REPORT & HIGHLIGHTS: Crawley Wasps Res 5 Saltdean Utd 1

Crawley Wasps reserves passed a huge test with flying colours on Sunday as they beat Saltdean United 5-1 to make it three wins from three in the South East Counties Premier Division.

Although newly promoted, Saltdean are anticipated to be among the leading sides in the division but Simon Pavey’s team proved too strong.

They went in front in the 18th minute with Amy Woollard showing good strength before crossing for Rosanne Fine to volley home.

Lauren Callaghan then scored from an acute angle following Natalie Stephenson’s pass to give Wasps a 2-0 half-time lead.

Saltdean pulled a goal back shortly after the break when Summer Dutton got on to the end of a free-kick, but Stephenson restored the two-goal advantage when her set-piece crept in at the near post.

Woollard and Fine both netted from close range to set the seal on an impressive win.

Wasps reserves: Hillman; Richards, Bolton, Rippin, Ward; Woollard, Natalie Stephenson, T. Smith, Callaghan; Martin; Fine. Subs: Svaikevic, Dunn, N. Smith.

MATCH REPORT: Stevenage 2 Crawley Wasps 7

Defender Charlotte Young was named player of the match at Stevenage by Simon Wallace, from sponsors Bunaken Oasis Dive Resort.

Crawley Wasps’ prolific start to their first FA Women’s National League campaign continued on Sunday with a 7-2 victory at Stevenage.

It means Wasps have now won their opening five league games in Division One South East, scoring 24 goals in the process.

Having beaten Norwich 6-0 and AFC Wimbledon 5-2 in the previous few days, Wasps’ latest rout was started by Sian Heather as they raced into a 4-1 lead by half-time.

Kemina Webber fired in on the turn, via the under side of the bar, to double the visitors’ advantage before Faye Rabson pounced on a stray ball in a crowded box and slotted home.

Megan Stow then finished an excellent move after making an intelligent run through the defence, with Nicole Emmings pulling one back for the hosts.

Sian Heather was particularly impressive in the first half at Stevenage (Picture: @laythy29 on Twitter)

Stow grabbed the fifth shortly after the break, while substitute Suzanne Davies fired into the top corner following an exchange of passing with Webber.

Wasps skipper Naomi Cole added the seventh, although Emmings reduced the damage for Stevenage slightly late on.

“We spurned several chances before we scored our first goal,” manager Paul Walker said.

“Sometimes we over-played in the final third but we kept the ball well and played some nice football.”

Wasps are in Women’s FA Cup action this Sunday (September 23) away to league rivals Denham United.

Wasps: Gibbs; Niamh Stephenson (Measures 18), James, Young, Palmer; Carter, Cole; Heather, Stow (Drury 60), Rabson (Davies 55); Webber.

MATCH REPORT: Crawley Wasps 5 AFC Wimbledon 2

Sian Heather got Wasps back on terms against AFC Wimbledon (Picture: Ben Davidson Photography)

Crawley Wasps recovered from an early setback to impressively sweep aside AFC Wimbledon 5-2 on Wednesday night and make it four wins from four in the FA Women’s National League.

Visitors Wimbledon took a fourth-minute lead but, after Sian Heather’s equaliser, wingers Emma Plewa and Faye Rabson both scored twice for Wasps in a thrilling second half.

There was also a penalty apiece – one missed by Wasps’ Naomi Cole, the other scored by Dons’ captain Jess Trimnell – as the crowd at Tinsley Lane, Oakwood got their money’s worth.

Wasps fell behind when Caroline Bisson got clear and fired in at the near post and, having not won from a losing position in almost two years, the omens were not good – particularly when keeper Frankie Gibbs had to prevent a second with a fingertip save.

But Wasps settled into the match, creating a series of half chances, before Heather pulled them level midway through the half, outmuscling a defender and firing in low from the edge of the box.

Gibbs made a good low save early in the second half, a crucial intervention – because Wasps immediately stung the Dons with two quick goals, both of individual brilliance.

GALLERY: More photos from the AFC Wimbledon game will follow.

First, former Wales international Plewa’s dazzling footwork took her away from one defender and a burst of pace beat another before she shot low into the far corner.

