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.