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Ogo Obi & Dion Pereira both strike as the Hornets defeat Crewe

Under-23 Report | Crewe 0-2 Watford

Late strikes from Ogo Obi and Dion Pereira deservedly earned the Hornets three valuable points at Gresty Road this afternoon.

Despite dominating throughout, both in terms of possession and chances created against a Crewe Alexandra side who were unbeaten in their previous 10 outings, both strikes arrived in the final 10 minutes of proceedings. 

First Obi pounced on an error from home ‘keeper Andrew Dawber to tuck home from close-range before Pereira wrapped up proceedings with a fine finish with the final kick of the game.

It was the Hornets who were on the front-foot from the off with a Watford trialist coming close on eight minutes after a lack of communication at the back for the Railwaymen, before Dennon Lewis fired a free-kick narrowly over shortly after.

Dawber was forced into his first save of the afternoon just after the half-hour mark when he kept out Michael Folivi’s powerful effort at the second attempt, while Charlie Bannister in the Watford goal was called into action minutes later to palm away Callum Saunders’ volley.

The best chance of the opening 45 minuets, however, arrived on the stroke of half-time. Max Ryan showed excellent close control on the edge-of-the-area before clipping a delightful ball into the box, but unfortunately for the Hornets, the trialist's header sailed over the cross-bar from six yards out. 

The second period continued in a similar fashion, with chances coming and going for the Golden Boys. Pereira came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock on the 60-minute mark after good play involving Brandon Mason and Folivi, but his curling effort was deflected onto the frame of the goal and away to safety. 

The livewire Folivi was next to threaten after a fine Watford counter-attack started by Rhyle Ovenden in his own half, but Folivi’s volley was blocked on the goal-line with home ‘keeper Dawber well beaten.

It looked as if the Hornets may have to settle for a point as the game entered its final stages, only for substitute Obi to strike on 83 minutes. Centre-back Joy Mukena intercepted a Crewe counter-attack before striding towards the home goal. His powerful effort was only parried by Dawber into the path of Obi, who rounded the retreating ‘keeper before tapping into an empty net. 

In truth, the home side rarely threatened the Watford goal but Pereira ended any hope of a comeback in the 90th minute. Folivi was the provider as he cleverly slipped Pereira in on the edge-of-the-box, allowing the wide-man to take one touch before angling an effort beyond Dawber and into the far corner. 

HORNETS | Bannister (GK); Eleftheriou (c), Rowan, Mukena, Mason (Adeyemo, 80); Lewis (Obi, 68), Ovenden, Ryan, Pereira; Trialist (Sesay, 60), Folivi.

Subs not used: Gartside (GK), Stray.  

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