MATCH REPORT: Crawley Wasps 1 West Ham United 3

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.

Crawley Wasps LFC youth round-up: Under-15s end historic campaign

Crawley Wasps’ Under-15s ended their historic campaign in a boys’ league with a rare goal and one of their closest games of the season, in a 5-1 loss to Cuckfield Cosmos.

Having gone unbeaten in girls’ football since 2013, the decision was taken last summer to give the team a greater challenge and enter them in the Mid Sussex Youth League.

While results have often been punishing, largely due to the natural speed and physique of the boys, the one-season experiment has helped their development – they have, for the first time in years, had to learn to cope with defeats and improved their game in the new division.

Sunday’s game was a prime example, as they held Cosmos to a 1-0 lead until half-time, with captain Eleanor Keegan in fine form.

After some direct play saw Cuckfield move 4-0 up, Chanelle Gainsford’s right-footed strike – only the fifth league goal the team has scored this season – ensured there was something to take from their last game before they return to girls football in September.

Wasps’ Under-16s beat Withdean Youth 3-2 in their penultimate game of the season, thanks to a hat-trick from Lily Beckett.

She scored her first to equalise after a ball from Caitlin Baigent and put Wasps 2-1 up having been set up by Nicky Durling.

Although Withdean equalised after the break, Beckett completed her hat-trick after good work from Chloe Coaker, Baigent and Jodie Barker, while Topaz Luxford hit the bar late on.

There were no games for the Wasps Ladies’ reserves – whose season has finished – or the first-team, who play friendlies until their League Cup final on May 14.

COMPLIMENTS FROM ALL QUARTERS FOR YOUNG WASP 🐝 MEGAN HANNAH

Praise for the performance of our young Wasps’ keeper Megan Hannah was certainly coming from all quarters after yesterday’s friendly with QPR Ladies First Team, including from the QPR Manager Martino Chevannes and most of his players!!! Not surprising following her performance….for QPR!!

With injuries to both of QPR’s regular keepers, we loaned Megan – still only 17 – to the QPR team for the match. And a super performance she put in for them, albeit her feeling very under the weather. Highlights were a superb one-on-one finger tip save in the first half, which would have been a certain goal, and a very athletic one handed save from a 25 yard Naomi Cole free kick special. She was also alert and off her line on numerous occasions to thwart our forwards, as well as being very assured with her handling for the full 90 mins. A very impressive performance from Megan – earning her the Thales Player of the Match award. The first time ever to an ‘opposition player’!!!

As I previously mentioned, the improvement in performances from all our keepers is highly noticeable this season and thanks must go to Paul Woodhams and Ryan Strudwick for their dedicated work with our keepers at training. Well done chaps!

Cracking result for our reserve team yesterday who go from strength to strength. Congrats to Faye R on her hat-trick

MATCH REPORT: Hassocks 2 Crawley Wasps reserves 6

Crawley Wasps reserves ended their league season in style on Sunday with a 6-2 win at Hassocks, their fourth victory in a row.

Faye Rabson scored a hat-trick, Rosanne Fine also netted and there were goals for Natalie Stephenson and Carys Dunn.

Gemma Villette was named Thales player of the match and two of the club’s Under-16s, Jodie Barker and Millie Baverstock, were blooded into adult football.

Their excellent finish to the campaign means Wasps’ second-string have avoided the drop in their first season in the South East Counties Premier Division, following promotion.

Wasps reserves: Laker; Richards, Rippin, Bolton, Villette; Martin, Dunn, Natalie Stephenson, T. Smith; Rabson, Fine. Subs: Barker, Baverstock, Clark, O’Hagan.

The first-team did not have a competitive game but faced Women’s Premier League side QPR in a friendly at Silver Jubilee Park in north London.

Rangers went 3-0 ahead but Rebekah Dunt pulled a goal back as Wasps trailed 4-1 at the break.

After going 5-1 behind, left-back Michelle Ward scored a rare goal and Danielle Boyd’s free-kick reduced the deficit further but QPR ran out 6-3 winners.

Wasps’ Megan Hannah, 17, played in goal for Rangers and performed superbly.

Meanwhile, Wasps’ Under-16s were beaten 3-1 by Cuckfield Cosmos, with Caitlin Baigent the player of the match.

MATCH REPORT: Crawley Wasps 6 London Corinthians 2

Crawley Wasps reached the London & South East Regional Women’s League Cup final in emphatic style as they despatched London Corinthians 6-2 on Sunday.

Faye Rabson and Suzanne Davies both scored twice to exact revenge over Corinthians, who had beaten them in a winner-takes-second-place league clash a fortnight earlier.

More importantly, it guaranteed a second final of the season for Paul Walker’s side, just 10 days after they had taken on Women’s Super League side Brighton in the Sussex Challenge Cup final.

Wasps were ahead inside three minutes as the lively Rabson converted from Danielle Boyd’s pass and the pair combined midway through the first half to set up Davies to score.

Moments later, Holly Walker rose to nod in Boyd’s inch-perfect corner to make it 3-0.

