Match round-up: Stephenson’s rockets win it for reserves

Natalie Stephenson’s set-piece brilliance inspired Crawley Wasps reserves to a 2-1 victory over Chichester City Development on Sunday.

The former first-team captain, now a mainstay of the second string, struck an excellent free-kick and powered in a penalty as the hosts came from a goal behind at half-time.

Chi, who started the day top of the South East Counties Premier Division, started the more confident side and, after Wasps keeper Hope Laker was forced into a scrambling save, the visitors took the lead from the resulting corner.

Both sides then hit the bar, Laker tipping a shot on to the woodwork and home skipper Zoe Martin seeing a deflected shot loop up and cannon back, while both keepers also made important stops.

Wasps’ Amy Clark saw a shot blocked on the line before Chi’s Loulou Robson sadly suffered a broken ankle in slipping on the ball in a challenge with Toni Smith.

Wasps started to get a grip on midfield in the second half, with Lisa Richards lifting a shot over and Clark seeing an effort pushed away, and they deservedly equalised when Stephenson hit a stunning free-kick from 30 yards out.

With the tireless Richards, skipper Martin and Thales player of the match Rebekah Dunt all impressing, Wasps pressed for a winner, which duly came when the referee spotted a handball in the area, and Stephenson slammed in the spot-kick.

Wasps reserves: Laker; Richards, Duncan, Bolton, Coaker; Natalie Stephenson, Martin, Harding, Dunn; Dunt, Clark. Subs: Paul, N, Smith, T. Smith.

Wasps’ Development Squad – the club’s new ladies third team – were forced to field defender Jodie Barker in goal as a side depleted by injuries and illness lost 6-0 at Saltdean Ladies, expected to be among the favourites for the Sussex County Women’s League.

There was no game for the first team, while the Under-16s were awarded the points following Horsham Sparrows’ withdrawal.

VACANCY: Video partner wanted

Crawley Wasps LFC – the largest all women’s and girls football club in Crawley and one of the premier ladies clubs in the south east – are seeking someone with video filming and editing expertise for a brand new role.

With our first team aiming for promotion to the FA Women’s Premier League, we want a talented and self-motivated individual to produce imaginative video footage promoting the club and its sponsors – particularly main club sponsor Thales, a major global brand, and Cottesmore Hotel, Golf & Country Club, who provide weekly access to their impressive facilities for strength and conditioning training.

The successful applicant would also film first-team games to be used within the club for analysis.

This opportunity would be a voluntary role and would be ideal for organisations or individuals seeking to work with sports clubs to enhance their portfolios and experience (possibly individuals undertaking undergraduate/post-graduate qualifications etc.).

We would consider supporting such an individual/group with material costs, if required.

This is an excellent opportunity for a group/individual in this field of work to become involved with a progressive and ambitious ladies football club as the women’s game continues at pace to attract media exposure.

The successful applicant would report to the club’s communications officer, Andrew Raeburn (a professional sports journalist).

How to apply: Send a CV and a covering letter – plus examples of any work if available – to Andrew Raeburn,

Worthing Town 2, Crawley Wasps Development 3

Crawley Wasps’ Development maintained their 100 per cent start to life in the Sussex Women’s League as two Tracey O’Hagan goals helped see off Worthing Town.
Wasps came into the game on a high after beating AFC Varndenians Development 4-0 the previous week but made a slow start and fell behind early on.
They levelled on 25 minutes as Sami Phillips’ goal kick found Char Terry and Topaz Luxford’s cross was finished off by O’Hagan.
She had her second before the break, this time from a Millie Baverstock delivery, as Wasps went ahead.
O’Hagan turned provider to make it 3-1, finding Luxford who beat the Worthing defence, before the hosts made it a nervy finish by pulling a goal back.
Captain Jodie Barker was the Basepoint Player of the Match.

Wasps Development: Phillips, Chart, Foster, Baines, Barker, Terry, Saunders, Brookbank, Byworth, O’Hagan, Luxford.

Subs: Taylor, Baverstock, Smith, Brockbank.

Crawley Wasps LFC youth round-up – Historic first win for Under-11s

Crawley Wasps’ Under-11s celebrated a maiden victory at the second attempt as they beat Horsham Sparrows 2-1 on Sunday.

The club’s youngest team had started their first season together with a drawn league game at Wick, but showed great spirit and no lack of skill to come from behind at Ewhurst.

Captained by Issy-May Connor, and with Jean Wright showing great promise in goal, Wasps played good football throughout, although fell behind to a Sparrows side who contributed to a great contest.

Holly Remfry equalised and Lucy-Mae Skinner scored the winning goal in the closing stages.

Lily Dawes was Thales player of the match, while there were good displays from Isabel Wilson, Isabelle Liggins and Berneen Sawyer.

Coach Hannah Duncan said: “I am proud of the girls for getting their first win.

“It was great to see them playing with smiles on their faces and putting to good use what they had worked on in training.”

