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Pompey Women 2 Crawley Wasps 3

Blues beaten in National League

16 February 2022

Pompey Women
Photo: Tyler Miller

Pompey Women 2 Crawley Wasps 3

Blues beaten in National League

16 February 2022

Pompey Women’s winless start to 2022 in the National League continued with a narrow home defeat to Crawley Wasps.

Cherelle Khassal’s opener was cancelled out by Alisha Mainwaring and the visitors then went ahead through Iesha Swaby.

Emma Jones ensured the hosts got back on level terms, only for Flo Jackson to strike for the Sussex side.

Jay Sadler made three changes from the side that exited the National League Cup on penalties against AFC Wimbledon.

Jazz Younger, Evie Gane and Hayley Bridge all returned, with Rebekah Tonks, Sammy Quayle and Freya Jones making way.

Crawley started brightly and Swaby tried to turn a corner towards the net, but Hannah Haughton got down to make a fine save.

Another set-piece then caused more problems in the box before Pompey were able to hack the ball to safety.

And Haughton was soon called into action again to push clear an effort from Swaby, who had raced through on goal.

Instead it was the Blues who broke the deadlock on 32 minutes, as KHASSAL met Jones’ cross and saw her floated header go in off the underside of the bar.

They might have scored again before the break, but Bridge could not quite get on the end of another Jones delivery.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Crawley 0

A leveller arrived shortly after the restart, as Mainwaring made an intelligent run and calmly slotted into the bottom corner.

Pompey went back on the attack and Jacqui Goldsmid denied Khassal after the striker had twisted and turned her way into a shooting position.

Jones then swung in another teasing cross that Bridge was only able to divert into the side netting just past the hour mark.

But it was Crawley who went ahead for the first time, when Swaby used her strength to race away and slide a shot past Haughton.

The Blues soon equalised, as Shannon Albuery fed the ball to JONES, who fired it into the back of the net.

However, the celebrations had barely died down before the Wasps netted again through Jackson, although the hosts were adamant there had been a foul in the build-up.

Pompey tried to hit back and the closest they came to salvaging a point arrived in stoppage-time, as Dani Lane pulled the ball back for Khassal, who could not keep her attempt down.

Pompey: Haughton; Rowe (c), Younger, Gane; Bridge (Harney 87), Rolf (de Bunsen 68), Gotch, E.Jones; Lane; Albuery, Khassal
Subs not used: Kingshott, F.Jones, Quayle

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