Wasps had other chances in the first 45 minutes, with Walker having another header tipped over and Davies and Nicholle Smith both going close.

Corinthians enjoyed their own purple patch early in the second half and pulled a goal back from the spot, after Niamh Stephenson’s foul, to threaten a comeback.

But Wasps restored their three-goal lead when Davies released Rabson, who coolly stroked the ball home – and Davies then scored herself as she beat the Corinthians goalkeeper to Naomi Cole’s deep cross to make it 5-1.

And although the visitors struck again, Wasps held firm and Cole completed the scoring from distance after Corinthians failed to properly clear a corner.

Marie Gillstrom in the home goal was rarely troubled, although she did make a smart stop at her near post before making way for 17-year-old Megan Hannah, who was given her first-team debut in the final 10 minutes.

Wasps will play either champions-elect Leyton Orient or fourth-placed Watford Development in the final on Sunday May 14, at Maidstone United.

Wasps: Gillstrom; Duncan, Niamh Stephenson, Walker, Ward; N. Smith, Elphick, Cole, Davies; Boyd; Rabson. Subs: Hannah, Natalie Stephenson, T. Smith, Fine.

Crawley Wasps LFC reserves/youth round-up: Three in a row for Wasps reserves

 

Amy Clark’s goal was enough to earn Crawley Wasps reserves a 1-0 victory at Abbey Rangers on Sunday, their third league win in a row.

With their South East Counties League Premier Division status secured, the Wasps second string are finding their feet at this level following promotion last season.

The only goal arrived 10 minutes after the break when Thales player of the match Toni Smith fed Clark, who lifted the ball over the advancing goalkeeper for her 11th of the season.

Moments later Clark put one wide while Natalie Stephenson struck the bar with a free-kick and Tracey O’Hagan also went close.

Wasps’ Under-16s won 5-2 at Newhaven to move up to fourth, with Lily Beckett and Nicky Durling both scoring twice.

Captain Jodie Barker fired in a free-kick to wrap up the win, and Abbie Chart was named the player of the match.

Wasps Under-15s – playing in a boys’ league this season – scored only their fourth league goal of a challenging but worthwile campaign.

Poppy Nicholls got it, after good work by Chanelle Gainsford and Alana Delaney, to leave Wasps 5-1 behind at the break – but with two injuries took their toll, and Withdean ran out 18-1 winners.

Crawley Wasps LFC match report – Wasps 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 5

Crawley Wasps put in a creditable display against Women’s Super League side Brighton but were beaten 5-1 in Thursday’s Sussex Challenge Cup final.

In a nod of respect to Wasps, Brighton fielded seven of the side that started their previous WSL game against Millwall and the three-division gap showed as the Seagulls raced into a 3-0 lead inside 12 minutes.

Alessio Russo opened the scoring after rounding Wasps keeper Marie Gillstroem, Kate Natkiel then slotted home after outpacing the defence and Lucy Somes curled in the third.

But far from crumbling, Wasps took the game to Albion, with Faye Rabson’s pace tormenting Wales international right-back Amelia Ritchie.

She created the goal Wasps deserved a few minutes before half-time, as a dynamic run took her across the edge of the box before she checked back and teed up Suzanne Davies, who clipped an excellent first-time shot into the far corner.

And they almost unsettled Brighton further just after the break when Naomi Cole’s free-kick was brilliantly kept out by Seagulls keeper Leah Samain.

And that proved a turning point as a few minutes later, Hollie Olding’s blocked shot fell kindly for Russo, who scuffed a low shot beyond Gillstrom.

Wasps still weren’t finished, with top scorer Rosanne Fine twice denied by the impressive Samain, although Brighton also hit the bar through Kate Natkiel and had a goal ruled out for offside.

Olding put a harsh gloss on the scoreline late on when she slotted past Gillstrom.

Boss Paul Walker said: “I couldn’t be prouder of my players.

“It was a super performance against a very strong Brighton side. It was just a shame we conceded three early goals.

“I thought we were really competitive in the second half. We had two or three excellent chances when their goalkeeper pulled off terrific saves.”

Wasps: Gillstrom; Duncan, Niamh Stephenson, Walker, Ward; Davies, Cole, Elphick, Rabson; Turbill; Fine. Subs: Poleykett, Boyd, N. Smith, Callaghan, Dunt.

HOLLY CURRIER SELECTED FOR THE WELSH UNIVERSITIES BUCS NATIONAL TEAM

Congrats to Holly Currier for being selected for the Welsh Universities (BUCS) Ladies National Team following her success at the recent trials. Holly has been selected in a squad of 16 to compete for Welsh Universities at the Home Nations Tournament in April, where she will face England, Scotland, and Ireland. She was one of 70 trialists.

Holly joined us from Lewes Development side at the beginning of the season. She is now in her first year at The University of Swansea where she is is a member of the ladies first team. She is backwards and forward playing for Wasps, both first team and reserves. She is super young lady with a great attitude. Great news Holly!! And best of luck in the Home Nations Tournament.

Holly is back in person this weekend and will be in a Wasps shirt I am sure.

Once again, congrats Holly, great achievement!!