson.
Leicester's Boxing Day looked to destined to disappoint completely when Watford, who today entertain the bottom club, Peterborough United, made it 4-3 in the 89th minute, another lapse giving Dyer the opportunity to round Ward. However, on the stroke of time, Ormondroyd headed in a Thompson cross for his first home League goal.
The profligacy shown by Leicester will have encouraged their Midlands neighbours and today's hosts, Derby County, whose visit to lowly Barnsley brought a 1-0 win. Paul Kitson scored with a low, angled shot after 31 minutes, but Derby needed Martin Taylor to save Owen Archdeacon's penalty three minutes into the second half.
Tranmere Rovers warmed up their biggest crowd of the season - 16,603 - with a goal after only 20 seconds, but ended up sharing a 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers. Kenny Irons scored after Mike Stowell had partially saved from John Aldridge, who went off with a leg injury just before half-time. Wolves' belated response was a spectacular strike by Steve Bull in the 61st minute, hitting a half-volley from the edge of the penalty area following a headed pass by the impressive debutant, Neil Masters.