A leading contender for player of the month was Faye Rabson.
She scored six goals in three games in February, her doubles helping the reserves to a South East Counties League Cup win over Meridian and a vital league victory over Hassocks.
In between, she also made her return to the first team, scoring twice in an 8-0 thrashing of Fulham Foundation, her first senior game in almost a year.
Paul Walker’s team began the month with a scrappy 1-0 win at Eastbourne Town, secured by Danielle Boyd’s penalty. The more significant result that day came with Leyton Orient’s first defeat of the season, against London Corinthians. It could have been a twist in the title race – in the end, it cost Wasps second place.
Against Fulham, in addition to Rabson’s two goals, Holly Turbill scored twice and Suzanne Davies, Rosanne Fine, Nicholle Smith and Holly Walker were also on target.
They then beat Eastbourne Town again – this time at home, this time in the League Cup group stage, and this time by a more convincing margin. Boyd and Naomi Cole scored twice in the 5-0 win that put them into the semi-finals.
Although Wasps led at half-time in the League Cup game against Meridian, through Rabson and Amy Clark, the tie went to extra-time. Rabson restored the Wasps lead before Tracey O’Hagan netted to earn a semi-final with Worthing.
But the stand-out game of the month was the Capital Intermediate Cup quarter-final with Charlton Athletic’s reserves. The star turn in the first half was 18-year-old goalkeeper Hope Laker, who repelled the Addicks and kept it goalless at half-time. Pressure after the break told, though, and Charlton ran out 4-0 winners.
They returned to league action at the end of the month, needing results to keep them out of relegation trouble. One duly arrived, as they won 4-3 at Hassocks – their first league win since mid-December. Natalie Stephenson’s penalty and Rabson’s brace put them 3-1 up, but they were pegged back to 3-3 before a late own goal gifted Wasps the points.
Just one game in February for Mark Hills’ side and it ended in a 3-0 defeat by unbeaten league leaders Chichester.
The Under-15s, playing in a boys’ league after several seasons of unmatched dominance in local girls football, suffered three heavy defeats but were more competitive than the scorelines suggested.
February also saw the first of two successful race nights in 2017. Organised and hosted by first-team assistant boss Dave Cole, plenty of the club’s players, officials and friends joined in with the fun at Oakwood FC.
Review of 2017
January – Sussex Cup semi win, Zoe’s brave return
February – Rabson makes mark, Laker repels Charlton
March – Another Cup final against WSL Brighton
April – Reserves on form, Under-15s end historic campaign
May – Orient end Cup dreams, Under-16s finish fourth
June/July – Sponsors sign up, new coaches appointed
August – First team open season with victories
September – Development and Under-11s begin well
October – Wasps hit nine twice in record start
November – Under-16s shine, first team set pace
December – Cup success for firsts and reserves