Emma Plewa stole the show as her two goals and an assist for Naomi Cole gave Crawley Wasps an important win against title rivals Portsmouth, in what was a close match that could have gone either way had it not been for the Welsh forward.
In addition to the match’s attendance of two hundred and fourteen, over one thousand viewers watch the match streamed on YouTube.
Crawley Wasps made three changes to the side that lost to Ipswich 1-0, Charlotte Owen, Flo Jackson and Emma Plewa returned to their starting line-up. While for Portsmouth, Jamie Gotch and Emma Jones came in to make their full debuts.
Plewa opened the scoring in the eighth minute. She received the ball from Charlotte Owen while wide on the left wing, she brought the ball inwards and from the edge of the box floated in what looked like a low cross but it snuck in inside Hannah Haughton’s far post.
Portsmouth responded immediately a minute later. Gotch flights a beautiful pass from inside the Pompey half that dissects the Wasps defence and finds Cherelle Khassal. She hit a half volley that lob the stranded Megan Lynch in the Wasps goal.
The half continued to be a close contest with Portsmouth looking dangerous from Jade Bradley’s set-pieces and with Jazz Younger providing an areal threat due to her height and strength.
The home side went ahead again in the 55th minute through Plewa who repeated her 2019/2o exploits of bagging a brace against Pompey. Immy Lancaster picked up a loose pass in the middle of the pitch and drove forward with the ball, she found Plewa who was in the D on the edge of the box. She flicked the ball up with her right foot, half turned and hit a superb right-footed volley perfectly into the left of the goal, going in of the post, Haughton had no chance in the Pompey goal. Photo: @BoardmanPix
Plewa was again found in space on the left-hand side, forward was able to find her way inside and laid off the ball to Wasps captain Naomi Cole, she takes a touch inside the box and hits a left-footed shot into the left-hand side of the goal, passed a diving Haughton who was unable to get near it.
Undeterred by the double setback, Pompey continued to fight for the next goal and were able to pull another back. Substitute Shannon Albuery was able to cross goal and find Khassal who finished from close range to give the home side hope of pulling it back. This was Kassal’s sixth goal in three games for Jay Sadler’s side.
With five minutes left to go, Younger’s header from a Bradley corner smashed against the crossbar with Khassal was unable to tuck away the rebound as she was met by Lynch and four defenders closing her down on the line.
The win then gives both sides identical records for the season, two wins and two defeats, with Pompey ahead on goal difference. Portsmouth has another tough match on Sunday when they host Oxford United at Westleigh Park, while Crawley Wasps travel to Bridgwater United.