Then Rabson collected Stow’s pass 35 yards out and steamed round the outside of her marker, shrugging off a challenge in the box to curl a left-footed effort beyond keeper Chanell Yardley.

Another looked likely when Heather was sent sprawling by Yardley, only for Cole to sky the penalty over the bar.

That was only a temporary reprieve as Rabson and Heather’s work on the right teed up Plewa to make it 4-1, but Dons reduced the deficit through Trimnell’s spot-kick after Gibbs clipped Bisson.

Rabson ensured there was no nervy finish, though, as she went on another incisive run, this time on the left, before drawing the keeper and tucking the ball away.

Wasps: Gibbs; Niamh Stephenson, James, Young, Palmer (Measures 86); Drury (Carter 77), Cole; Rabson, Stow, Plewa (Webber 73); Heather. Sub not used: Samain, Davies.


MATCH REPORT: Norwich City 0 Crawley Wasps 6

Megan Stow gets stuck in at Norwich, before a half-time kit change to solve the colour clash (Picture: Brian Coombes)

Crawley Wasps manager Paul Walker says his team’s goal-laden start to the FA Women’s National League season will have made their rivals sit up and take notice.

Having beaten Ipswich Town 5-1 on the opening day of the season, and then edging out Enfield 1-0, Wasps made it three wins from three since promotion by winning 6-0 at Norwich City on Sunday.

Together with their 8-0 win over Ipswich in the League Cup last weekend, it means Wasps have now scored 20 goals in four games and conceded just once.

“People in this league will be keeping an eye on our results,” Walker said. “Most of the sides will view us as one of the contenders but all of the teams at the top will take points off each other.

“The new players have all settled in well. To go to a team established at this level and go away with a 6-0 result is very pleasing.”

Kemina Webber battles with her marker at Plantation Park (Picture: Brian Coombes)

Summer signing Sian Heather put Wasps in front at Plantation Park before Kemina Webber doubled the lead following a Rachel Palmer cross.

Former Wales international Emma Plewa scored on her debut early in the second half after Webber capitalised on a defensive error, with Heather grabbing her second to make it 4-0.

Captain Naomi Cole fired in from distance before substitute Suzanne Davies got on to the scoresheet after great work from Megan Stow.

Wasps top the FA Women’s National League Division 1 South East, ahead of Billericay on goal difference.

Wasps: Gibbs; Niamh Stephenson, James, Young, Palmer; Carter, Cole; Heather (O’Hagan 76), Stow, Plewa (Measures 57); Webber (Davies 57). Sub not used: Graves.

Crawley Carpet Warehouse backs Wasps

Kemina Webber, Abbie Measures and Naomi Cole with Phill Russell (left) and Mick Tooze from Crawley Carpet Warehouse (Picture: Ben Walker).

Crawley Wasps are delighted to welcome Crawley Carpet Warehouse to the growing number of local firms backing the town’s top women’s football club.

The Charlwood Road-based company has agreed to be a sponsor of the Ladies first team at the start of their first season in the FA Women’s National League.

The firm’s logo featured on Wasps players’ shirt sleeves for the first time on Sunday (September 2) in an 8-0 win over Ipswich Town in the League Cup.

And all those attending the home game with AFC Wimbledon on Wednesday (September 12), at Oakwood FC’s Tinsley Lane ground, will receive an exclusive 10% discount off their next purchase from Crawley Carpet Warehouse.

They add to existing main-club sponsor Thales and fellow first-team sponsor Bunaken Oasis, while Cottesmore Hotel, Golf & Country Club remain a partner as they rebuild following a fire.

Crawley Carpet Warehouse – which also serves East Grinstead, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Horsham, Dorking, Redhill, Reigate and Horley – supplies and fits carpets, laminate & engineered wood, Karndean, Amtico, carpet tiles and all types of commercial flooring.

Phill Russell, from Crawley Carpet Warehouse, said: “Our team at CCW are so excited and proud to be associated with Wasps. Having watched them last Sunday win very comprehensively against Ipswich, we are looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”

Paul Walker, Wasps’ chairman and first-team manager, said: “It was a delight to host Phill, Mick and the team from Crawley Carpet Warehouse at our game against Ipswich and enthuse them with a first-class performance.

