Watford 4 Crewe Alexandra 1: Early Spring has Hornets buzzing

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The Independent Online

Two first-half goals by Matthew Spring set up this comfortable Watford win against the bottom side, Crewe, and lifted the Hornets above Leeds into third place in the Championship.

With the rest of the nation's attention focused on action in the FA Cup, Adrian Boothroyd's unfancied Watford weathered early Crewe pressure which reached a peak when Steve Jones shot shuddered the Hornets' crossbar. Soon after, Watford went ahead when Darius Henderson's 18th-minute cross from the left was fired in by Spring.

Eight minutes later the Hornets got their second when Henderson's left-foot shot was parried and Spring tucked away the rebound from 12 yards.

Thirteen minutes into the second half the Watford striker Marlon King made it 3-0, and four minutes later Ashley Young added the fourth. With nine minutes remaining, the visitors pulled one back through Luke Rodgers, but that porous Crewe defence has now been breached 67 times in 31 matches for a goal difference of minus 33 and looks like it will end Crewe's spell in the Championship come May.

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