Continuing our review of a successful 2017 for Crawley Wasps LFC, we look back on April…
The decision made last summer to test Wasps’ Under-15s against the boys of the Mid Sussex Youth League certainly created headlines.
The many who backed it knew it would have long-term gain in terms of development, but possibly short-term pain in terms of results – and so it proved, with 17 defeats from 18 games, 193 goals conceded and only five scored.
But the raw stats do not do the girls justice. They competed well in many of the games, and often played the better football, only to be outdone by the sheer greater power, pace and height of the boys.
They did get one draw, earned by Chanelle Gainsford’s free-kick against Lindfield, and in April concluded their historic season with a loss, but a goal – scored again by Gainsford.
The league campaign over, focus switched to the League Cup semi-final with London Corinthians. The Kent club had pipped Wasps to second place but revenge was on the cards once goals from Faye Rabson, Suzanne Davies and Holly Walker made it 3-0 at half-time.
The game ended 6-2, setting up a final against Leyton Orient in May.
Megan Hannah, a 17-year-old goalkeeper, made her debut off the bench against Corinthians and then performed superbly in a friendly match playing against Wasps for QPR – the Women’s Premier League side winning 6-3.
Simon Pavey’s side ended their first season in the South East Counties Premier Division in style with a 6-2 win at Hassocks. Faye Rabson scored a hat-trick, with Rosanne Fine, Natalie Stephenson and Carys Dunn also on target. It meant they finished eighth.
The Under-16s lost to Cuckfield Cosmos, a result that would cost them a shot at third place, but did beat Withdean in their penultimate game of the season, thanks to a hat-trick from Lily Beckett.
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