“Our ambition is to have a side at the very top of the women’s game, which the town of Crawley can get behind, and to create excellent player pathways for ambitious young footballers.

“So as the women’s game continues to grow and develop as a professional sport, it’s vital we secure additional sponsorship from more local businesses.”

MATCH REPORT: Crawley Wasps 8 Ipswich Town 0

Megan Stow receives the player of the match award from sponsors Crawley Carpet Warehouse.

Kemina Webber and Megan Stow both scored twice as Crawley Wasps demolished Ipswich Town 8-0 on Sunday to reach the main draw of the FA Women’s National League Cup.

Facing the same opponents they beat 5-1 in their opening league game two weeks ago, Wasps raced into a 5-0 lead by half time.

Sian Heather rifled the hosts in front on 14 minutes from a wide angle, with Faye Rabson close to a second as she drilled just over.

Heather was also involved in the second when her cross was turned in by Webber, on her first appearance of the season.

Stow, who was named player of the match by sponsors Crawley Carpet Warehouse, then drew gasps from the Tinsley Lane crowd with a rocket which flew in from 35 yards.

Two quick goals before the break further underlined Wasps’ control, with Rabson scoring from the edge of the box and Webber then adding her second after a neat turn.

Kemina Webber all smiles after scoring twice (Picture: Ben Walker)

Ipswich switched goalkeepers at the break with former Spurs stopper Toni-Anne Wayne making fine saves to deny Stow, Charlie Carter and Rabson.

But she was beaten in the 73rd minute by Carter’s left-footed shot into the far corner, with Naomi Cole and Stow adding two further goals late on.

Wasps make their longest journey of the season on Sunday when they travel to Norwich City (2pm kick-off).

Wasps: Gibbs; Niamh Stephenson, James, Young, Palmer (Measures 68); Carter, Cole; Heather, Stow, Rabson (Woollard 71); Webber (Davies 60). Sub not used: Graves.

Rosanne Fine scored all four goals as Crawley Wasps reserves beat newly promoted Lewes Foundation on the opening day of the South East Counties Premier Division season.

Striker Fine completed her hat-trick before the break, with Nicholle Smith setting up all three.

Lauren Callaghan later missed a penalty before Fine added a fourth, for the reserves’ biggest win since April 2017.

Wasps reserves: Samain; Richards, Duncan, Rippin, Ward; N. Smith, Natalie Stephenson, Tibble, Callaghan; Martin, Fine. Subs: Bolton, Svaikevic, Barnham, French, Clark.

MATCH REPORT & GALLERY: Enfield Town 0 Crawley Wasps 1

Stand-in Crawley Wasps skipper Rachel Palmer and goalkeeper Frankie Gibbs were both in fine form at Enfield (Picture: MikeyTheTowner on Flickr)

A much-changed Crawley Wasps side made it two wins from two in the FA Women’s National League as Rachel Palmer’s late free-kick earned them a 1-0 win at Enfield Town.

A hard-fought contest appeared to be heading for a stalemate until the 84th minute, when Megan Stow was fouled and stand-in captain Palmer curled in the set piece.

Wasps were also indebted to goalkeeper Frankie Gibbs for keeping the game goalless to that point with a string of excellent saves.

The victory was made all the more impressive by the fact Wasps were forced into five changes from the team that beat Ipswich 5-1 on the opening weekend, including captain Naomi Cole and last season’s top scorer Faye Rabson.

The changes allowed first starts for summer signings Abbie Measures and Amy Woollard, while longest-serving player Michelle Ward made her FA Women’s National League bow after more than 20 years at the club.

GALLERY: For more photos from the Enfield Town game, CLICK HERE

Gibbs made a superb double save early on as Enfield – who themselves had won 5-1 on the first day – started strongly.

However, Wasps also went close as a free-kick caused chaos in the Enfield box, with Darcey James’ header saved and follow-ups from Woollard and Charlotte Young blocked in a melee.

Gibbs made another crucial save later in the first half and after the break denied both Molly Peters and Sasha Kelly.

Wasps were always a threat on the counter and Enfield keeper Grace Brooks got a crucial touch as Toni Smith stabbed towards goal, before Palmer won it.

Wasps host Ipswich again on Sunday, this time in the League Cup, at Tinsley Lane, Oakwood (2pm kick-off).

