Crawley Wasps put in a good display against Women’s Premier League opposition on Sunday in a 3-1 defeat to West Ham United.
Despite two divisions separating the two sides, Wasps had the better chances in the first half – though they still found themselves behind at the break.
They started brightly with the Hammers keeper having to make saves from Toni Smith and Danielle Boyd in the opening five minutes.
But poor defending from a corner, which wasn’t properly cleared, allowed West Ham to take the lead.
That did not deter Wasps though, who looked sharp in attack – and the equaliser their efforts merited came on 18 minutes.
Toni Smith split the West Ham defence with an exquisite pass to Nicholle Smith, who was sent sprawling in the box by the goalkeeper – and Boyd converted the penalty.
She had two more good chances after the spot-kick while Holly Turbill’s goalbound effort was blocked, but West Ham restored their lead in the closing minutes of the half after a missed kick in the Wasps backline.
The visitors upped their game in the second half and dominated possession, with Wasps keeper Marie Gillstrom making several good one-on-one saves – and when she was beaten, the woodwork came to her rescue.
Wasps were restricted to counter attacks, with Turbill shooting straight at the keeper when she was unmarked, and the Hammers added a gloss to the scoreline deep into injury time.
Paul Walker’s side face AFC Wimbledon in a friendly this Sunday before taking on Leyton Orient in the League Cup final on Sunday May 14, at Maidstone United.
Wasps: Gillstrom; Duncan, Niamh Stephenson, Walker, Ward; N. Smith, Davies, Cole, Boyd; Turbill; T. Smith. Subs: Richards, Natalie Stephenson, Dunt.