Football: Bazeley's boost for Taylor

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The Independent Online
Watford 4

Williams 39, 69, Bazely 44, Wright 45

Crewe Alexandra 2

Jack 69, Little 82

Attendance: 9,405

WITH most of the First Division separating them, Crewe's trepidation over a visit to Vicarage Road was understandable. They did little to upset the form book and it was all too obvious almost from the kick-off why they had gone 14 games without a win. They should have been buried but, curiously, were flattered by the ultimate scoreline.

Watford were well worth their three-goal interval lead and their fans sat back in anticipation of what should have been a rout. Crewe had been so cowed that the only surprise was that it took their hosts 38 minutes to open the scoring. They can thank their goalkeeper, Jason Kearton, for that, a first-half save from Allan Smart's header being especially memorable.

It was another run by Smart, ending with a clever dummy, and a cross which Gifton Noel-Williams swung at and was slightly fortunate to see the ball reach the net on the first bounce. Darren Bazeley and Peter Kennedy were being allowed to rampage down the wings and their combined aggression brought the second five minutes later. Kennedy stabbed his cross into the Crewe goalmouth where everybody but the lurking Bazeley missed it.

Just before half-time Nick Wright banged the coffin lid shut with a sweet 18-yard shot after more good work by Bazeley.

The fact that Watford failed to use the second half to boost their goal difference can be explained by good, old-fashioned last-ditch defending and much sloppy, careless finishing.

Watford were stirred into moving up a gear when out of the blue Rodney Jack pulled one back for the visitors with 25 minutes left. Noel-Williams restored the difference within a couple of minutes after more spade work by Bazeley, but Colin Little gave the scoreline an unreal tinge when more careless defending allowed him to snatch a second for Crewe six minutes from the end.

The three points will have been a tonic for Graham Taylor, recuperating in hospital, but when he sees the video of this he will no doubt be asking questions of his forwards - such as, why didn't they reach double figures.

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