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Crawley Wasps 3 Pompey Women 2

Blues suffer first defeat of the season

25 August 2021

Pompey Women
Photo: Tyler Miller

Pompey Women suffered their first National League defeat of the season, despite a late fightback at Crawley Wasps.

Cherelle Khassal immediately cancelled out Emma Plewa’s early opener to ensure the sides went in level at the break.

But Plewa and Naomi Cole both struck in the second half to give the hosts a commanding lead and another Khassal strike was not enough to salvage anything for the Blues.

Jay Sadler made a couple of changes from the side that secured a narrow victory at Cardiff at the weekend.

Jaime Gotch and Emma Jones both came in to make their full debuts, as Rebekah Tonks and Shannon Albuery dropped to the bench.

Hannah Haughton made a fine early save to prevent Plewa from converting a dangerous Cole delivery.

But Plewa did break the deadlock moments later, courtesy of a shot that clipped the inside of the post on its way into the net.

The response from the visitors was instant, as KHASSAL latched onto Gotch’s pass and neatly lifted the ball over Megen Lynch.

Khassal then set about trying to score again, seeing one effort saved and then teeing-up Jones for a shot that was blocked.

Jones went close again just before the interval, stinging the palms of Lynch following good work from Sammy Quayle.

Half Time: Crawley 1 Pompey 1

But it was Crawley that made the brighter start to the second half and a fine 20-yard strike from Plewa restored their advantage.

Charlotte Owen came close to putting them further ahead, only for Haughton to come to Pompey’s rescue.

It was only a brief respite, though, and the Wasps did have a third goal on 72 minutes, as Plewa raced away down the wing and played the ball across for Cole to fire home.

Sadler made changes in an attempt to find a route back into the contest for his side and Albuery was one of the newcomers.

She provided the assist for the Blues to reduce their deficit, with the prolific KHASSAL smashing the ball into the net from close range.

They poured forward in search of an equaliser and almost found one in the closing stages, as Jazz Younger met Jade Bradley’s corner with a header that rattled the crossbar.

It all ensured there was a frantic finish in Sussex, but Crawley held on to ensure Pompey would leave with nothing to show for their efforts.

Pompey: Haughton; Gotch (Lane 64), Younger, Gane; Rowe; Bridge (Adaway 89), Rowbotham (Albuery 74), Bradley (c), Quayle; Khassal, E.Jones
Subs not used: Tonks, F.Jones

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