Megan Stow’s fine first-minute strike inspired Crawley Wasps to an impressive 2-0 victory over Cardiff City on Sunday.
Fellow midfielder Naomi Cole grabbed the second from the penalty spot as Wasps returned to the top of the FA Women’s National League Southern Premier Division.
They are now three points clear of Watford, who have a game in hand after they were in Women’s FA Cup action at the weekend.
Paul Walker’s team have now won 44 of their last 50 league games, dating back to the beginning of the 2017-18 season.
Stow got the afternoon off to the perfect start when she latched on to a weak defensive header and drilled a first-time shot low into the corner from 25 yards.
Wasps had further half chances in the first half, with Rachel Palmer, Charlotte Owen, Stow and Sam Pittuck looking particularly lively.
Cardiff were also a threat on the break, though Wasps’ Darcey James was excellent at the back and keeper Frankie Gibbs gathered in a shot from the edge of the box.
Stow nodded wide from a corner soon after half time, Pittuck drilled inches past the far post and sub Ariana Fleischman had an effort saved as Wasps continued to press.
They got breathing space when player of the match Tash Stephens was adjudged to have been fouled in the box, and Cole netted the penalty.
Wasps were also able to introduce new signing Stephanie Rodrigues Anes late on as they saw out the victory.
We travel to second-from-bottom Hounslow this Sunday (2pm).
Wasps: Gibbs; Russell, James, Palmer; Ledezma-Viso (Nash 55), Stow (Rodrigues Anes 81), Cole, Owen, Stephens; Pittuck, Heather (Fleischman 60). Subs not used: Graves, Webber.