Wasps: Gibbs; Measures, James, Palmer, Ward; Young, Carter; Woollard (T. Smith), Stow, Davies; Heather. Subs not used: Samain, Duncan.

MATCH REPORT & GALLERY: Crawley Wasps 5 Ipswich Town 1

Two-goal Faye Rabson (left) and Sian Heather celebrate (Picture:

Crawley Wasps made a sensational start to life in the FA Women’s National League on Sunday with a 5-1 victory over an Ipswich Town side who finished third in the division last season.

Sian Heather, one of four debutants in the Wasps squad, made an instant impact with two goals and an assist while last season’s top scorer Faye Rabson also grabbed a brace.

It was American midfielder Ariana Fleischman, though, who had the honour of scoring Wasps’ first goal in the fourth tier of women’s football – and it came after just six minutes. Rabson burst past her marker in the left channel and although her shot was blocked, Fleischman finished from close range.

Ipswich keeper Toni-Anne Wayne denied Megan Stow and Rabson as Wasps dominated, and when she was sold short by a team-mate’s backpass on 29 minutes, Rabson nipped in to make it 2-0.

The visitors pulled one back as captain Amanda Crump curled in a fine shot from distance but Wasps restored their two-goal cushion before the break when Heather stabbed in after Wayne saved from Rabson.

GALLERY: For more photos from the Ipswich Town game, CLICK HERE

In the second half, Jenny Drury brought an outstanding save from Wayne but Wasps were not to be thwarted for long – as former Lewes striker Heather took centre stage around the hour mark.

First, she slid in Rabson, who finished coolly, and then produced an exceptional dipping shot from 25 yards which flew over a helpless Wayne.

Wasps keeper Frankie Gibbs was alert on the rare occasions she was called upon, while Heather could have had a hat-trick, but was denied by a combination of the keeper and the post.

Manager Paul Walker said: “We executed our gameplan well. We wanted to put them under pressure early on. It’s a long season with some tough games but it’s great to get off to a good start.”

Wasps are on the road this Sunday as they face Enfield Town (2pm kick-off).

Wasps: Gibbs; Niamh Stephenson (Measures 69), James, Young, Palmer; Stow, Cole; Fleischman, Drury (Carter 62), Rabson (Davies 69); Heather. Subs not used: Samain, Webber.

Six players join Wasps ahead of historic season

(L to R) Sian Heather, Megan Stow, Amy Woollard, Abbie Measures and Charlotte Young have all joined Crawley Wasps (Picture: Ben Davidson –

Crawley Wasps have signed six new players ahead of their historic first season in the FA Women’s National League.

The list is headed by the experienced and versatile Charlotte Young, who just over a year ago was playing in the Women’s Super League with Brighton & Hove Albion.

Forward Sian Heather joins from FA Women’s Championship newcomers Lewes, while ex-Wales international Emma Plewa – whose former clubs include Chelsea and Tottenham – has also signed.

Full-back Abbie Measures (AFC Wimbledon) and striker Amy Woollard (Ascot United) complete the new faces, with midfielder Megan Stow – who had agreed to join last season – now available following a stint in US college football.

Every single member of the promotion-winning squad has also agreed terms for the new season.

Wasps take on Ipswich Town Ladies at The Haven, Crawley Down Gatwick FC (kick-off 2pm) in their first game in the fourth tier of women’s football.

Manager Paul Walker said: “We feel very confident with the squad we’ve assembled.

“Ipswich have recruited a number of new players and had a very strong second half of the season last year so I expect them to be good opposition for our opening game.”

Naomi Cole: “There’s a real buzz about the club”

Skipper Naomi Cole added: “There’s a real buzz about the club at the minute.

“The girls have been putting a lot of graft in in pre-season and we’re all excited. Ipswich will be a good benchmark for us.”

Walker is keen for locals in Crawley to get behind Wasps now they’re in the upper echelons of the women’s game, taking on the likes of Norwich, Cambridge, Luton, Leyton Orient and Stevenage.

“Our aim is for Crawley to have a top, top ladies side and we’re getting there,” Walker said.

“It’s an exciting prospect for the town – we’re going to try and do as much as we can to put on good shows week in, week out. We’d love to see more and more people come down and support us.”