Crawley Wasps reached the first round proper of the Women’s FA Cup for the first time in seven years as they overcame a stubborn Chesham United 3-0 on Sunday.
It took a usually prolific Wasps side 67 minutes to crack the well-drilled and hard-working hosts, who play at an equivalent level of the FA Women’s National League.
But two goals from substitute Emma Plewa and a fortunate third by Megan Stow ensured Wasps a home tie next month against QPR Development.
Paul Walker’s side laboured during an even first half of few chances, the first of which fell to the hosts as a shot was dragged just wide.
Wasps’ best opportunities fell to Charlotte Young, who shot over, and Jenny Drury, who headed straight at keeper Lucia Delves.
They stepped up a gear after the break as Stow’s shot was pushed against the post by Delves, who also saved Rachel Palmer’s free-kick and another Stow effort.
Captain Naomi Cole and former Welsh international Plewa were both introduced from the bench and they combined to break the deadlock. Cole’s through ball sent Plewa through on goal and she checked back on to her right foot before drilling home.
Chesham had a few forays into Wasps territory – keeper Frankie Gibbs got down well to comfortably gather the biggest threat – before the visitors scored twice late on.
First, Plewa gobbled up the rebound after Stow’s shot had been saved and then Stow herself netted, as her cross-cum-shot drifted in at the far post.
Wasps: Gibbs; Niamh Stephenson (Measures 90), James, Carter, Palmer; Young (Cole 58), Drury; Fleischman (Plewa 64), Stow, Rabson; Heather.