It was FA Cup heartbreak for Chichester City who lost the Sussex Derby 2-0 away to Crawley Wasps. Kemina Webber and Darcey James both scored headers in the first-half which proved enough as Chi couldn’t find an opening. There were half chances for Chi especially in the second-half but Wasps held on to progress into the Third Round.
Crawley Wasps are a side who sit top of the FA Women’s National League South-East with a squad capable of competing in the Southern Premier hosted the SSE Women’s FA Cup Second Round tie.
The game started evenly for both sides Naomi Cole had a 30-yard strike blocked by Molly Clark before Cherelle Khassal was caught offside as she prepared to strike.
Jade Widdows had the first opening in the half when Crawley’s Frankie Gibbs sliced her clearance into the feet of the striker unexpectedly who could only volley the ball back into the goalkeeper’s arms.
Lauren Dolbear blocked twice from a corner to deny Charlotte Young and James from breaking the deadlock with Hollie Wride clearing out of the box.
The ascendancy seemed to be with the hosts who were unbeaten in all competitions this term going to game.
Lauren Cheshire headed clear Faye Rabson’s volleyed shot off of the line which then saw Chi counter themselves through Khassal.
The attacker hit the crossbar as she looked to cross into the box for the arriving Bell and Widdows.
Attacks kept coming for Wasps, Young forced Dolbear to block with her feet before Tiffany Taylor deterred Rabson enough to make her drag her shot wide.
M.Clark and Wride both had opportunities to score, the later with a free-kick well claimed by Gibbs while the top goal scorer saw her shot curl narrowly pass the post.
With 38 minutes on the clock, Crawley found the opener. Rachel Palmer’s corner found the head of Webber who rose highest to flick the ball on and into the bottom corner.
Straight from the restart, M.Clark had a chance to equalise while her free-kick had the power she couldn’t get enough dip to put the ball under the crossbar.
The lead was doubled on the stroke of half-time, Cole’s corner floated to the back post where James was waiting to nod home.
A change was made at half-time for Chi who brought on Tash Stephens in replace of Bell and they started brighter.
M.Clark was finding the time and space to deliver into the box, but a Crawley defender was always on hand to put an end to the opportunity.
The first chance of the second half went to Widdows her lofted strike just skimming the crossbar and over.
Two more changes were made as Simmons and Lauren Clark made way for Laura Ingram and Simmonds.
Chances were few and far between in the second half as the ball maintained a place in midfield while the defences for both sides cut short any openings.
Widdows was stopped in her tracks when Simmonds tried to play her through on goal while on the counter Ingram cut up Megan Stow who also tried to run at the Chi backline.
Defender Ingram had her header smash against the post from a M.Clark corner while Stow had a 25-yard shot deflected out for a corner.
Khassal turned on the speed as the clock ticked down beating two defenders to open a gap to shoot, Gibbs spilled the ball but smothered it before Stephens could strike.
Into stoppage, time and Simmonds had one last chance to get a consolation goal but found three Crawley players blocking her path to the next as the shot ricocheted off them.
Full-time came meaning an early exit in this year’s FA Cup for Chichester City and Crawley Wasps would progress to the Third Round with an away tie against Coventry United.
Crawley Wasps: Gibbs, Palmer, Stephenson, James, Young, Drury, Stow, Webber, Heather, Rabson, Cole
Subs: Graves, Fleischman, Russell, Davies, Measures
Chichester City: Dolbear, Simmons, Taylor, Cheshire, Waine, Wride, Molly Clark, Lauren Clark, Widdows, Bell, Khassal.
Unused: Barron, Tubby, Ingram, Simmonds, Stephens