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Saturday, 23 December, 2000, 18:29 GMT
Crewe 1-2 Fulham
Barry Hayles
Barry Hayles was on target again for Fulham
Fulham's Barry Hayles and Luis Boa Morte combined to crush plucky Crewe at Gresty Road.

Hayles buried his 14th goal of the season from Boa Morte's slide-rule pass to take the lead after his strike partner had earlier cancelled out Colin Rivers' first half volley.

Rivers had latched on to Neil Sorvel's looping cross to blast past Maik Taylor and force Fulham boss Jean Tigana to bring on top scorer Louis Saha at half-time.

And the on-fire hitman took just 20 seconds to make an impact, squaring for Boa Morte to slide home his 12th strike of the season before Hayles struck to settle the visitors' nerves.

It was a blow for Crewe who had dominated the first half which saw them denied a second minute penalty when Andy Melville was let off the hook after handling Colin Little's goal-bound header.

Vibrancy

There was little in the way of Christmas spirit for Fulham either with referee Tony Leake booking Andre Stolcers for diving after refusing Boa Morte a free-kick when he was chopped down by last man Steve Foster.

Crewe suffered a setback on the stroke of half-time when full-back David Wright was stretchered off after an accidental clash of heads with Rufus Brevett.

Fulham, lacking their usual vibrancy, had a quiet first half with Hayles heading their best effort into the hands of Jason Kearton.

Meanwhile Rob Hulse could have doubled Crewe's lead but the young striker fired wide with only Taylor left to beat.

Breaching

A powerful run then took Hayles past Foster but the Fulham forward could not steer past the advancing Kearton.

Hayles was the star of a resurgent Fulham second half display and he produced a bit of trickery to leave Foster again but his drilled effort was parried by Kearton for Kenny Lunt to clear coolly.

With their backs-to-the-wall second half chances for Crewe were few with Little going nearest to breaching Fulham's rearguard.

But the visitors grew more menacing with Saha denied on two occasions before Sodje blocked Sean Davis goal-bound effort.

Crewe: Kearton, Wright, Shaun Smith, Foster, Sodje, Lunt, Sorvel, Little, Cramb, Hulse, Rivers. Subs: Bankole, Tait, Peter Smith, Gannon, Collins.

Fulham: Taylor, Finnan, Brevett, Melville, Coleman, Clark, Hayles, Goldbaek, Boa Morte, Davis, Stolcers. Subs: Hahnemann, Symons, Wayne Collins, Saha, Lewis.

Referee: A Leake (Darwen).

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