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Saturday, 2 March, 2002, 18:08 GMT
Watford 0-1 Crewe

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Crewe striker Dean Ashton scored the only goal of the game to ease his side's relegation fears.

It was Ashton's eighth goal of the campaign but Watford boss Gianluca Vialli will wonder how his side lost.

Watford enjoyed the bulk of possession and carving out a number of clear goalscoring opportunities.

The Hornets threatened to open the scoring when Neil Cox met an inswinging corner from Stephen Glass but headed wide.

Crewe strikers Ashton and Rob Hulse, who caused problems for the Everton defence in the FA Cup replay defeat in midweek, were making little impression.

Gayle threatened just before the half-hour but his rasping volley was parried by Crewe goalkeeper Clayton Ince.

The second half began with Watford again on the attack, Allan Neilsen twice going close in quick succession with long-range shots.

But gradually the visitors came into the game and Hulse headed the ball over the crossbar from six yards before they took the lead with 17 minutes remaining.

Kenny Lunt supplied Ashton and the 18-year-old rifled the ball home with a right-foot shot from the edge of the area.

Cook had a 25-yard strike comfortably saved by Ince as Watford looked for an instant reply before Cox curled another effort wide.

Hyde and Wayne Brown also went close in the final stages but Crewe held on for a much-needed victory.

Watford: Chamberlain, Cox, Galli, Brown, Robinson, Nielsen, Okon, Hyde, Glass, Smith, Gayle.

Crewe: Ince, Wright, Sodje, Walton, Smith, Lunt, Collins, Sorvel, Rix, Hulse, Ashton.

Referee: K Hill.

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