Wasps’ Under-16s, already without some key individuals, lost Ellie Livingstone to an injury which reduced them to 10 fit players in a 9-0 defeat at Mile Oak.

Stand-out performances came from Macy Watts, Poppy Nicholls and skipper Chanelle Gainsford.

Crawley Wasps LFC match report – Fulham Foundation 2, Crawley Wasps 7

Crawley Wasps made it three wins from three in the London & South East Premier Division with a 7-2 win at Fulham Foundation on Sunday.

Playing on 4G at Fulham FC’s Motspur Park training ground, Wasps went ahead on eight minutes when Rosanne Fine’s cross deflected into the path of Lauren Callaghan, who finished well.

The pair also combined for the second and third goals, scored on 24 and 26 minutes. Callaghan played a one-two with Fine before setting herself and smashing home, and then turned provider as Fine bundled in at the far post.

Wasps went 4-0 up when Faye Rabson took advantage of a defensive slip to score, but Fulham pulled one back when referee Stephen Dedman penalised Niamh Stephenson for an apparent foul, and the penalty was confidently converted.

While the visitors adapted to a half-time formation change, Fulham took advantage to reduced the deficit shortly after the break, but almost immediately Wasps restored their three-goal lead as Holly Walker stabbed in Naomi Cole’s corner.

Suzanne Davies netted the sixth from an acute angle after Rabson’s low cross and skipper Cole’s cross-cum-shot deceived the Fulham keeper to round off the scoring.

Former Millwall and Lewes midfielder Cole was named Thales player of the match after an excellent display, while summer signing Kemina Webber – brought in from league rivals Watford Development – made her competitive debut from the bench.

Wasps: Gibbs; Duncan, Niamh Stephenson, Walker, Ward; Davies, Cole, Fleischman, Callaghan; Boyd; Fine. Subs: Elphick, N. Smith, T. Smith, Rabson, Webber.

Wasps reserves, meanwhile, drew 1-1 with Worthing Ladies in the South East Counties League. Keisha Lawrence scored the goal.

Wasps’ development squad – the new Ladies third team playing in the Sussex Women’s League – beat Worthing Town 3-2 to maintain their 100 per cent record.

Tracey O’Hagan scored twice in the first half – from a Topaz Luxford cross, and then from Millie Baverstock’s delivery – before setting up Luxford in the second half.

ROUND-UP: Development team begin with four-goal win

Crawley Wasps development score their first-ever league goal.

Crawley Wasps’ new ladies third team got off to the perfect start on Sunday as they beat AFC Varndeanians’ Development 4-0 in their first competitive game.

With Wasps’ first-team fixture against Kent Football United postponed, after a car accident involving three opposition players, all eyes were on the club’s Development Squad in their Sussex Women’s League debut.

The team – largely made up of last year’s Under-16s coming of age – defended superbly in the first half-hour, and went in front on 40 minutes when Jodie Barker’s free-kick was saved and Char Terry netted the rebound.

Tracey O’Hagan doubled the lead in first-half injury time and grabbed her second after the break, converting Tamzin Byworth’s excellent cross, before Topaz Luxford slammed in the fourth.

Wasps’ reserves lost their opening match, in the South East Counties Premier Division, 4-2 at home to Ashford Ladies.

Simon Pavey’s team were denied by a goalline clearance in the opening minute but conceded a scrappy opener from a corner, following Hope Laker’s fine save.

Amy Clark set up Rebekah Dunt to level, before Ashford scored twice to lead 3-1. Dunt reduced the deficit with her well-taken second, but to no avail.

Wasps’ Under-16s – who last season played in a boys’ league after dominating girls’ football locally – prevented a rare defeat by hitting back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with Chichester.

After going 2-0 down, Emily Flegg raced on to Sian Maynard’s pass to score, before captain Chanelle Gainsford’s scorching shot from distance and Poppy Nicholls’ goal direct from a corner earned them a point.

Wasps’ youngest team, the Under-11s (pictured), drew 1-1 at Wick Dynamos in their first-ever league game – Jean Wright captained the side and Isabelle Liggins scored the goal.


MATCH REPORT: Crawley Wasps 6 Parkwood Rangers 1

Faye Rabson netted a hat-trick in the first 18 minutes as Crawley Wasps beat Parkwood Rangers 6-1 to make it two wins out of two in the London & South East Premier Division.

Former Lewes striker Rabson opened the scoring when she latched on to Michelle Ward’s pass, glided past a defender and slotted home off the near post.

She hooked in the second after Suzanne Davies had knocked down Lauren Callaghan’s cross, and rounded the keeper for her third.

Frankie Gibbs in the home goal made several comfortable saves as newly promoted Parkwood tried to get back in the game.

But Wasps were always on the front foot and the Rangers keeper made a good save to deny Naomi Cole.

Paul Walker’s side made it 4-0 in first-half injury time as Callaghan nipped ahead of the goalkeeper to finish after Toni Smith’s pass.

