In their second home game in as many weeks, Yeovil Town hosted current league leaders Crawley Wasps. In this early top of the table clash, Yeovil were hoping to move back into pole position with a game in hand.
Head coach Jamie Philips made 5 changes to last weekends side that beat Chichester 3-0, including bringing their game changing substitute Erin Bloomfield back into the starting 11.
Crawley conceded an early free kick after a foul on Yeovil captain Annie Heatherson. However, regular free kick taker Dan Carlton’s ball into the box came to nothing and Crawley were able to break. They tested Yeovil’s defence early, but they stood firm.
Crawley’s number 9, Rebecca Carter, was the first to try and open the scoring. However, after breaking free from the Yeovil defence her tame shot was straight at Yeovil keeper Beth Howard.
After very end to end play, with possession switching between the teams, Yeovil were able to retain the ball for a larger period of play. Laura Williams and Charlotte Buxton were able to connect down the wing, and played in Sarah Wiltshire. She took a shot but it was just over the bar. The teams were still locked at 0 goals.
Yeovil went on to enjoy a lot of possession, with Heatherson and Erin Bloomfield both being heavily involved. However, the game opened up again and it continued to be end to end.
Both teams had their chance to open the scoring once again. First Crawley tried their luck from far out, but the ball sailed over the bar. Secondly, down the other end, Wiltshire’s shot could only find the outside netting of the goal.
Another fantastic period of play from Yeovil captain Heatherson is matched with equally good play from Crawley, who fail to take their chance at goal.
With both teams still pushing for the opener, Yeovil were almost through on goal, but a Crawley defender found herself in the right position and used her body to deflect the ball away.
There was nearly heartbreak for Yeovil, as a Crawley corner was mis-judged by Howard. However, Jodie Chubb reacted quickly to clear the danger. Following this ‘near breakthrough’ both teams picked up tempo, however no team broke the deadlock.
Fantastic mid-air defending from Buxton stopped Crawleys ball into the box. However, when they picked up the rebound Howard was equal the shot.
Yeovil earned another free kick and Carlton stepped up once again. Her ball into the box nearly found the back of the net but Crawley keeper Frankie Gibbs got down quickly to push it away.
After a number of chances for Crawley both teams were still looking for the opening goal, but possession continued to change hands.
Crawley broke the deadlock just before the break, as they passed the ball around in the box and Carter was there to find the back of the net from close range.
Yeovil went in for half time 1-0 down. Despite looking better in possession, Crawley had the best chances so far.
Yeovil began the second half well and were in search of an equaliser. More great play from Bloomfield and Heatherson led to another shot on goal, which was equally met by the Crawley keeper.
Finally, Yeovil had their equaliser. Heatherson played a lovely ball through to Sarah who curled it past the keeper and into the back of the net.
After both teams enjoyed spells of possession, they were still pushing for the advantage. However, Yeovil let their desperation get the better of them and gave away a free kick on the edge of the box. Crawley Captain Naomi Cole sent the ball over the wall and into the back of the net. Crawley led again.
The game began to get quite physical with Crawley aiming to hold on to their lead, and Yeovil gunning for an equaliser. And it was Crawley who looked to add another; but the curling shot was met by a finger tips save acids the goal from Howard to deny them once again.
Yeovil earnt themselves a corner, which gave them another opportunity to bring things level. However, Gibbs managed to find the oncoming ball in the sea of players crowding the box and held on well. They then earnt another corner in quick succession, but Heatherson volleyed the ball clear over the goal.
Yeovil had a golden opportunity to add their second, but failed to capitalise on their chance and were running out of time to get anything out of the game.
Fitting with the general theme of the game, play continued to be very end to end, with Crawley doing everything to retain their lead.
Crawley decided they weren’t done, and Yeovil keeper Howard had a good 10 minutes between the sticks to deny the onslaught of Crawley chances and 2 resulting corners.
After a frantic final few minutes for both teams the game ended 2-1 to Crawley Wasps, who overall had the better game. They have now won the maximum amount of points from their first 4 league games, having only conceded 2 goals.