Crawley Wasps produced arguably their most complete team performance of an incredible start to their maiden FA Women’s National League season as they beat third-placed Actonians 5-0 on Wednesday.
The victory made it six wins from six following promotion – eight in eight in all competitions – and stretched their unbeaten league run to 22 matches, dating back to March 2017.
Prolific Wasps have now scored 40 goals in their eight games this season – but it was defence that proved the best form of attack against Actonians, with three of the back four all on target.
Full-back Rachel Palmer opened the scoring on 13 minutes. Actonians keeper Paige Horsnell had raced out to deny Faye Rabson but the ball broke for Palmer in the left channel and she showed great composure to clip a shot in at the far post.
Wasps dominated the first half, with Megan Stow forcing an excellent diving save by Horsnell, Kemina Webber and Stow both striking the post and Charlotte Young’s header blocked in the goalmouth.
Stow, though, was not to be denied a third time as she was the beneficiary of a glorious defence-splitting pass from captain Naomi Cole and her midfield partner fired into the corner.
Actonians – considered among the top sides in the division – carried more of a threat after the break but Darcey James nodded in Cole’s corner on the hour mark to stretch the Wasps lead.
Rabson scored the fourth as she cracked in a shot from the edge of the box, while Wasps hit the woodwork twice more and Horsnell kept out Suzanne Davies and Sian Heather late on.
But she was beaten by Young’s injury-time header, which was adjudged to have crossed the line despite Actonians’ protests, as Wasps completed another fine result.
Wasps: Gibbs; Niamh Stephenson, James, Young, Palmer; Drury (Carter 64), Cole; Heather, Stow, Rabson (Fleischman 71); Webber (Davies 64). Subs not used: Graves, Measures.