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Kane Crichlow stars in emphatic Watford Under-23 victory

Standout performer: Kane Crichlow had a goal and an assist in Watford’s 4-1 victory over Crewe Alexandra in the Player Development League

Kane Crichlow drew the plaudits after starring in Watford Under-23s comprehensive 4-1 victory over Crewe Alexandra Under-23s in the Premier League Professional Development League.

Having secured their first win of the new campaign, a 3-0 victory away to Sheffield Wednesday last week, Watford made it back-to-back successes in the league on Friday, battling back from a goal down to secure all three points at Vicarage Road.

After having a hand in the third goal, the Bermuda forward then capped off the turnaround in style, volleying J.J. McKiernan’s cross into the top corner.

“I know the quality that Kane Crichlow has,” said coach Omer Riza, singling out Crichlow for his performance.

“Today we played him a bit deeper, playing him in one of the No 8 roles, and it allowed him to get on the ball and drive, which is what he is really good at.

“He likes taking people on and he did it really well today and caused a lot of problems.

“We’re very happy with him and he worked really well out of possession and that’s what Kane is about, these are the qualities that he’s got.”

Against the run of play, Crewe found the breakthrough courtesy of Max Woodcock, who was found in behind the Hornets' defence and finished into the roof of the net.

Watford responded to the setback almost immediately as an unnamed triallist found the back of the net with a powerful header from a corner.

Now in the ascendancy, the hosts took advantage of their pressure to take the lead only a few minutes later with the same player getting on the scoresheet once more.

In the build-up, Crichlow produced an excellent piece of skill, jinking past multiple defenders, eventually laying the ball off to Ryan Andrews who delivered a driven ball into the middle with the triallist finding the back of the net via a deflection.

Not resting on their laurels, Watford added a third before the interval, as Shaq Forde, who scored a brace in the win against Sheffield Wednesday, saw his goalbound effort deflected over the Crewe goalkeeper Sam Booth and into the net.

In the second half, Crichlow rounded off a fantastic performance in style. After being brilliantly picked out by McKiernan just inside the area, the 21-year-old kept his composure, cushioning a right-foot volley past the reach of the goalkeeper and into the top corner.

Crichlow came close to adding his second and Watford’s fifth late on, but was denied by a smart save from Booth.

“First and foremost, it was a really good result for the boys,” Riza added. “They played very well and took on the game plan, applied it with individual quality and team organisation.

“I’m happy with the result and very happy with the players because they need that. It will give them that confidence rolling into the next game.”

Crichlow and his team-mates return to league action tomorrow with a match away to Peterborough United.

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Published August 31, 2021 at 2:53 pm (Updated August 31, 2021 at 2:56 pm)

Kane Crichlow stars in emphatic Watford Under-23 victory

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