Crawley Wasps were left frustrated after suffering a 2-1 defeat at league-leaders AFC Wimbledon, despite a dominant first-half display.
A trip to AFC Wimbledon, who are unbeaten in the league so far this campaign, was always going to prove a tough test for Wasps, but they started the brighter of the two sides at Sutton United’s Gander Green Lane ground.
Despite an early warning as The Dons hit the bar, Wasps quickly settled into their passing game on the 3G surface and took the game to the hosts, who were clearly rattled by not having things all their own way.
And the visitors made the most of their good start when Lauren Callaghan forced a defensive mistake and coolly slotted the ball past the hosts’ goalkeeper to give Wasps the early advantage.
Wasps were keen to maintain the pressure and continued to win the ball in midfield through Aston Worsfold and Jade Simmons.
Callaghan was causing the Wimbledon defence so many problems it left strike partners Toni Smith and Rebecca Carter with plenty of space and the latter had the ball in the back of the net, only for it to be ruled offside. Carter could have extended Wasps’ lead again, but fired her shot narrowly wide with the keeper beaten.
Wasps had another chance to extend their lead but couldn’t get the ball over the line in a goalmouth scramble. And at the other end, Hannah Duncan and Gemma Villette kept Wimbledon at bay following the hosts’ own scrappy set-piece.
Despite possession and chances however, Wasps failed to add to their one-goal lead going into the break and were made to pay in the second half. Wimbledon came out of the blocks much faster and never really let up, equalising after 56 minutes before finding what proved to be the winning goal mid-way through the half. A point-blank save from Catherine Poleykett kept Wasps in contention but despite throwing everything at the hosts, they couldn’t find the equaliser.
Oppositions Player of Match : Rebecca Carter
Crawley now have a week off before facing Bexhill United at Three Bridges on November 8.