Early in the second half, Cole hit the underside of the bar but the ex-Lewes and Millwall midfielder was not to be denied, as her precise low shot from 20 yards whistled into the net.

Skipper Cole created the sixth, her ball tempting the keeper out and Davies got there to poke into the empty net.

Parkwood looked more dangerous in the second half and Wasps needed to dig in at times, with teenage goalkeeper Megan Hannah, who replaced Gibbs, making an excellent save from a free-kick and Nicholle Smith later clearing off the line.

Wasps’ Ariana Fleischman saw an effort tipped on to the bar before the visitors pulled one back with an excellent strike from distance.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Rabson – whose hat-trick was the first by a Wasps player since Davies’ treble last November – was named the Thales Player of the Match.

Wasps: Gibbs; Duncan, Niamh Stephenson, Walker, Ward; Davies, Cole, Fleischman, Callaghan; T. Smith; Rabson. Subs: Boyd, Callaghan, Elphick, Davies, N. Smith.

Ladies 1st Team : MATCH REPORT: Crawley Wasps 2 AFC Phoenix 1

Suzanne Davies hit the winner in the eighth minute of injury time as Crawley Wasps began the new season with a 2-1 victory over newly promoted AFC Phoenix on Sunday.

Midfielder Davies latched on to a glorious pass from new skipper Naomi Cole before drilling the ball over the keeper and in at the far post.

Cole had scored nine minutes into her first game as Wasps captain but south London-based Phoenix deservedly levelled in the second-half and could have gone in front but for a couple of fine saves by Frankie Gibbs, on her competitive debut.

However they were undone by substitute Davies, who scored her fifth goal in her last five games, which included the Sussex County Cup final against Women’s Super League side Brighton in March.

The visitors hit the post early on but Wasps took the lead when former Lewes and Millwall midfielder Cole bent in a shot from the edge of the box after being set up by Faye Rabson.

Phoenix looked dangerous on the break, with Gibbs making a save at her near post.

In the second half, Wasps had a stroke of fortune when a foul by Rosanne Fine was not penalised and Nicholle Smith’s cross found Cole, but she fired over.

Phoenix made the most of that let off and levelled on 63 minutes with a swift counter, working the ball into the box before finishing.

Gibbs then made a couple of saves to keep things level while at the other end Hayley Fowle bent a shot wide and Ariana Fleischman hit the bar.

Davies popped up to win all three points as her side’s bid for promotion to the Women’s Premier League got off to a winning start.

Wasps: Gibbs; Duncan, Niamh Stephenson, Walker, Ward; Rabson, Cole, Fleischman, Fowle; T. Smith; Fine. Subs: Boyd, Callaghan, Elphick, Davies, N. Smith.

New Crawley Wasps signing Hayley Fowle in action against AFC Phoenix.


Bunaken Oasis extend support for Wasps

Indonesian-based diving resort Bunaken Oasis have extended their sponsorship of Crawley Wasps’ Ladies first team.

The luxury resort was opened last September and began backing Wasps’ first team later in the club’s 25th anniversary season.

They have committed for another campaign, a further boost to Wasps following the partnership with Cottesmore Hotel, Golf & Country Club and the main-club sponsorship of Thales.

Elaine Wallace, managing director of Bunaken Oasis, said: “We are delighted to continue our support to Crawley Wasps Ladies first team.

“We give our very best wishes to them for this coming season and to securing their ambition of promotion to the FA Women’s Premier League.

“We shall be following the team’s journey with interest and enthusiasm again this coming season.”

Wasps’ first-team boss Paul Walker added: “This is another high-quality commercial partnership for Crawley Wasps LFC and a further demonstration of the value that others see in what we are doing as a club within our local community.

“Last year, in our 25th anniversary season, we secured Thales as our main club sponsor – they have been fantastic with their support to the whole club.

“Cottesmore Hotel, Golf & Country Club have just become our new first-team training partner, which is massive for us – now the news of the continued support from Bunaken Oasis and I hope more to come. We are absolutely a club on the move.”

Located on Bunaken island at the westerly extreme of Liang Beach, Bunaken Oasis dive resort boasts 12 large, traditionally built private villas and guests can access some of the finest wall, muck and reef diving the area has to offer.

Vacancy – Strength and conditioning coach wanted
Pre-season friendlies announced
Former Palace development coach joins Wasps
Wasps promotion bid boosted by Cottesmore deal

Pre-season friendlies announced

Crawley Wasps have today confirmed the pre-season campaign for the first team.

Wasps will play friendlies against five FA Women’s Premier League sides – West Ham, Portsmouth and Gillingham, from the third-tier FAWPL South division, AFC Wimbledon from the FA WPL South-East and Southampton Saints from the FA WPL South-West.

See the poster for more details – all home games will be played at our training base at Ewhurst playing field, in Ifield Drive.

The first of three open trials for the Ladies section begins tonight (Wednesday) at 6.30pm.

Two more sessions will be held on Sunday, from 11am to 1pm, and next Wednesday (5 July), from 6.30pm.