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.

PREVIEW: Sussex Women’s Challenge Cup final – Crawley Wasps v Brighton & Hove Albion

Crawley Wasps face their biggest challenge of the season on Thursday night when they take on Brighton & Hove Albion in the final of the Sussex Women’s Challenge Cup.

But, having faced the Seagulls in last year’s showpiece and put in a creditable second-half display despite losing 5-1, Wasps’ players and coaches are confident of doing the club justice once again.

With a stronger squad than last year, and an excellent season both in terms of results and league position, we go into the game in buoyant mood.

Kick-off at Sussex FA’s headquarters at Culver Road, Lancing, is 7.15pm. Tickets cost £5 for adults and £3 for students and those aged 65 or older, while under-16s go free.

Here’s what some of the club’s key figures make of the game.


First-team manager Paul Walker

“I’m delighted we’ve made the final again this year. It is the biggest ladies cup in Sussex and the Sussex FA do a fantastic job on making it feel special.

“We’ve had an extremely good season, so I’m hoping, with the squad of players that we’ve got, that we can be really competitive in the game on Thursday night.

“My bet is Brighton will play a mixture of their first team and their development side, so I think we’re going to be up against extremely stiff opposition.

“The first strategy is to stay in the game in the first 20-25 minutes – we don’t give the ball away cheaply, we try and close the spaces down, we play with confidence and most importantly we’re solid at the back and we’re compact.

“What I hope people will see when they come is a group of players who are extremely talented, who are comfortable on the ball and who will do the women’s game justice.”


Assistant manager Dave Cole

“I expect Brighton will take us a little bit more seriously this year. We’ve probably got more strength in depth than last season so I’m expecting us to have a go and show people how far this club has come in 12 months.

“Even the pros will tell you, it’s about getting rid of the nerves in the first 10-15 minutes. The girls that played there last year are coming back again so those nerves hopefully will have gone, and the more experienced girls that we have brought in have been there anyway, so I’m expecting us to be a bit calmer about it all.

“My brief, when I came in at the start of last season, was to help start pushing the club on. We’ve definitely moved the club on and year-on-year that’s what I hope to do.

“Off the pitch we need to build behind the scenes to push the profile on – that’s what Brighton have got, that’s what Chichester and Lewes have got. It’s not all about what happens on the field, it’s off the field as well, and nights like Thursday help.”


Captain Hannah Duncan

“We’ve come a long way from last season. We’ve made huge strides forward both on and off the pitch and the squad now is certainly a much stronger one, so we’ve got to take confidence from that.

“We’ve played Brighton in pre-season friendlies as well as in the cup final last year so we know what they’re all about. Those of us there last year know what it’s like to be in front of the crowd and everyone’s played on that pitch just a few days before the final, so there shouldn’t really be any surprises.

“We’ve got to go out with a positive mindset – we can’t look at it as damage limitation. We’ve played some fantastic football this season – keeping it on the ground, passing and moving, playing the strikers in – so we can certainly put on a show.

“Playing against a team of Brighton’s quality and experience will force us to raise our game as we did last year. We’ve just got to go out and do ourselves proud on the night.


Midfielder Suzanne Davies

“We played very well last year. Everyone worked very hard, pressed very well and defended very well, so that’s obviously something we’ll have to do again this time.

“We’ve got a stronger side this year so hopefully we can be a bit more attacking than last year and maybe we can surprise some people.

“If they’re going to put out a lot of Super League players then that’s obviously going to make it much more difficult for us, but we’ve always got a chance if it’s going to be the reserve team or the youngsters.”


For a match report on last year’s final, click here – and for highlights, provided by Football Exclusives, click here:

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!!

Crawley Wasps LFC reserves/youth round-up: Terrific win for Wasps reserves

A late own goal secured an important three points as Crawley Wasps reserves beat Hassocks 4-3 on Sunday to boost their battle against the drop.

The reserves are fighting to stay in the South East Counties League, having been promoted last season, while Hassocks arrived unbeaten in four matches.

Wasps were bright from the off and when Faye Rabson was brought down, Natalie Stephenson converted the penalty.

The visitors equalised but Rabson grabbed a couple of goals before half-time, thanks to Stephenson and Shinih Tuazon, to put her side 3-1 up.

Hassocks pulled it back to 3-3 after a poor start to the second half, but Wasps won it when Rabson’s cross was put into her own net by a defender under Tracey O’Hagan’s pressure.

Wasps Under-15s – playing in a boys league this season after several seasons of unrivalled dominance in their age groups – battled for everything in defeat to Horley Town boys.

Despite the 15-0 scoreline, it was an improvement on the 20-0 reverse suffered against the unbeaten league leaders in December.

The Under-16s also faced the dominant side in their league, Chichester City girls, and lost 3-0. Jodie Barker was the Basepoint player of the match.

MATCH REPORT: Crawley Wasps 5 Eastbourne Town 0

Crawley Wasps beat Eastbourne Town 5-0 on Sunday to seal a semi-final spot in the London & South East Premier Division League Cup.

They had the better of the chances throughout, and went close in the opening stages through Nicholle Smith and Lauren Callaghan, while Danielle Boyd shot straight at the keeper when through on goal.

She made no mistake the next time she found herself clear, opening the scoring on 32 minutes.

A swift counter-attack, initiated by skipper Hannah Duncan and the busy Boyd, led to the second on the stroke of half-time, with Naomi Cole expertly clipping a shot into the far top corner.

Town put pressure on the Wasps defence early in the second half but they were caught on the break again as Cole’s driven ball was turned in by Holly Turbill, for her 11th of a productive season.

Despite some concerted possession, Town did not unduly threaten a defence marshalled by Thales player of the match Holly Walker, and two late goals set the seal on a fairly comfortable win.

First, Roseanne Fine – on as a substitute – teed up Boyd for her second and then Turbill dummied Duncan’s low cross for Cole to finish.

Wasps topped Group A in the League Cup with a 100% record and will face as yet undecided opposition in the semi-finals on April 2.

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

And they’re off! Wasps race night on Friday

Crawley Wasps Ladies Football Club are holding a fundraising race night on Friday (February 24).

It is open to all, including players, parents, coaches, and friends of the club, and will be held in the clubhouse at the first-team’s home ground at Oakwood FC, in Tinsley Lane.

Doors open at 6.45pm with the first race setting off at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £5 for adults, £3 for under-16s or £10 for a family of four or five, and a buffet is included.

As well as putting money on the horses, you can also own one for £4 and if it wins, you take the prize provided by the sponsor of the race.

Wasps are the largest women’s and girls’ football club in Crawley, providing competitive football from age six through to the two Ladies teams.

The first team are currently top of the London & South East Premier Division, the fifth tier of women’s football in England, and will play Women’s Super League side Brighton in next month’s Sussex Cup final.

To book a place at the race night, own a horse or for more information, call Dave Cole on 07910 848912 or email dave.jnnpools@btinternet.com.