* Bournemouth secured 3-3 draw with Watford
* Captain Deeney scored twice for Watford
* Four goals in six frantic first half minutes
* Watford ended seven-year sequence of losing start to New Year
* Bournemouth visit Everton next, Watford at Crystal Palace (Adds details, quotes)
Jan 2 (Reuters) - Bournemouth and Watford produced a frantic flurry of first half goals, with visiting captain Troy Deeney scoring twice, in a 3-3 Premier League draw at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday.
With the kick-off delayed by 15 minutes because of a fire alarm in the East Stand, the sparks came on the pitch.
Deeney opened the scoring in the 14th minute for eighth-placed Watford with a low header into the bottom corner from a Ken Sema cross and made it 2-0 when he beat goalkeeper Asmir Begovic from just inside the area in the 27th.
The Bournemouth fans did not have long to wait for a reply, with Nathan Ake scoring from close range in the 34th after goalkeeper Ben Foster parried a Dan Gosling header off a free kick.
Callum Wilson equalised with another header, also resulting from a set piece, at the near post three minutes later and the floodgates were open as defences were left shredded.
Swedish midfielder Sema made it 3-2 to Watford in the 39th, some 85 seconds later, before Ryan Fraser immediately replied to rescue a point in the 40th and make it four goals in the space of six crazy minutes.
Watford at least ended an unwanted seven-year sequence of losing their opening game of the New Year while injury-depleted Bournemouth ended the evening in 12th place and 11 points clear of the drop zone.
The six first half goals scored were the most in the first 45 minutes of a Premier League match since 2015, when Southampton beat Aston Villa 6-1 and all but one of the goals came before the break.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe praised his players’ attitude but felt they were also unlucky not to have won a game that took Bournemouth’s winless run to three matches with 12 goals conceded since Christmas.
“It went to 2-0 down and it looked like a big ask with our recent run and the way things have been going, but fair play to the players and great credit to them for the ability to dig deep and never give up,” he told the BBC.
“We should have won the game comfortably in the end.”
Howe said Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure, who was substituted after the break, should have been sent off for a first-half challenge on Fraser that earned him a yellow card.
“I think it was a straight red, Ryan was lucky not to pick up a serious injury from such a dangerous tackle,” he said.
Watford manager Javi Gracia felt his side could also have had a penalty that was not given.
“I am a little disappointed because after scoring three goals we have lost a good chance to win,” he said. “It’s not easy to score three goals away from home.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar/Greg Stutchbury