Stevenage Women 2-7 Crawley: Mark Dicker’s side stung by Wasps

PUBLISHED: 18:14 17 September 2018

The Stevenage women's side hosted Crawley Wasps at Hertford Town FC on Sunday. CREDIT @laythy29

The Stevenage women's side hosted Crawley Wasps at Hertford Town FC on Sunday. CREDIT @laythy29

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The Stevenage women’s first team hosted Crawley Wasps at Hertford Town at the weekend. Read on for Layth Yousif’s special report.

Mark Dicker’s Stevenage women’s first team suffered a heavy 7-2 defeat to the Wasps on Sunday at Hertford Town.

After an even first 20 minutes in which the home side’s Charlotte Ryan showed good anticipation to clear off the line in the early stages, Boro keeper Georgia Knight was alert to block a succession of shots from the Crawley frontline including Kemina Webber.

Stevenage’s tenacious No5 Kristi Burling battled hard in the heart of midfield in an attempt to launch a counter for the home side while left-back Hayley Wood-Thomson showed diligence and persistence in repelling the dangerous Sian Heather, in a compelling early duel in the September sunshine.

The home side’s creative Amy Josland showed vision and good technique allied with quick feet as she attempted to break the siege despite the visitor’s constant attacks.

To Boro’s credit they attempted to play out from the back despite being pressed incessantly by an athletic Wasps side, even if the home side’s commitment to the beautiful game was tested at times with the Wasps’ high press.

It was no surprise Crawley eventually went 1-0 ahead on 22 minutes through Heather after a Webber cross.

The favour was retuned on 33 minutes after No10 Heather whipped the ball in from the left flank for striker Webber to thunder home in off the crossbar giving Knight no chance.

The rampant visitors soon made it 3-0 when headband-wearing Faye Rabson pounced on a stray ball in a crowded box, showing composure to slot home 180 seconds later.

Three minutes before half-time a clinical finish low past Knight’s right hand by the impressive Heather made it 4-0, after she powered through the backline.

Yet Dicker’s team refused to bow to Wasps – unbeaten in 22 matches prior to kick-off – and on the stroke of half-time the persistent Nicole Emmings fired home to make it 4-1, even if, as the referee blew for the break moments later, it was hard to argue with the scoreline.

Shortly after the interval an own goal from a ball which ricocheted around a crowded box made it 5-1 before Webber made it 6-1 on 75 minutes after curling one into the far corner.

Wasps’ left-back Rachel Palmer hit the crossbar with a speculative effort from the left channel shortly afterwards, before the score became 7-1 on 84 minutes following Naomi Cole fired a powerful shot past Knight.

There was time for Emmings to pull one back by finishing low into the far corner past keeper Gibbs before the final whistle blew.

Analysing the match, a disappointed Dicker said: “It’s been a tough day at the office. I can’t ask for more. They’ve gave everything.

“My team never gives up but as soon as the first goal went in it seemed to spiral.

“Technically, as a team we are one of the best in the league.

“I’ve only been in the job for a few weeks and it’s a work in progress in terms of implementing how I want to play.”

There was evidence of the Boro spirit late on when a player piped up: ‘We can still win this.’

While the notion was fanciful it was indicative of the spirit the side showed in never letting their heads drop – something Dicker and his team should be proud of – despite a chastening defeat.

*Dicker’s side travel to Peterborough for their FA Cup preliminary round tie at the weekend. For more follow @Stevenageladies on Twitter.

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